Price:  Free     Score: 7/10    Category: Games

Happy Park (originally titled Happy Theme Park) is Infinidy Corp”s latest social game release. In this game, you begin with a Ferris Wheel and attempt to build up a profitable and exciting amusement park, complete with a mascot, decorations and shops.

Like most building games, the point is to raise currency from your attractions to be able build more attractions.  In Happy Park, the rides generate coins, experience (for leveling and thereby unlocking new features) and customer population (needed to bring in more revenue).

Some of the park rides turn over profits at a set time, every two hours, for example.  Others must be manually run, with a variety of lenghts ranging from ten minutes to 24 hours.  The longer the ride runs, the more it generates.  With this type of ride, though, the coins/exp/pop must be collected within a certain window of time or it “expires”.  In this can, all revenue from it is lost, unless 1  “buck” (the currency bought with real money) is used to revive it.
Rides can be upgraded, to generate more revenue, but it takes some time to complete and only one can be upgraded at a time.  A second super upgrade slot can be purchased, but it takes bucks to do so.  Super upgrades are needed to unlock another feature of the game: research.  In Happy Park, when certain rides are super upgraded, two can be “researched” together to produce a special ride.

The quests are a nice feature of Happy Park.  They are mainly just “build this” or “upgrade that” type of quests, but they give you direction and purpose when planning out your park.  There are so many rides, decorations and shops available, that it can be overwhelming at times.  Having the quests gives some guidelines to follow, or not.  Fulfilling quests results in coins or the occasional buck, experience and badges.  Badges can be spent on fantastic attractions which will be the focal point of the park.

The social aspect of Happy Park is light, compared with similar games in the genre.  You can search for and invite friends through Facebook, Twitter or your address book.  You can visit the parks of your friends or a random neighbor.  At this point, other casino online than picking up some trash here and there, no benefits are to be had from visiting parks, but it is nice to see how other people have designed their park.

There are also some quests which give premium awards for inviting friends and adding friends, but these are not imperative to the game and Happy Park can be played flying solo. I experienced some difficulty connecting to Facebook after the most recent patch, which was the one that was supposed to fix the Facebook problems other people were having.

Happy Park uses a mix of animated and still graphics for the park rides, which keeps the park from looking too busy.  The colors are loud and the overall look is “cutesy”, and teamed with the carnival-style it works to create an bright amusement park feel.

Two problems stood out for me.  One is that Happy Park can not be played offline.  Annoyingly, this has become almost standard for most social building games, but it is still frustrating to not be able to steal a few minutes to pick up revenue when you have 5 minutes to kill.  The other was the overwhelming pop-up ads when logging on.  You”re generally met with three ads, stacked on top of each other, all promising bucks if you follow through: invite friends, rate the game and download the day”s “App Surprise”.

Bottom line: Happy Park has a lot to offer with a variety of building and decorating, and a theme that is different from other building games.  Losing revenue from the manual rides and the amount of ads will most likely drive away some players.

Happy Park is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later