The tickling fear as you line up, that this could be the time it all goes wrong, that the car could catapult off the tracks - and you'll be subjected to a final, once-in-a-lifetime, terminal rush of velocity, before slamming face-first into a smoked turkey leg stand...
Indeed, so vital has this sense of risking everything become part of the rollercoaster experience for us, that we've taken to researching off-the-record accidents before visiting any particular theme park.
What else are we supposed to do? We're so numb... we just want to feel something.
Screamride is a game that exploits the primal, unspoken concern of all rollercoaster riders: that every ride could be their last.
Screamride splits its gameplay into three distinct modes. In Engineer mode you'll be solving design puzzles and juggling finances, to create rides that meet a set of criteria (apparently, it's bad business to create a ride so fast and extreme that you make the riders throw up or expire).
Screamrider mode is a sort of arcade racing game, that sees you controlling the tilt and speed of roller coasters to prevent riders flying off (although, when they do, it's some real funny shizzle).
And then there's our favourite section; Demolition - which does exactly what it says on the tin. To wit: cause as much environmental damage and destruction as possible, by faffing around with the roller coasters and explosives - get it right, fling your vehicle into a building at the perfect point, and you can cause a domino effect of impressively tumbling skyscrapers. Trust us with this: the closest thing we can liken it to is Super Monkey Ball meets Blast Corps.
There's also a bewilderingly comprehensive track creation sandbox tool, which allows you to build and design roller coasters and parks using items you'll unlock in the main game modes. This is when the game feels most like Theme Park or Rollercoaster Tycoon - albeit without the sort of anally retentive resource management that would typically prove the death knell to our long-term enjoyment of either franchise.
We weren't expecting much from Screamride, but we came away pleasantly surprised. The Demolition mode alone would've satisfied our wantonly destructive tendencies, but with the inclusion of the other modes - while at times making the whole feel less cohesive and unified - it's a decent package.
Plus the trimmings are good: the graphics and physics engine are solid, there's a hint at an interesting backstory (which isn't necessary, but appreciated nonetheless), and a commendably dark and peculiar sense of humour running through the whole thing.
It's a gamble in this industry to ship a product that isn't another shooter, or football game, or license, or remake, or sequel; Screamride should be commended as much for that as for what it gets right as a game. It has depth, longevity, and scratches the itch that we've always had: just what happens when the rollercoaster car flies off the tracks?
This: loads of people die, and buildings explode. HA HA HA.
SUMMARY: A weird mix of adrenaline-rush and contemplative resource puzzling - it feels fresh and original.
SCORE: 8.32 out of 10.57