Theme parks can be a blast. From your favorite rides new rides to the classics. Rides from roller coasters to ones that take you on an adventure. They can be a place that can take you back regardless of your age. Sometimes going on our favorite ride we rode as a child and able to share that experience with our children of today can be some of the best memories. So does Developer Monad Rock bring us the thrill of the theme park experience? Let’s find out with Summer Funland for the PlayStation VR.
I am not going to lie, I love theme parks. I love the rides, the games, and even exploring a new theme park when I get a chance. But what is Summer Funland about and what can you do? Well, in essence, Summer Funland is your theme park to ride rides, play some games, and explore everything it has to offer and does it in such a way that only Virtual Reality can bring it to you in your own home.
Before entering Summer Funland, make sure both of your Move controllers are charged. For those that may ask, there is only click turning, but it works very well here. The right Move controller is what you will use to be able to rotate with the X and O buttons. The Triangle button is used to reset the view which is the same as you would use the start button for. Hitting the Move button will pause and bring up the menu. The left Move controller is used to teleport using the Move button which can be rotated as you rotate the Move controller and of course the trigger button is used to grab and throw things.
Now that you have the controls down, its time to get into the fun and explore. When I first stepped into the world of Summer Funland I was really in awe about the sights and sounds of everything that was going on. I honestly could not wait until I could get in there and really explore. That is until I heard the fun that was going over me as the roller coaster passed by and I had to try to go and ride it and I will say that I know there is never going to be a roller coaster around that has dolphins jumping over you, but to be able to experience the ups and downs and going around the track and just seeing the open area put a real smile on my face.
I did notice that the track had nothing to support it, but as long as I was not going to crash and burn, I soon forgot about it. This was covered up by the person I got to ride with. Normally when you ride a roller coaster, there are going to be parts where people scream such as going down a steep hill or in a tunnel and I am happy to say that Monad Rock added this addition to my roller coaster experience.
Along with the rides, there are also games to play. Games like a western shooting range, whack a penguin, grab a squirrel, and a hot lava throwing ball game to name a few, have you trying to get a high score. If you come back to a game, it will show you what your best score was and sometimes it can be fun to try and top that score. As you enter the games, make sure you look around you so you can see what score you need to reach in order to pass the game, otherwise you could leave the game not aware and you leave on to explore only to realize you needed to pass that game in order to help unlock portion you will need later on.
But of course not everything in Summer Funland is a joy to experience and I say this with more of a frustration than anything else. I am talking about the section of the park called Maze Manor. This section of the park is a real joy to see and the object is to control a laser through a maze with the Move controller. So at the beginning of Maze Manor, the puzzles are quite simple and start to gradually get tougher as well as they should. But when you add rotation to these puzzles and having to move the laser at certain angles to be able to keep the laser on the path of the maze can get frustrating. But I will say that will some calmness, some deep breaths, they can be accomplished.
Throughout your adventure of going through Summer Funland, there is also something you will need to be on the lookout for and that is stuffed creatures. Each one you find will be part of the collection called Creature Hunt. And I really enjoyed this type of scavenger hunt as it gave you something additional to be on the lookout for as you explored and you never know where they may be. It just makes you want to search every part of the park as much as possible.
Now, of course, I am not going to spoil every ride, game or experience. That would not be fun for anyone and Summer Funland is about riding, playing games and exploring. But being able to grab a gumball from a gumball machine and put it in your mouth so you can blow a bubble or grabbing some popcorn is a nice touch and it is these small additions to the experiences that make Summer Funland a fun place to explore.
Let’s talk about sound in Summer Funland. From first entering and hearing the fun that was being had, each sound I experienced sounded like what I would expect when I go to a theme park. Each ride and game have their own individual sounds that didn’t try to drown you out with other sounds in the background and really pulled me to what I was doing. For example, hearing the roller coaster above me sounded distant as it should since I was not on it, but once I was on it and riding it, I was hearing the chain pull the coaster up. It all just pulls you in.
On the graphics side, they are sharp and are pleasant to the eyes. Going on the underwater adventure and seeing the sea creatures to the statues made me feel like I was actually there on the ride. The colors are bright and vibrant and at night time as they almost have this separate life when things seem a little brighter with the fireworks. The details such as the things you can eat and hold to the posters showing about the different attractions are a welcomed addition to the Summer Funland experience.
There are a few things that I wish were added. It would be great on the games if there were some online leaderboards. You do see your high score, but being able to see how well your friends are doing would be great to see. Speaking of friends, it would be awesome if the people walking around were other players that you could talk with as you walk around, go on a ride together or even play the games. And the last thing I would love added is just more of Summer Funland with more rides, sections to explore, and more games to play.
Summer Funland does what it sets out to do and allow you just to have some fun in its world. At times when something may be frustrating that we may want to walk away, just don’t give up. Because sometimes it’s the angle and how the way we look at things that could be judging our view.
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have a coaster to go ride again.