Have you ever felt the need for a game you could play
for weeks or maybe even months? We all have. Rollercoaster
Tycoon could be the game that fulfills this need because of its
originality and fun factor. In Rollercoaster Tycoon you build your
very own Theme Park (much like the game Theme Park from
Bullfrog) and manage everything in the game. It's sort of like Sim
City but you build a Theme Park, and it’s much more advanced.
Rollercoaster Tycoon's graphics are pre-rendered and
are animated very well. I can understand why a game like this can
not be made in real-time 3D because you would need a very
massive amount of processing power. The track and cars for your
rollercoasters can have their color changed with a click of a button
and many other rides can have their colors changed also. Things
like a Haunted House cannot have their colors changed but a
Ferris Wheel can. You can increase the resolution in Rollercoaster
Tycoon, which really improves the quality of the graphics.
Personally I use 800x600. Even if this game is in 2D it still requires
a strong amount of processing power because it will really lag a
lot when there are 800+ people walking around.
Many games these days use old sound samples, which
can be recognized from an old game by an observant gamer.
Rollercoaster Tycoon's music and sound samples are new, and the
music and sound makes you feel as if you were really at a
Carnival. The music comes from inside the rides, and is not played
until you build a ride that plays music. When a rollercoaster or any
other intense ride does a big drop the people on the ride will
scream accordingly. If the ride does a short drop they will not
scream as loud but if it’s a huge drop they will scream very loud.
There are also excellent fading/positioning effects for the sound, if
you scroll the screen away from the ride then the music will fade
and you will also hear it from the direction you pulled away from.
When I was playing the first campaign of Rollercoaster
Tycoon, I lost track of the time and found out I had been playing
for 2 hours. That’s how fun this game is. I was also amazed at how
many things could be built and new rides were created and
upgraded as the game progressed. The things you can build are
also categorized in a window with sections like rollercoasters,
food stands, and water rides. Rollercoaster Tycoon is a VERY
detailed game; rides show statistics on how fast they go, how
many negative G's, etc. If a ride goes too fast or has too many
drops then people will get sick and not want to use it. Another
thing that surprised me in this game is that all of prices for the
rides need to be adjusted occasionally. Old rides lose their
popularity as new rides arrive and the price needs to be adjusted
down to keep the ride attractive to the park visitors.
You also have to build up your own staff in Rollercoaster
Tycoon. You hire people like Handymen, Security Guards,
Entertainers, and most importantly Mechanics. The mechanics in
Rollercoaster Tycoon are very important, much like they would be
in a real theme park. Mechanics make sure your rides are
operating properly and repair them when they break down.
Rollercoaster Tycoon is so detailed it's almost like managing a real
theme park. It’s probably not as fun in real life though. Rides can
also crash at any moment. It could be that the ride was built wrong
or some other unknown reason. People are also smart and do not
ride intense rides during the rainy season and that’s when you
rake in the money with lower intensity rides like the
merry-go-round and Ferris wheel.
If all goes well in Rollercoaster Tycoon, then you will be
rewarded. I got an award for having the safest park in the country!
I know that most people don't like things that are very detailed and
are very time consuming, but in Rollercoaster Tycoon you will
enjoy editing the details. Rollercoaster Tycoon may be great but
there are still some downsides to it. I encountered a bug in the
game where it wont let you reactivate a ride after it's had a crash
and I've even asked some friends about this and they have
encountered it too. and don't know a workaround. Also, I left the
game running by itself for a few minutes (to rake in some money)
and noticed that when I came back that the sound had completely
stopped. It did not come back until I scrolled the screen (I don't
think this is a feature, and if it is it's not a very good one). One
thing that really bothered me is that when some trees need to be
removed, (and there are a lot of trees), I had to do it one by one. It
would've been nice if you could mask a part of the ground (like in
Sim City) and demolish that area. For landscaping though there is
an option to change the tilesize of the cursor so that you may
remove a larger area at once, it's still not as good as masking
Even though Rollercoaster Tycoon may not be perfect, I
still think Microprose/Hasbro Interactive did an excellent job. It's
something you will definitely enjoy playing for weeks or even
months. If your still not convinced by my review, then I suggest you
download the demo to see how fun this game really is. If you do
really well at the end of a campaign and have a high company
value with lots of visitors then the visitors will clap to show what a
good job you did.