Specific Ratings

Learning CurveA-
Replay ValueA+

Pros and Cons

  • Abundance of mini games
  • Fun to build roller coasters
  • Gameplay that isn't Super-engaging
  • Easy Achievements
  • Upbeat Music
  • Repetitive guest challenges toward the end of game
  • Shoddy camera
  • Getting Hannah Montana songs stuck in your head

Thrillville: Off the Rails (Xbox 360)

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Lots of bang for the buck, Not a whole lot that sucks.



Thrillville: Off the Rails is a great "casual gamer" type game for the Xbox 360. It is a game that you can play at your own pace, and isn't very challenging, which makes it both good for children, and "achievement hounds".

The game features a Story mode, in which the player is tasked with creating theme parks and stopping the evil "GloboJoy" competitor from sabotaging their parks. There are the usual, "go there, find this" type of missions, in addition to more mundane tasks such as training staff, researching new coasters, challenging park guests, and minigames. Minigames are abundant in Thrillville. Fifty different types of minigames are available, which are actually more fun than filler. There are everything from shooting galleries, first person shooters, vertical shooters (ie 1942 type airplane shooters), fully 3D aerial combat simulations, and go-kart racing to simple pleasures such as Sparkle Quest, a platforming title that was made for the game. The abundance of minigames is very satisfying, and makes the game feel very worth the pricetag. Other modes of play include Party Play, to play the minigames with up to 4 other players (sadly, XBox Live play is not available) and Coaster Builder, which lets you build roller coasters, race tracks, and golf courses on the whim.

Thrillville isn't without it's problems, though. An annoying camera sometimes trails you so far away that you can't distinguish which on-screen character is yours (there are on average 50-60 park guests onscreen at a time), and the in-game storyline is a little cheesy, but again, the game was intended for children as well as adults, and garners the accompanying E-10 rating. These faults are easily overlooked by the wealth of things to do on the disc, though.

A quick note about the music: It is designed to be kid-friendly, and it's actually pretty good. On the soundtrack? Lil' Romeo, OK GO, and Hannah Montana. You'll never believe it (well, maybe you will), but I got a Hannah Montana song in my head. (It was because it was repeated 30-40 times throughout my play time of course). OK GO is a good choice. Also, the menus feature some good music tailored for the game that actually works. It's themed for a them park, but some of it is catchy. A welcome addition is some unnoted performers that never get mentioned or credit for their songs in the game. The music works, and ties into the game via an in game "radio station" that pumps tunes throughout all the user created theme parks.

The game definitely surprised me. I liked it a lot, and the abundance of minigames means replay value is stellar. The achievements are fairly easy to attain, (casually playing, I got 915 gamerscore in about 6 hours of play) and the game is just plain fun, and a welcome vacation from the plethora of FPS titles most gamers are used to. Bottom Line, if you are looking for something to play when it's raining outside, pick this one up, it will definitely pass the time.

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