Indoorlands PC Review

Indoorlands will have players scrapping parks as much as building them.

By Fragnarok, Posted 17 Oct 2022

Indoorlands is an amusement park simulator designed and published by Pixelsplit. Out in the wilderness, a new fully indoor attraction is being built. At first, it may just be a simple rollercoaster park. But as months and years of construction pass, players can make an iconic destination rivaling the likes of Disneyland or Six Flags.

When first starting Indoorlands, players must complete the intro tutorial. It walks through the basics of controls, like rotating the camera and easily placing objects. It also features some budget tips, researching technology, and keeping visitors happy. However, it finishes too quickly before touching on many more key fundamentals like purchasing land, traffic control, or attraction levels. It would be better with intermediate or advanced tutorials or at least an additional encyclopedia.

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Once the tutorial is over, players can make a new park in either career or sandbox mode. In the career, all features are turned on, leading to a gradual progression in resources and wealth. The sandbox allows for more custom control, including starting money - or even infinite dollars - along with turning on and off features; adjustments cannot be changed midgame. Additionally, players can select a terrain type from desert, wasteland, or tundra. But, there are no weather or temperature effects as all gameplay takes place indoors.

To make a successful park, players will need to focus on rides and other entertainment. This includes rollercoasters, swings, carnival booths, and other family-friendly attractions. To facilitate guest desires, there also should be a large number of restaurants, souvenir shops, and toilets along the way. Players also have the option of manually repairing and cleaning or creating dedicated buildings to automate the tasks mentioned above.

Each building type has a variety of tags, which individual visitors are searching for. For instance, a hungry character will settle for popcorn or fries as both are tagged as “salty”. Likewise, any “kid friendly” building will please a picky parent. Building choices wind up being more about satisfying a broad range of guests rather than appealing to a niche customer.

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Players start with a rather meager patch of 45x15 rectangular land consisting of just three of the 20 possible sectors. As even the basic rollercoaster takes up an 11x14 grid, it becomes obvious that one of the first courses of action will be to save up money and purchase additional land space. Patrons themselves are lazy and will always first go for anything close to the front gate. This makes it imperative to funnel visitors through the whole park by placing the best rides in the back while putting gift shops and other money-makers near the entrance.

Even with planning ahead, there will be lots of vacant space left. Each building has a strict grid layout, ranging from as small as 1x1, to awkward shapes like 4x5. One option is to fill the area with decorative halls - these are strict pathways that once made will raise the park’s overall appeal. However, many halls might force guests to maneuver around corners or zigzag in a serpentine motion. Another alternative is to simply add in generic flooring which can also house small displays like columns, ponds, and statues - all of which are pleasing to visitors.

What players can build is limited by the level of research and visitor demand. At first, only simple snack stands, merry-go-rounds, and pendulum rides will be available. As time goes on, players can collect data from visitors surveyed at research stations. This allows for new upgrades like more enormous amusement halls, varied foods, merchandising, or public transit directly to the park. However, the overall slow trickle of progression and money during career mode can result in a shabby park that will be in desperate need of renovation or flat-out demolishing.

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Players may be offered contracts in two different forms to speed things up. The more traditional ones are challenge contracts that ask for certain buildings to be made in order to receive rewards. Unfortunately, some of the tasks are ludicrous without factoring in the park’s current layout. This included being asked to construct 12 2x2 grid toilets in 10 minutes. What resulted in a mass grave of toilets sitting in a secluded corner of the map until there was enough land to utilize them.

The second type of contract is devil’s bargains that immediately grant instant rewards but cause trouble in the park. This could include irate visitors that are hard to please or even break down of a whole building type. Oddly, many of these “problems” become a nonissue if repair and cleaning of buildings have already been made, as automated works can rapidly fix them. Additionally, sometimes the contract options will be obviously better. Players may be offered 20 research points for every restaurant to fail or 15 research for only five random buildings blacking out. Still, overall, working with the devil is typically more lucrative and better than traditional contracts.

Players can also stretch their budget by adjusting the quality of goods and how much they charge customers. This even includes the price of admission and every attraction. But their still needs to be a balance, so that the park still makes a profit while not heavily alienating guests due to either bad products or high costs.

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Indoorlands offers many default rollercoasters and rides, but dedicated players can also construct their own personal ones. There is no tutorial, and players are just given a giant array of cranks, paths, pulleys, seats, turnbuckles, and more. It is up to the individual to piece them all together and either make something coherent or purposely design a metal abomination. Indoorlands does not allow for deathtraps like in RollerCaoster Tycoon, and they at least need to function in order to be opened to the public. Once a ride is operational, players can take it for a test drive by adjusting the camera into a fixed position behind or in front of the lead car.

Aesthetically, Indoorlands isn't very soothing. At even high settings, almost everything - both buildings and people - have a very low polygon count. This gives everything a weird early 1980s CG feel. Character models also all have the same creepy blank stare. This makes them heavily resemble the works of cartoonist Joan Cornella, whose surreal drawings have become memes and image macros across internet hotbeds like Reddit and Twitch. This can make it unpleasant to watch such patrons wander around the park.

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Indoorlands is a very buggy and unpolished game. Even with a well-made machine, stuttering can be frequent. The game can also crash to the desktop due to direct Unity errors. These problems are not just sporadic and seem to be backed into an existing save; rotating a building placement that caused a crash will wind up having a 100% reproduction rate on another reload. Some players may need to scrap entire parks they spent hours building up.

Indoorlands has a lot of neat pieces and ideas, but almost none of them wind up meshing cohesively. There is something very enjoyable at the core itself, but players will need to weed through the sparse tutorials and cluttered subsystems. Worst of all, bugs and other errors can be blindsiding. Hopefully, Pixelsplit can patch out these problems and wind up with a fantastic game.

Kurtis Seid, NoobFeed

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General Information



Platform(s): PC
Publisher(s): Pixelsplit GmbH & Co. KG
Developer(s): Pixelsplit GmbH & Co. KG
Genres: Simulation
Themes: Theme Park, Rollercoaster, Mall, Construction, Economy
Release Date: 2022-10-14

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