(Wii U eShop)

Coaster Crazy Deluxe (Wii U eShop)

Game Review

Coaster Crazy Deluxe Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Christopher Costabile

Not so crazy after all

Hold on to your coaster cars, Nintendo fans, because with the release of Coaster Crazy Deluxe for the Wii U eShop, gaming just got a whole lot crazier….or did it? Frontier’s latest iOS port proves that despite Nintendo’s concerted efforts to simplify the process for converting indie titles to Wii U, some games are better suited to the smaller, decidedly less crazy format of mobile devices.

Coaster Crazy Deluxe follows a group of roller coaster-riding wackos — called the Crazies — all over the globe. The player’s objective is to build and create gravity-defying coasters for the crazies to enjoy on any continent they wish. Along the way items are unlocked, experience points allow players to level up and piles of cold hard cash are earned, the latter of which can be used to purchase upgrades for the coasters. When a coaster is completed, the player launches a demo ride for the Crazies, but if it‘s poorly constructed — such as a turn being too sharp or a tunnel being too close to the railing — the resulting crash sends them tumbling through the air in a harrowing cutscene of destruction.

These mechanics might sound basic, but they're engaging enough to sustain player interest. New objectives arise with each area, such as “build a coaster with at least three loops” or “achieve at least 100,000 points”, and while these challenges add to the overall gameplay, Coaster Crazy Deluxe suffers from a lack of any genuine narrative that might give players something to strive for.

All we know of the Crazies — who are comprised of a wacky police officer, an alien, a chain-breaking zombie and a host of other misfits — is that they love riding coasters, even when they crash and burn (which they do, often). Although this type of game has no real demand for an actual plot, some sort of loose objective would have definitively increased the game’s replay value.

One area of success, however, is Coaster Crazy Deluxe’s overall presentation. The team at Frontier are clearly experienced, fun-loving gamers, as evidenced by the unique settings for coaster construction (Alcatraz and The Moon being just two examples) and the colourful and quirky character design. In addition, the gameplay mechanics are intuitive and simple, but challenging enough to keep players coming back for more. Either the stylus or the analog sticks can be used to move the camera, adjust the track, or select different icons in the menu. While coaster rides are rolling, the gyro function of the GamePad allows you to adjust perspective as if the player is one of the Crazies going along for the ride.

Players looking to explore their creative side are also provided with an additional "sandbox" mode that takes place on The Moon, where there are no specific challenges except the limitations of a player's own creativity. This mode, along with the ability to share coaster creations with friends online, adds some unique gameplay elements and has the potential to be genuinely addictive.

But crazy, this ain’t. Before delving into Coaster Crazy Deluxe, players should be aware that despite a title that implies action-oriented gameplay, this is a simulation game through and through. Coasters are built using the GamePad’s stylus and touch screen, and once completed, the demo launched by the player results in a long cut scene in which the Crazies ride the coaster to determine if it will meet that area’s specifications and avoid crashing. If that doesn't sound exciting to you on paper, then it won't in reality, either.

This particular brand of gameplay that uses intricate design followed by extended viewing is inherently appropriate for small devices like tablets, phones, or perhaps…the Wii U GamePad? Also, although the game can be played on the Wii U’s portable screen, for some inexplicable reason, all of its music and sound effects are missing on the GamePad. This is truly a shame, especially when other indie games like Nano Assault Neo have demonstrated that success can be achieved on both the big screen and Wii U's unique portable controller.

Conclusion

Coaster Crazy Deluxe features intuitive controls and a large number of features which make it a worthy entry in the niche coaster building genre, especially at its budget price. However, its conversion to the Wii U has resulted in a slightly muddled final product, as the nature of its gameplay feels barren and almost boring on a big screen, while fully enjoying the game on the GamePad is impossible due to the puzzling lack of audio. It's a more than competent coaster builder, but Wii U owners who also possess an iOS device — a platform on which Coaster Crazy Deluxe is arguably more comfortable — would be crazy to purchase the game in this format.

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User Comments (28)

Lobster

#2

Lobster said:

Too bad. Maybe it'll have a sale at one point. I do have an Android phone, so I'm apparently out of luck on the mobile front. Or I could just dust off Roller Coaster Tycoon, which is still fun after all these years.

On mobile, is this one of those freemium games, or is it a legit game that doesn't beg for in-app purchases for experience points and the like? If it's that way on mobile, and the fact that it obviously isn't on Wii U, does swing my opinion in favor of the Wii U version.

placidcasual

#3

placidcasual said:

Good review Chris- theres a lot of miiverse comments about bugs causing crashing. Did you experience anything like that?

OL_G

#4

OL_G said:

the game is not as bad as it sounds you just have to love building coasters
with a bit of practice you can build awseome stuff

eza

#5

eza said:

Shame. I don't know if anyone actually wanted Coaster Crazy, but I know several people who want another Rollercoaster Tycoon game.
I'd love to see RCT4 on Wii U...

It also makes me a little bit worried about Elite 4. I just hope that this port was left to the work experience placements, and everyone at Frontier is hard at work on Elite...

eza

#7

eza said:

@Alshain01 good point! RCT3 bored me very quickly for some reason, can't remember why now, but I hardly played it compared to the previous two..

Kolzig

#8

Kolzig said:

Shame it's in the end more of a miss than a hit.
Well, hopefully Braben&co. will realize that Lost Winds is where their hits lie in addition to Elite.

We are still craving for Lost Winds 1 to appear on Wii U and be transferable from Wii.

Sceptic

#9

Sceptic said:

Jeez, it's a $10 game suitable for all ages and good fun for the half hour or so of entertainment it's supposed to provide at a time. Very much more hit than miss. I am completely at loss why this site seems to hold $10 games to the same production standard as $70 games (except when it's some VC garbage).

There is no "long cut scene" when you test the coaster, you are actually riding the coaster you made and you can look around with the gamepad. That's actually a lot of fun. "Tight gamepad integration" you would probably call it if this was a Nintendo title, but alas...

Kids love this and it's easy enough for them to fool around with, but difficult enough for grownups to dabble in too. I highly recommend it as a family game, especially at this price.

TreesenHauser

#10

TreesenHauser said:

I might get this anyway eventually. I've been itching for some RollerCoaster Tycoon style action for a while now. Even if it's not an action game, that's what made RCT a fun simulation game.

NiBar

#11

NiBar said:

I'm not crazy ! (i'd report you Cristopher, if I could!). I have an IOS. I bought this on Wiiu and it's really fun, and I love the combination of buttons and stylus to create on the gamepad and watching the whole thing on my big screen when testing the coaster . This is clearly more a hit than a miss. 8/10

ChrisCostabile

#12

ChrisCostabile said:

@placidcasual Actually, thanks for bringing that up. There were one or two times when I thought that happened to me, but I wasn't sure if it was the result of something that I had altered or not. However, one of the things I forgot to talk about in the review is that, crash or not, the coaster ride would sometimes not play out exactly the same way, even if no alterations were made to the track, so yes, there are definitely some bugs in there.

JustinH

#13

JustinH said:

Wow, hopefully this gets a patch. This sounds like it would at least have its audience if it ran tip-top.

ChrisCostabile

#14

ChrisCostabile said:

@Sceptic You raise an interesting point about whether or not the coaster riding is a cut scene. I think you have a valid argument that it's not, since you're technically riding it. But from my perspective, since it's a video game and a) the player is just viewing the screen, and b) no button that can possibly be pressed at that point will affect the outcome, a cutscene seems to be the best description.

SetupDisk

#15

SetupDisk said:

It's exactly what I thought it would be. I don't regret getting because it is what I wanted but I don't see how anyone could have expected action in this.

sinalefa

#16

sinalefa said:

This one has piqued my interest, so I may check it out. I have two coupons from the Deluxe Digital Promotion, so I could technically get it for free.

Nico07

#18

Nico07 said:

@placidcasual I bought this game and had it lock up almost immediately into starting a level twice. Both times I had to press and hold to shutdown the Wii U. I emailed their support and was told that this was being remedied in a soon to be released patch. The cause they said is having a Wii Remote linked to the Wii U powered on. I remembered that my son was holding a remote both times and turned it off. This fixed it and the game runs fine now. It's a fun game with a few mechanic problems, but once you get past those the controls, physics, and detail are great. I haven't any further issues with the gameplay, so unless you like having Wii remotes powered on while playing (though they serve no function) I don't see a need to wait for a patch. Their support is great and got back to me quickly.

The gameplay modes are fairly fun with typically three critics riding your coaster, each with his/her own demands. These usually involve number of G's the ride should reach, number of drops, height of drops, etc. At the end of each test you see if your riders wishes were fulfilled or not.

MathRaph

#19

MathRaph said:

This doesn't seem to have been brought up, but I'm very glad the price on this deals fairly with change between currencies.

MadAdam81

#20

MadAdam81 said:

@Lobster except Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, which is nowhere near as fun.
The lack of audio on the gamepad doesn't bother me, and as I don't (& won't) have an idevice, I may pick this up soon.

placidcasual

#21

placidcasual said:

@Nico07 cheers! Thanks for taking the time to post and that. I'll probably pick this up -something good to play when I'm in the mood for something more chilled out...

Sceptic

#22

Sceptic said:

@ChrisCostabile: lol, it's a roller coaster, man. You can look around with the gamepad and watch the crazy drops unfold before you. Your roller coaster. The one you designed.

Have you ever been on a real roller coaster? What more where you expecting to be able to do? It's all about the ride. My kids were screaming with joy.

3dbrains

#24

3dbrains said:

during the 'replay' you can shake the gamepad to make the riders throw up or jolt the gamepad up with both hands to launch them. silly but fun. this is not a replay but real time physics.

KevTastic84

#25

KevTastic84 said:

Just makes me want to dig out my Theme Park game on the DS. That in itself i only bought to remind me of having it on my Psone back in 1997

Nintenjoe64

#26

Nintenjoe64 said:

If the trailer isn't misleading, then this is well worth the £6 on eshop.

@KevTastic84 I tried to start a Theme Park for VC campaign on Miiverse. I used to love the SNES version.

Sceptic

#27

Sceptic said:

My 8yo kid played two hours of this last Sunday. I had to drag him away from it. He absolutely loves it, which is a lot more than I can say of Pikmin.

This is a very unfair review. This game is great fun and certainly well worth the money.

Plus, drawing your tracks on the gamepad screen makes you forget for a moment that it's the first time in ages you've really used the screen for anything sensible.

Drobotic

#28

Drobotic said:

Good thing I have no iOS device I wanna play this on.Guess I'm getting this,since it's made by the creators of RCT.

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