A sadist’s guide to Planet Coaster – how to drown, burn, and bury your guests

Yes, Frontier Development's park sim is joyful little game, but we're here to ruin it good and proper

I love Planet Coaster: it’s sweet, charming, and bursting at the seams with joy. It’s a game that resonates happiness from its every nook and cranny, whether it’s the constantly grinning park patrons or the whimsical, upbeat soundtrack.

That’s all well and good most of the time, of course, but every now and again when I get in one of my moods, the saccharine tone becomes too much to bear and I’m left wishing the game made torturing my gleeful guests just a little bit easier.

Problematically, Frontier Developments did a pretty a good job of stopping players from injuring, maiming, and drowning all the virtual souls in their parks. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and apparently my will to become death incarnate overcomes all. So, after spending a few hours in Sandbox mode, I present you with this: the sadist’s guide to drowning, burning and burying your guests in Planet Coaster.

Brace yourself – we’re in for a wild ride.

Lay the foundations of suffering

Suffering isn’t something you can inflict on your guests willy-nilly in Planet Coaster, it’s something you have to plan for. To create your own Torture World, you’ll need to build it from scratch, and the best way to do that is to use Sandbox mode, where you have unlimited resources at your disposal and a blank space to fill in with pain.

A simple circuit-style park layout is the ideal starting point for mayhem and misery. Simply plonk down as many rides and shops as possible in one concentrated area of the circuit, ensuring all of your guests are corralled into one small corner of the park. You’ll need a large crowd for just about every available method of torture in Planet Coaster.

To bring in as many guests as possible make sure to launch some marketing campaigns as soon as you open and lower ticket prices. Placing ride exits so that they filter guests back into crowded areas will also help create denser crowds.

Planet Coaster ride crashing into virtual guests

Use your guests as bowling pins

In the dark and morally ambiguous world of my style of theme park management, using your Planet Coaster guests as bowling pins is relatively vanilla, not least because Frontier Developments has been showing it off as a feature since the game’s alpha. To set this up for yourself simply pause the action, delete some sections of a crowded path so as to isolate a group of guests, and then redirect an unopened roller coaster to ensure the test run goes careening into your castaways.

Thanks to some questionable physics, your guests will be sent flying in every direction. This is a perfect opportunity to pause the action and use the camera to zoom in on their pain. Unfortunately, however, they will get back up, robbing monsters like you and I of any sense of accomplishment. Which brings us to phase two…

Burying a crowd in Planet Coaster

Bury your employees alive

Once you’ve scattered your guests/skittles all over the horizon, you’ll realise that replacing them isn’t easy. Don’t try and replace them with employees like I did – turns out they’re inexplicably immune to roller coaster crashes.

Likewise, it transpires that you can’t flood an area with water if people are there. I’m left with one course of action: live burial. The game’s exceptionally versatile array of terrain tools make constructing a stone tomb around your guests and employees terrifyingly easy.

Sure, it’s impossible to watch them suffer, but one can imagine them losing their minds as they’re walled in, clawing at one another in a frenzied attempt to escape.

Planet Coaster guests falling into water

Overcoming adversity or: How to drown people in Planet Coaster

So if you can’t just drop a guest into a lake or pour water on top of them like a cruel deity, how does one go about drowning thrillseekers? Fortunately, there is a way, and once again it involves firing roller coaster cars into guests.

Construct a large pit just behind your earlier forays into guest cruelty, fill it in with water and redirect the roller coaster’s track so that the majority of your victims end up landing in the newly constructed lake. In you go, mere mortals.

In case any of your guests are good swimmers, be sure to add a steep incline to the lake’s perimeter, ensuring they all eventually tire and drown.

An exploding ride in Planet Coaster

Fire cleanses all

If drowning isn’t Old Testament enough for you, there’s always the cleansing power of fire. And while Planet Coaster won’t let you burn guests at the stake, an ample supply of pyrotechnic displays makes burning your guests alive both easy and satisfying.

Just place as many of these wonderful tools down as possible, aim your roller coaster track just so, and watch as your once joyous guests are sent sprawling across a field of fiery death. Not complaining about the lack of toilets now, are we Derek?

As an added bonus, Planet Coaster is surprisingly unfussy about where you place fire pits, which makes transforming your park into a satanic hellscape a breeze. Right, that’s enough of that – time to start experimenting with Planet Zoo…

This feature was originally published on December 24, 2016.