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Planet Coaster 2 marks the return of one of the best PC strategy games

Keeping the spirit of Rollercoaster Tycoon alive, Planet Coaster 2 is confirmed, as one of Steam’s most-loved strategy games returns.

Planet Coaster 2 release window: Three visitors on a rollercoaster in Steam strategy game Planet Coaster 2

For me personally, it all starts with Theme Park, the stone-cold classic from Bullfrog and Peter Molyneux. The amusement-ride strategy game has come a long way since then – Rollercoaster Tycoon, Chris Sawyer’s 1999 masterpiece and a mainstay of our childhood cereal boxes, established a subgenre unto itself, where the building, management, and design mechanics of SimCity and Civilization were folded into something more creative and fun. Now, Frontier is keeping the fire burning – or rather, the cotton candy spinning – with Planet Coaster. One of the most-loved strategy games on all of Steam, it’s finally coming back – the Planet Coaster 2 release window is confirmed.

I love strategy games. But between Cities Skylines 2, Total War, and Civ, I sometimes feel like actual joy is hard to come by. You’re crunching taxes, leveling buildings, sending people into battle – of the millions of virtual people I’ve ruled over during my gaming career, I’m not sure that I’ve really made any of them smile. Planet Coaster 2 is my chance to make amends. The sequel to Frontier’s 2016 fan favorite, which with more than 53,000 reviews on Steam still owns a super impressive ‘very positive’ rating, this time it’s all about making a splash.

Planet Coaster 2 puts a big focus on water parks. Between lazy rivers, log flumes, and of course water coasters, you now have dozens of new ways to make your visitors squeal and smile. There are three game modes. In Career, you pull yourself up by the bootstraps and try to build the greatest amusement park in history. In Franchise, you compete online to establish parks all over the world and top the leaderboards. And in Sandbox, you can do whatever you want without limitation.

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And there’s a lot of room for experimentation. Compared to its predecessor, building in Planet Coaster 2 is more granular. You can customize almost every aspect of your creations and improve and iterate upon them piece by piece. Combine that with the event sequencer, which lets you modify the rides with scripted set pieces like jump scares, animatronics, and pyrotechnics, and you’ve got everything you need to build whatever you want.

We’re still waiting on a precise date, but the Planet Coaster 2 release window is set for fall 2024, so we don’t have long to wait at all.

Until then, try some of the other best management games, or maybe get busy with the best building games on PC.

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