#1
Fun With Despair
I know everyone expects every one of these to have some kind of name, but sometimes you just go out and find a park by a schoolyard, and you just feel like writing about it, especially because by all accounts, this one is genuinely pretty good. This time around, we don't have much of a theme going on admittedly, but the playground itself actually has shit going on, with lots of interconnected path, climbing things, bridges, and more.

Truly, this is the Dark Souls of playgrounds.

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If I already joked about Dark Souls in a previous review, then uh... I guess this is the Bloodborne of playgrounds. Or the Code Vein if we're being topical. Good game, by the way. I think I actually like it more than Dark Souls on the whole, which is probably an impressive feat, because Dark Souls is quite good itself. The way stats and skills and all that works is quite cool in Code Vein, and I think the systems they use actually contribute much better to the sense of progression and build variety compared to straight up stat-only customization and...

Wait, that's right. The playground. I guess let's take a look.

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Right off the bat, we've got another one of these, a new attraction as of the last playground. This one works basically about the same, except it's actually attached to a competent playground rather than a busted up Blue Imp fuck fest.

The one big downside though, is rather than the plastic of the one at Prince's Island Park, this one's metal all the way through, which makes it kind of uncomfortable to use now that it's kind of cold out. It's probably fine in the summer and spring mind you, when people actually use these things, but some more weather-resistant materials would be a welcome change.

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Off to the side here a little ways in are a pretty great variety of climbing stuff, including some monkeybars, a ton of things to balance on, a rope climbing wall, a plastic climbing wall, and some kind of medieval torture wheel. I'm never super super into monkeybars themselves but the rest of these things are actually really good, and they kind of accommodate pretty much whatever you could be looking to climb on, which is overall nice. It's not often that you get this kind of variety.

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In the middle of all this are these three pods you can sit in. They're comfy for what they are, although I wish they spun around or something. Still, I absolutely see these being beloved and popular at recess time, and I guarantee you there's been a couple schoolyard fistfights over the chance to sit in these and chill for a while.

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There's some other miscellaneous climbing shit too, like this spiral next to these rail stairs, but I'm not left with much commentary here. I guess the coils on this spiral are a little tighter than on a lot of the previously seen ones maybe?

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One of the ways onto the playground itself is this setup here, which I haven't really seen anything close to before. Not only do these red platforms kind of spin a bit, but the blue steps all wobble on chains, making it a bit of an interesting little challenge to get across. I suppose it's close to the concept of a wobbly bridge, but it's unique in a way I'm definitely into.

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There's also this big snowball. No comment, just wanted to point it out.

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Like a couple of the previous playgrounds, this one's also got one of these spinning things you hold onto and spin on. This one is on a bit of an angle though, which gives you some pretty fast spinning momentum if you grab on at the "high point". It's probably the best one so far, to be honest.

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Another way up consists of these little disc platforms, another sort of unique feature. They don't spin or anything fancy, but in terms of climbing walls, at least they look a little bit different on the whole.

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Up on the platform that the blue rail things lead to, there's another one of these climbing bridge walls joining the structures. I've seen a fair amount of these over the course of two similar garrisons, and they're consistently more entertaining than a normal pathway at least, like a non-wobbly bridge.

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Next up, there's this bridge too, which is also pretty interesting, if a little precarious and risky. Walking across this, I felt like I was gonna slip and bash my head in, but it would have been a worthwhile bashed head to have. Once again, danger = fun, and I will literally fight anyone who disagrees, especially draku.

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Speaking of bridges and stuff, look at this motherfucker. The pinnacle of wobbly bridges almost, this deal. Not only is it a rope bridge like Pirate Park, but it's got these little side ladders so you can climb up from off the ground. Hanging from the side of this thing would be an absolute pro strat for grounders though, god damn.

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Under that platform in the last pic, you can see these little benches. Curiously, these are exactly the same as the one below deck in the Pirate Park, which means they're decent. These are a nice alternative to the pods if you want a shady sitting spot.

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There's also this "lemonade stand", and the stand itself is the exact same as the table things in the Pirate/Castle Parks. Once again, a connection brews... It's been interesting finding all this stuff that connects together, and it's good to know that this one's from the non-Blue Imp manufacturer. What are we at, three main factions now?

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Close by to the benches is this climbing cave mountain structure. It looks pretty cool, not gonna lie, and its nice enough to climb, if a bit slippery. There's the cave entrance there too, which leads under the playground to the benches. It's similar to an extent to the "cave" from the Spray Park, but actually with some substance to it, which is better than the fucking spray park.

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On the playground, there's these two panels that tend to be pretty much like every other random panel with shit on it. The first one looks like Where's Waldo or something, but with a bunch of OCs, none of which are Waldo. Maybe you're supposed to pick a target and make kids find it, like some kind of Hitman custom mission, but it's not all that exciting.

As for the solar system there, not really sure what they were going for. It does have based Pluto though, the underrated and neglected planet, long since shunned by its peers. Sad.

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Well, I guess this ramp is the ACTUAL playground entrance, but it's located at the far back of the thing unless you're coming out of the school and not walking by on the street, but who the fuck goes to school?

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Hey, look at that, one of those rail slides that you obviously slide down with your legs. I refuse to listen to any other viewpoint on this, you wrap your legs around it and you slide down. It's fun, and it's the only way to do it.

There's this side area too just off the platform with extra stepping stone things leading to another climbing construct used to loop from just above the bridge to the higher area. It's like a metroidvania, or something, an alternate path. Except rather than acting as a shortcut or anything, it's just another way to go that's mildly more interesting than just walking up.

Up the stairs/at the end of the aforementioned side path, there's this kind of bench as well, which feels a little odd but like, there's a slide nearby so I guess if there's a lineup you can sit while you wait?

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As for the slides, let's examine them.

The first one, the straight basic slide, is about as straight and basic as you would expect. It's slippery enough to be serviceable and is long enough to not be too short like the slides at the last one. Great.

As for that coiled slide, what a fucking riot. God, it's probably the highest quality metal twisty slide I've ever seen, in both build quality and actual fun factor. It's fast, it's solid, and it doesn't shock you like the plastic ones do. After so many disappointing slides, I'm immensely glad to have found this absolute banger.

Anyway, that about wraps it up, so it's time for the verdict:

THE VERDICT: 8.5/10

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While it's lacking a theme like many of the others, it makes up for it in spades by actually having stuff to do and unique activities going on, like those pods to sit in and the loads of climbing fixtures. I think so far, this one is probably the strongest, at least out of this batch, but this batch has also had a lot of bullshit, so I'm not sure if that's the highest praise.

Not to diminish the value of this place though. I would have fucking loved to go to this school as a kid with a playground like this, this one's fun as hell, and big enough to entertain a large group of kids or one very sad adult for a long time. This is definitely going to be a place I'll revisit when either extremely drunk or extremely bored (and drunk), so I feel like I have to give this a pretty high score overall. I was torn between 8.5 and a flat 9, but I think there's another one more deserving of a 9 in my area that I haven't yet shown off here, so I guess we'll see.

...Well, we'll see after at least one more shitter in the mix, I'm sure. There's no shortage of those.
#2
Draku
As someone who puts almost nothing on theming as a requirement and sees it as more of a cool bonus if it works, this seems like an absolute top-tier playground. Almost no bullshit to it and every attraction looks fun. They have a lot of the unsafe stuff too which is surprising for a school playground. Those several bridge sections all offer different things and look super fun.

Also fuck you monkeybars rule.
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#3
Fun With Despair
I am literally too weak to use monkeybars
#4
Elyk
Snow on the first day of October?? Wow Canada sucks.

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