diana;;the park;;first person;;horror;;puzzle;;experience;;funcom Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee Whatís better than to spend your day off at a theme park, together with your young son? Well, to be totally honest; spending your day off at a themepark WITHOUT your young son does sound a hell of a lot bette, but that might just be me. In any case, most people associate theme parks with fun and laughter, but playing The Park might just make you change your mind...

THE PARK

By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on May 3, 2016

What could be better than to spend your day off at a theme park, together with your young son? Well, to be totally honest; spending your day off at a themepark WITHOUT your young son does sound a hell of a lot better, but that might just be me. In any case, most people associate theme parks with fun and laughter, but playing The Park might just make you change your mind...


The Park is a first-person psychological horror adventure game by FunCom, and was first released for PC in 2015. Now, a couple of months later, it makes its debut on Xbox One and PS4. In The Park, we meet Lorraine, a young single mother who, together with her son Callum, is visiting Atlantic Island Park; a fun-filled theme park and Callumís favorite place in the whole wide world. As the game starts, Callum notices that he has lost his teddy bear during his visit to, just as he and his mother are about to drive home. Lorraine tells him to stay in the car, while she goes and asks the night guard if there is a teddy bear in the lost and found.

Of course, as weíve come to expect from children in any horror-themed media, Callum completely disobeys his mother and sneaks into the already closed amusement park. The guard opens the gate for Lorraine, so she can enter the park and fetch Callum. Now, I donít know about you, but thereís something spooky about a closed theme park, especially at night, without other people around. Maybe Iíve seen too much horror movies, but this kind of scenery gives me the creeps. So I can only say that the developers chose a really excellent setting and atmosphere for their horror experience.


While you make your way through Atlantic Island Park, there are several rides that you can actually get on. The First one was The Tunnel of Tales; a fairytale boat ride where you hop into a swan-shaped boat and sail through a cave in which a fairytale story is told by means of a voice over and a shadow play. Man, this looks absolutely brilliant! The fairy tale that was being told was that of Hansel and Gretel, although I didnít quite recognize the last scene of the story. Add a few extra creepy elements and youíve got the perfect warm up for what was going to be a strange adventure.

Every ride that you get on will contain at least one spooky element, but not without reason! As you progress through the game, it will become clear that Lorraine has a dark past and a couple of sad memories that haunt her dreams. But are you and Lorraine brave enough to face the ghosts of her past? The story develops, not only by events in the game, but also by reading messages and notes that are lying around. In the reading of these notes lies my only small problem with The Park; the writing is just too small for me to read. As Iíve mentioned before, The Park was originally released for PC. Because, when sitting behind your PC, you are a lot closer to your monitor, small writing usually doesnít pose that big of a problem. But for the console versions, I would have loved to see a bigger note or the options to open the note in another, better readable format.


The park is an awesome experience; you canít die (I was, however, almost scared to death a couple of times) and it wasnít filled with extremely difficult puzzles that detract from the story. Itís actually fun to play a game in which you just walk around, take rides and unravel the dark story that haunts the protagonist. I loved every minute of it, though it sometimes scared the bejeezus out of me and that combination, in my book, is a very good thing. The Park; what a strange and amazing trip it has been!


available on:

THE PARK
FunCom
October 27, 2015 (PC)
May 3, 2016 (PS4 / XBox One)