Screamride is like Roller Coaster Tycoon with homicidal tendencies

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Most games that let you build your own roller coasters or theme park are pretty tame. You can go the way of the entrepreneur, expanding your park, encouraging people to ride the rides, and creating a family-friendly entertainment destination. Alternatively, some gamers prefer to build death coasters that slam park-goers straight into the ground. In Screamride, you can do all of those things – but it focuses much more on the slamming-riders-into-objects style of roller coaster design in a near-future world.

The main campaign is broken up into three parts: Screamrider, Engineer, and Demolition modes. Screamrider puts you in the seat of a roller coaster, giving you in control of the car as you boost through loops, dodge obstacles by popping up on two wheels, and keep the car from falling off the track while trying to reach high scores. Engineer mode is where the builders go. Players can take on various design challenges that task them with using certain loop and track layouts to make a sufficiently frightening thrillride.

The last (and most interesting) mode is Demolition. In the level I was shown, the player controls a mechanical arm that holds swappable pods containing riders. The objective is to hit the specified targets with the riders’ pod, causing as much destruction as possible. Hitting the mark often means colliding with explosive canisters, setting off a chain reaction, and leveling a skyscraper. If you’re really accurate, you might be able to blow up a blimp circling the area. Screamride is downright bizarre in concept, but hilariously entertaining in practice. Sadistic theme park builders will want to keep an eye out for this one.

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