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Theme Park Playguide - The Atari Times

Theme Park Playguide

Everything you wanted to know about Theme Park
by Andy Robertson

December 5, 1996


I love Theme Parks! I love the way it always seems to rain on the one day you decide to go! I love it when you get there and all the best rides have been switched off! I also love standing in a queue for 3 hours for a ride that lasts 3 minutes - while all the time needing the toilet!

Then came our turn to build our own - and to get stuck while doing so. This play guide should help everyone get every last dollar from the little peoples' pockets!

Click below to zap yourself to that part of the Play Guide!

[Bugs] [Beware The Save Game Option] [Starting Out] [Planning The Park] [Park Management] [The Warehouse] [Signposts] [Mechanics] [The Stock Market] [Shops & Rides] [The Cheat Codes]


There is a 'bad' version of Jaguar Theme Park going around. In one instance, when you built paths and rides next to the bottom perimeter wall then the little peeps would start walking over everything in your park (including your rides) like they weren't there. When this happened they wouldn't go on any rides or do anything but walk everywhere. I don't know what other bugs are contained in this version as it was quickly replaced with a working copy. Try this when you next start a park and if the problem occurs then get the cart replaced.


Remember, Jaguar Theme Park has one of the worst save game options I have ever seen. You can only save your park when you sell it so when you sit down with this playguide then make sure your not doing anything in the next 3 hours!


It's best to play the game in the full simulation mode. That way you can buy and sell your shares as well as other peoples shares but you also have to remember to re-stock your warehouse every month or so.


If you are going to stay with the same park then you may want to consider these in designing the park layout:

As soon as you start, hit the select OPTION button on the pad and set the game speed down to -20. This will give you more time to set up your park. DON'T open the park as soon as you start because the little people will come into a park that really isn't ready and the word-of-mouth from dissatisfied customers will badly harm your parks attendance levels later in the game.

As far as rides go, forget the Tree House and Merry-Go-Round. Invest in some research to get the plane-flyer. You will have to increase the game speed up to +20 until you hear the 'ring' noise which means a new bit of research has been completed. Set the speed back down to -20 and put in that new ride! You will have noticed lots of buses driving past with you thinking, "All those customers missed". Trust me, it's worth it to have a good park reputation.

Once you have laid down a few rides, food and drink stands, shops, paths and toilets then open you park. Now, place two entertainers at the front gate (outside the park). Make them Rhino Men - They are more expensive than the others but so much better at making people happy. A tip for some extra cash - You can put stalls and shops outside the park as well as in it. Put a duck shoot on one side and a coffee shop on the other. Keep the other shops for inside. Set the game speed to about 0.

Now for those Handymen who will sweep away puke and rubbish that the little people leave behind. You have to give each Handyman a zone in which they work.

There are a few guide-lines when zoning handymen:

  1. The route has to follow the park paths and ride queues;
  2. You are going to have more than one handyman so plan out his zone so that;

a)He isn't going across someone else's zone;
b)He has a limited number of waypoints.
c)He isn't covering a huge part of the park while the rest have got little to do.

Make sure the handyman is on the path when you zone him. If he isn't then just move him with the tweezers. He will patrol his zoned route picking up the litter as he passes by. Don't buy a mechanic straight away - you will need one, quite a lot in fact but only buy one when a ride is in trouble. Put him near the ride and bring up the Ride Information screen and click on the spanner. This will alert the closest mechanic who is not busy to attend to the ride. When you buy in a roller-coaster it's worthwhile to have a separate mechanic to only look after that one ride because of it's tendency to break down.

People will now start to enter your park, if they hadn't done already, and the first thing you will do is to repair the bouncy castle. In the Ride Information screen wait until the repair status has gone red and then click on the spanner. DO NOT wait until it starts to smoke as this puts people off going on that ride again. Remember to place trees and bushes down to make the park look better and more appealing to the customers.

OK, by now you will have a small, money-making theme park. Every time you add a ride put the gate price up slightly but not too much. Make sure you listen to your adviser - especially when he talks about the admission prices. He's there to help but it's sometimes better to do things your own way.

When expanding your park - do it slowly. Just because you may have 3 new rides doesn't mean you should put them all down at once. i.e. The Roller-Coaster will overshadow every other ride in your park so before you put it down let the people get the most out of the existing rides. During this time switch your research to ride improvement which will allow higher guest capacities, as well as helping reliability. Then, when you feel that the park could do with a boost or the people are getting a bit bored, change your research to either new rides or shops and then bring on the Roller-Coaster!


One of the most important aspects of the game is the overall management of the park. If you don't manage your park properly then you'll lose a lot of cash.

"Through your bad park planning one of the little people has got stuck..."

One of the most annoying messages that can appear during a game. When you see this message you know your in for a long game of hide and seek. The places most common for people to get stuck in are queue lines, under attractions, between the scenery and amongst ride tracks. Speed is an issue here. You want to find the little person as quickly as possible. What sometimes happens is that people get stuck in ride queues which brings up the message only to be freed moments later when the queue moves on, so you should wait for a few minutes to see if the situation clears up itself and the advisor disappears. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having a look just in cause it's something else.

If it seems that someone actually did manage to get themselves stuck, you will need to make a careful sweep of the entire park in an attempt to find them. Basically you just need to keep your eye open for a person that is walking quite frantically without going anywhere, and hope for the best. As soon as you find the trapped person attempt to rescue them with the least amount of damage to your park. Depending on where they are stuck, try the following:

If you still cannot locate the unfortunate person, closing your park is one last desperate measure you can take to find them. Hopefully, once the crowd has thinned out enough, it should be a simple matter to locate the trapped person.


Always remember to keep your warehouse stocked. Any time your warehouse runs out of stock you lose money, people get hungry/thirsty, people go home and then people tell their friends not to go to your theme park - not good. Never over-stress your stock capacity. You really should only have as many shops as you can continuously supply, otherwise you will hurt your ratings and well as the park's popularity. Upgrade your warehouse as soon as possible so you can add more shops due to the increased amount of stock you can hold. A quick guideline you can follow - If you don't need to re-order the moment stock arrives, or each order is not a full order, you don't have enough shops!


Signposts are useful things for guiding the little peeps around your park. When the little people pass a signpost and see something they like, they will walk in the direction the signpost points, looking for that attraction. Every signpost can point to three different things; 1 ride, 1 shop and the exit. Since the manual isn't very detailed in the signpost department I've decided to write my own bit for using the signposts.

Placing the signs:

1. Select the signpost tool;
2. Select the ride/shop to point to and with the signpost tool:
- Hit button 'B' on the ride. This selects the white sign pointing to that ride.
- Hit button 'B' on the shop. This selects the red sign pointing to that shop.
- Hit button 'B' on the exit. This selects blue sign pointing to the exit.

You may think that putting signs to the exit everywhere is a bad idea but if you don't then the peeps will start to complain about not being able to find the exit and again this effects future attendance levels. But don't place an exit sign on every signpost, make it a 1 in 4 ratio.

3. Hit button 'B' on the path to place the sign.When placing a new sign, the sign will be placed so that it points "towards" the selected object.
4. Adjust the sign (if necessary) by pressing button 'B' on the sign with the signpost tool to rotate the sign.

NOTE: Pressing 'B' on an existing signpost only rotates the sign whose colour matches the current color of the signpost tool.

The little people trust that the direction the sign points to, actually points to the attraction, so make sure you move the sign (as described in step 4 above) to point in the direction the peeps should be heading in. Signposts that are in a close distance of each other should be made to point away from the other so that the little people won't get trapped between them, when they see something in both signposts they like.


Arguably the most important employee of your park will be the mechanics who repair all the rides. Only hire a mechanic when you find rides breaking down - and no sooner. You should have about 2 mechanics for every 3 rides you have unless of course it's a ride that needs constant fixing such as the Roller Coaster, Big Dipper and the Parasol Chairs where a separate mechanic for each is recommended if you can afford it. Sometimes mechanics like to have a break in comfortable places they can't get out of.When they are called to repair a ride they get stuck continually answering their radio. To remedy this, simply pick them up with your "tweezers" and put them somewhere else, preferably closer to the ride that needs repaired. As a general rule, when a ride does break down or is smoking then don't wait for the mechanic to respond naturally, tell him to fix it.


To have a degree of success in the stock market all depends on having a fundamental knowledge of how it actually works. The goal is very simple: Buy low, Sell high; and you'll be making lots of money (not to mention all the dividends you get in between). The main challenge for the stock market amateur is mainly how to buy any shares (that is, before you opponents do).

You can count on unowned companies having shares being available at three times:

  1. When the company has just started - Companies are added a few at a time for the first few years of the game. You can take this opportunity to acquire initial shares in the companies then.
  2. When the company is doing badly - Clearly, no-one wants to own bad shares, since as their value drops, you are losing money. However, they may not stay bad forever, and when they turn, you'll have an ideal opportunity to get some shares dirt cheap (provided you can beat you opponents to it). The hard part is knowing when they have hit rock bottom.
  3. When the companies stock doubles - When stock obtains a high enough value, the existing shares are halved in value, and the number of shares is doubled. These extra shares are initially unowned, so when this happens, it provides a great opportunity for obtaining some good shares (if you can beat you opponents to it that is).

At all other times, you'll have to be lucky to get your hands on `good' stock.

One thing to remember is that Theme Park calculates the major financial changes at the end of each month.So to `wheel and deal' on the stock market, you need only check the share prices once at the start of each month, and can spend the rest of your time running your park.


These tables list some basic info on Rides, Shops, and Scenery.


Area: The minimum bounding area required to build the object
Extra: (Rides) Addition Space outside the minimum bounding area required for:
-- Track - the rides track
-- Ent - the rides entrance
-- Exit- the rides exit
Full: (Rides and Shops) indicates whether or not the minimum bounding area is filled by the object.
Ride Type:
-- RT - raised track (i.e. Paths can be placed underneath)
-- GT - ground track (i.e. Require dedicated space)
-- TE - track extras (i.e. require flat, straight track to go on)
-- LS - live show
-- SR - standard ride
Capacity:(Rides only) The ride capacity (or for raised track rides, the capacity per car on the ride).
Excitement:(Rides only) The ride excitement level.
Reliability: (Rides only) The rides reliability.

Name Area Extra Full Type Capacity Excitement Reliability
Big Dipper 5x1 Track N RT 4 Superb Okay
Big Wheel 4x4 Ent Y SR 6 Good Excellent
Bouncy Castle 4x4 Ent Y SR 4 Okay Very Bad
Cork Screw 1x6 -- Y TE 0 Excellent Okay
Flight Sim 4x4 Ent Y SR 5 Superb Poor
Ghost House 4x4 Ent Y SR 5 Okay Very Good
Haunted House 4x4 Ent Y SR 14 Excellent Very Good
Loop The Loop 5x1 -- Y TE 0 Top Notch Okay
Maze 4x4 Ent/Exit Y SR 16 Very Bad Very Good
Merry-Go-Round 4x4 Ent Y SR 4 Bad Poor
Monorail 5x2 Track N RT 2 Bad Top Notch
Obeservation Tower 4x4 Ent Y SR 20 Bad Okay
Observatory 4x4 Ent Y SR 30 Okay Superb
Parasol Chairs 4x4 Ent Y SR 6 Quite Good Poor
Pirate Boat 4x4 Ent Y SR 8 Excellent Very Good
Plane Flyer 4x4 Ent Y SR 4 Quite Good Very Good
Plane Rocket 4x4 Ent Y SR 10 Bad Poor
Race Car Ride 2x1 Track Y GT 25 Very Good Quite Good
Rubber Tubing 2x1 Track Y GT 25 Excellent Quite Good
Roller Coaster 5x2 Track N RT 4 Top Notch Okay
Snakes & Ladders 4x4 Ent Y SR 1 Poor Very Bad
Space Shuttle 4x4 Ent Y SR 6 Very Good Very Good
Super Spinner 4x4 Ent Y SR 20 Quite Good Very Good
Tree House 4x4 Ent Y SR 1 Poor Very Good
Water Splash 5x1 -- Y TE 0 Superb Okay
Clown Acts 6x5 -- } N LS 24 Okay Superb
Cowboy Acts 6x5 -- } (2) N LS 24 Good Superb
Dolphin Acts 6x5 -- } N LS 24 Quite Good Superb
Medieval Acts 6x5 -- } N LS 24 Very Good Superb


Full: Indicates whether or not the minimum bounding area is filled by the object.
Shop Type (Shops only)
-- For Refreshment shops - the food type sold
-- For Souvenir shops - the object sold
-- For Sideshows, the addictiveness is additionally recorded.
Addictiveness(Sideshows only) How addictive the side show is.

Name Area Full Type Addictiveness
Arcade 3x1 Y Sideshow Top Notch
Balloon World 5x2 N Toy -
Big Time Burger 3x1 Y Fast Food -
Big Time Fries 3x1 Y Fast Food -
Coconut Shy 3x2 Y Sideshow Very Good
Coffee Shop 3x3 Y Drink -
Duck Shoot 3x2 Y Sideshow Poor
Gift Shop 3x1 Y Gift -
Gunshoot 3x2 Y Sideshow Quite Good
Mr. Wally Ices 3x2 Y Sweet -
Novelty Shop 3x2 Y Novelty -
Pokey Cola 3x1 Y Drink -
Race Track 3x1 Y Sideshow Very Good
Saloon 3x2 Y Drink -
Steak Resturant 3x1 Y Savory -
Tincan Alley 3x2 Y Sideshow Good
Toyland 3x1 Y Toy -


Scenery Type:
P - plant/tree - F - fence - W - water feature - T - toilet/latrine - O - other

Name Area Type
Apple Tree 1x1 P
Birch Tree 1x1 P
Boggy Crapper 1x1 T
Centre Fountain 3x2 W
Castle Wall 1x1 F
Lake 3x3 W
Lamp Post 1x1 O
Oak Tree 1x1 P
Outhouse 1x1 T
Orange Tree 1x1 P
Palm Tree 1x1 P
Privet Hedge 1x1 F
Rose Bush 1x1 P
Super Toilet 1x1 T
Spooky Tree 1x1 P
Tree Stump Fence 1x1 F
Tropical Bush 1x1 P
Weeping Tree 1x1 P
White Fence 1x1 F


To get all shops and rides, Invest all your money into shops research, then wait until April, two years later!

If the screen isn't quite right, hold Option and press Left/Right.

Reader Comments for Theme Park Playguide

The Duck Shoot can make a ton of money by Pete on 2007-02-20 23:17:17
The way to make money on the Duck shoot is to set the Probability at 90% or so and start by charging double what the toy cost so $20 toy sells for $40 so you make $20 a play and $40 every tenth play....the kids become addicted to it and every month or so you can double the price to play never change the probability though.....
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