In my mind, I always go back to Atlantic Park. We would like to imagine an amusement park as a place of fun, laughter, enjoyment, and fond memories being made. For the protagonist in Funcom’s puzzle adventure game The Park, this is far from the case.
As this is a story-driven game, I will not divulge too terribly much of the story of the game. The plot is simple yet not, the game starts with the protagonist, Lorraine, and her son Callum leaving Atlantic Park. Callum says he left his teddy bear inside the park and does not want to leave without it. Lorraine goes to retrieve it when she sees Callum run through the security gate into the park.
Throughout the gameplay, you come to realize that this amusement park is not all it looks to be from the outside. The mysteries and controversies surrounding its origins and construction become apparent as you traverse through the park. Everything from construction issues, protests, accidental deaths, and murderous rampages by employees all become real.
The gameplay is your normal dual-stick first-person gameplay. You navigate the world looking for your son, Callum while collecting the clues about the park, your background, and your path forward. You can yell for your son to reveal these clues throughout the world. It is mostly a linear game with some open-world aspects and a few scripted scenes that are important to telling the overall narrative of the story.
The Park builds this story using those visual clues, including the newspaper clippings, notes, books, and a pill bottle or two. There are some sections of the game that you are required to find these to progress forward, which can be a bit of an annoyance if you happen to miss an obvious clue in front of you. It helps to build the creepy vibe the atmosphere of the game exudes, which is one of the game’s best qualities.
Sound and Art
Part of what makes the atmosphere great in this game is the sound design. The sound quality is outstanding in the way it adds to the suspense throughout your play. Little details like win bellowing through the trees, random but well-placed carnival music, and the laughter and screams of children.
While the graphics are not what you would expect out of a AAA budget style game, the game does overall look nice and I noticed no major graphical issues in my playthroughs of the title. The art style lends itself to the platform and does a genuinely nice job of helping to create the atmosphere the story requires.
The Park has its issues, but no game released will ever be without them. The biggest question I am here to answer is if this game is one that I would recommend playing? This is a difficult question to answer because everyone will feel a little bit different about it.
It is a rather short title; it makes no delusions otherwise with full playthroughs taking one to two hours total. At $9.99 it is not an overly expensive title, but some may think it is due to the length. It is honestly not a game I would play through repeatedly, but the story is worth playing once or twice.
So overall, I would say is it worth playing? Maybe. If you have the extra cash laying around and want a game that will creep you out a bit and tell a good story, buy it and play it. I enjoyed it. If you don’t feel like spending the money on it, you can watch one of my playthroughs on our YouTube channel.