Ski Park Tycoon is ostensibly a management game, similar to classics such as Rollercoaster Tycoon, Theme Hospital and other similar games. This review is based around the demo so while it can’t give a full overview of every little nuance and detail of the game, it is more than enough to turn you off Ski Park Tycoon forever.
The first thing to note is the graphics. This game is very ugly; although it was released in 2012, it looks like something forcibly squeezed out in the 90s. In addition, the in-game music is notable for its complete absence. There are background noises but many of these are quite awful. This is especially true if you zoom too far out; the strange shrieking noise the sky appears to make is a good reason to mute the game entirely. Interestingly enough, the option menu does appear to have a music slider but changing any of the options resulted in error messages and all-round failure.
The gameplay itself is mostly straight-forward. You build ski lifts and other facilities in order to attract people to your ski resort. One of the most frustrating elements of this is the way in which you build things as, unlike other tycoon games, in order to place a building, you need to right click and select the attraction you wish to place from a drop down menu. This is really counter-intuitive; a simple UI where you can see all the possible buildings, perhaps with a proper menu system, would have been much more appropriate. Surprisingly, one of the things this game does well is documentation. Everything is explained in an in-game encyclopaedia, which is far more than can be said for other Steam Greenlight games, which are often a confusing mess with no reasons for the bizarre design choices they make.
There isn’t much more to say about the game that can’t be gleamed from simply looking at its store page. It is a sub-par Tycoon game with awful graphics and a host of issues and bugs. The most interesting thing about it, and the reason why this review exists, is the fact that this game was ‘Greenlit’, meaning people actually voted for this game to be put in the Steam Store. It isn’t even the worst example of the absolute garbage that appears on Greenlight as, ever since its release, it has been filled with some of the worst bottom-of-the-barrel crap that really should have been consigned to the bargain bin. This review may seem like it is unfairly picking on Ski Park Tycoon because it is clear that, to some extent, the developer does care about this game and has put some effort into it, certainly a lot more than other games that have passed through Steam Greenlight. That is perhaps the most maddening thing about all this; this game should not have passed Greenlight and yet it isn’t even the worst example of why Greenlight is a joke.
There is absolutely no quality control. It doesn’t seem anyone at Valve checks the games that make it past Greenlight outside of some perfunctory checks to make sure the game is at least somewhat functional. If there was some sort of quality control, we wouldn’t see games such as this make it onto the Steam Marketplace. Greenlight is great in theory but in practice it has given us some of the absolute worst games that Steam has to offer.
As for Ski Park Tycoon itself, perhaps the best thing that can be said for it is the fact that it comes with a free demo. If you are interested in this game at all, download the demo and put to rest any hopes that this game is what you are looking for. It almost certainly isn’t.