For 2012 Thorpe Park have unveiled a new coaster to their park and it's one of the new B&M winged coasters where cars sit on the side of the track rather than above or below it. Here are some pics and the review I sent into the ECC mailing list.
I thought it was “meh” at best. The twist at the top of the lift hill is the best element, probably due to it’s uniqueness. B&M coasters are the best in their class but can they become too good? I’m not a fan of their new generation big coasters (Behemoth etc) because they’re too calculated, too well made, and as such are too safe and not that fun. Swarm suffers from the same issue, I didn’t get a thrill from riding it. Is this why people are preferring the new generation of wooden coaster over steel? The need to feel out of control?
Last Summer the club visited Skara Sommerland and they have a ride called Tranan that features cars that sit out to the side. It’s sort of similar to Swarm, only it doesn’t invert and the cars swing a bit more. That was way more fun than Swarm; it has a way more risky feeling to it, is more “random” and as such made it a ride that I was quite happy to run around and ride again and again (and we did) to try to conquer the ride. Swarm on the other hand did not give me that feeling at all. I rode it once then meandered round only to try the other side to see how the experience differed there. After that I was happy to take photos of the ride (not easy to do given it's on an island) and then leave.
I am really impressed with the theming of the ride however. The whole “28 Days Later” vibe is great and I like the way they’ve permeated the theme into other parts of the park including the entrance music at the ticket office (the radio station playing gets attacked and the sound cuts out). The use of Live Actors around the ride works very well and I hope they remain for the season.