Crude Comedy and Dodgy Deals: Trailer Park Boys

May 6, 2017
Simulation

Simulation games are different to other genres in that they don’t reward players with instant gratification, but instead progress is made over a long, drawn-out period. To some this doesn’t contain enough excitement whereas others enjoy the building process: the best games find a good balance between the two. Trailer Park Boys features recognisable gameplay and features, but with a unique storyline and characters. Yet as its interesting writing will pull you in, the time taken to reap your rewards will test your patience to its limit.

Bubbles, Ricky, and Julian, our three main characters, have been sent to prison. After being released they return to their trailer park, only to learn that they owe the owner $100 – American, not Canadian, to their dismay. To earn enough money to be able to pay them back, the player’s role is to build businesses within the trailer park, beginning with a small garage and working your way up to nightclubs, convenience stores, and burger vans. As a simulation game you need to collect the money after its timed release up until you reach that first $100 you owe. Reach a certain point and you then take part in a boss battle against the park owner, which consists of tapping the screen as quickly as possible. Unluckily for our trio this only leads to them being sent back to prison, and the building of the park begins again – albeit with more upgrades, characters, and building sites available.

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The most important in-game currency in Trailer Park Boys is of course your stash of dollars, with which you not only use to build new attractions but also to increase advertising for the site, which itself brings more customers and higher income. Each chapter comes with tasks, ranging from earning a certain amount of money to pulling in more customers. Complete these and you’ll be rewarded with cards, liquor, and hash coins. Cards reward the player with new characters and businesses, and when enough are collected they allow you to upgrade them, increasing income and decreasing the time it takes to receive it. To upgrade each, a certain amount of liquor is required. Hash coins allow you skip the whole waiting process, and with them you can buy cards and alcohol: as they’re the most fundamental of the three collectable items, hash coins can be purchased with actual money.

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What separates Trailer Park Boys from simulation games like it is its humour. The interaction between the three central characters and others is often hilarious, and that’s because of the crude nature of its dialogue. This isn’t a game for the easily offended; return to the game after a period of absence and you’ll be told how long you ‘f****d off’ for and how much money you earned during that time. You’ll receive timed prizes, which you need to pry open from the boot of a car with a crowbar in order to get to. A character you unlock later on in the game is called S****y Steve, a title given to him after he once defecated himself. It might seem over the top, but the comedy is genuinely light-hearted and funny.

The interaction between the three central characters and others is often hilarious, and that’s because of the crude nature of its dialogue.

Where Trailer Park Boys falls short, however, is the time it takes to collect enough items to progress. The first several chapters move fast enough that there is very little waiting time, presumably because it’s the tutorial section of the game. Yet there are points further on when certain tasks require a huge amount of in-game currency to be completed, sometimes taking almost half a day – for the purposes of this review the game had to be left overnight. It’s true that the game does offer three tasks at a time, but it may also be the case that you don’t have enough liquor or hash coins to be able to upgrade characters and businesses, leaving you with three options: wait hours until you’ve earned enough money; bide your time until you’re offered a free prize which may not even provide you with the items you need; purchase in-game currency with real money. It seems as though Trailer Park Boys inadvertently points you towards the latter.

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Simulation games are meant to take time and reward you for being patient, but Trailer Park Boys offers you nothing in between. When all you have to look after are several businesses and characters, both of which cost a huge amount to maintain, you’re often stuck wondering what else to do apart from wait or pay – no prizes for guessing why.

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