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Chaos lurks around every bend in roller coaster thriller


Strap up, strap on and strap in because things are about to get a bit hairy in the world of roller coasters.

Screamride is the physics, construction and puzzle title by frontier Developments for Microsoft Games Studios and the heir apparent to Rollercoaster Tycoon.

Set in a rather technically-advanced near-future, it is up to you to create a world of thrills and spills with the most outrageous roller coasters ever seen.

A bunch of adrenaline junkies have signed up to work for the Screamworks corporation in order to test different extreme roller coasters and rides.

There’s plenty going on here – with more than 50 levels and different gameplay modes. There’s racing, sandbox creation, demolition and engineering – a little something for everyone.

Destruction lurks around every corner, though, as you push the boundaries of the laws of physics. In fact, the developers put about as much emphasis on the obliteration of buildings and the environment as they do on actual racing.

Derailments are a common occurrence and can be as frustrating as they are hilarious. There’s no doubt that Screamride is a little on the tough side when it comes to difficulty.

Initially in the racing mode keeping control isn’t so much of an issue but as you progress in your career you have to use steering to navigate turns and counteract your car tipping over.

Designing your own personal track of death in the engineering mode is also quite fulfilling. 

The interface for the sandbox mode is also robust and rewarding. 

There are hundreds of different combinations you can use to create your ideal level and, thanks to the hints and tips provided, it’s not overly complicated.

The game is wonderfully bright and colourful, with action bursting at the edges of the screen at all times – so much so that the frame rate can creak at times.

Having said that, though, side-splitting carnage is only ever a coaster ride away.