If I can recall, the first ever PC game that I could ever play on my 16 MB, 500 MB hard drive tank of a computer would have been Rollercoaster Tycoon. I can still remember buying this game for the first time at the Radio Shack; a trade for my Train Simulator game that didn't work. I looked upon the shelves for a game that met my old computer's standards, and when I stumbled upon RCT, I was surprised to see that it actually could, and quickly asked my mom if we could get this game instead. Oh boy.
As soon as we got home, I ran upstairs, waited for my clunky computer to load, then popped this game in, did a full install, and counted the minutes that went by until the game finally installed and loaded. I got to say, these were the most memorable moments of my PC gaming life. It makes me what I am today, and it's why I am a simulation fanatic. When the chainlift sound came on, I knew, from that point on, I would have played a masterpiece of its kind, and it was only 1999. The funky, carnival sound came on, followed by screams of joyous riders, as they soared down the coaster hill.
At first, I didn't know what to do, but the tutorial saved me. Chris Sawyer saved me. In no time, I had finished three scenarios, and was on my way to unlocking more scenarios, more places to discover, and what rides I could use and build. It was the most exciting thing a kid could do. Or perhaps it was because I had a lot of patience, unlike most of the kids in my neighborhood at the time; them and their faster computers, and SNES consoles, oh no. THIS
was the real deal. Rollercoaster Tycoon can eat Maxis' heart out, and spew it across their Sim Cities for all I care. And I care a lot.
Now, enough of my storylife, I can honestly say that Rollercoaster Tycoon was the biggest PC game to date, if you were into building theme parks, lots of rides and coasters, and stocking up on money from all the admission sales and food. It ain't no Sim City, but it was most definitely easier than that. It also boasted some of the best peep deaths in simulation history (but that was only if your main goal was to drown them all in a lake, in which shame on you :p). The point is, Rollercoaster Tycoon is massive.
There isn't really a plot, unless you count building a giant theme park at your own desire a plot. And for what? What happens at the end? The fun thing is, there isn't really a forceful story to this at all. It's just build, build, and build to your heart's content. And if you didn't have enough space, you could just build OVER the existing ride for even more wackiness that comes out of your cranium. You could say that this game allows the player to make up his/her own story, and share it for generations. Rollercoaster Tycoon has that ability to make the kid out of anybody. Even now, people who are probably well in their forties would be playing this game. It's just too much fun. The scenarios offer simple goals, and like many other games, progressively get harder by each scenario you unlock. But by then, you're probably a master at RCT.
includes numerous rollercoasters to build with, small rides and transports, water rides, food and information kiosks, and much more! There's also scenery that you can add to the park, to make it more lively and realistic. Along with staff that can be commanded with a simple "drag and drop", anywhere on the map; a cleaner to pick up the trash or water the gardens (or mow the lawn, but there's no point in that), a mechanic to fix and renew your rides, and entertainers to make the peeps (your guests) cheerful and happy to increase the park's rating.
Rollercoasters are a real pain to build in this game, since you'll need a lot of money. space, and skill to build one properly, and I mean properly
. But no worries, there's always room for a coaster you want.
And with simple tutorials, whether on the Internet or from a friend, you'll be a pro in no time. Rollercoasters can be as simple as a lift hill, drop and brakes, but can also be as complicated as multiple drops, tons of loops and corkscrews, with money to spare. Either way, you'll have a blast making one. Same goes to any other ride you build that can be manipulated into your dream ride. The color, vehicle, tons of things can be changed in a ride. Also, after you've built and tested the ride, there are easy-to-understand stats that the ride gives you, along with G-Force ratings, etc. Simply put, if the ride is too High on the Excitement rating, that's good. However, if the ride has a Very High rating of Nausea, better check your ride over. Peeps will not ride your creation if it is too nauseous, or is too intense. They're picky like that.
There are downtimes throughout the game, that could be as simple as a breakdown of a ride, to as big as a rollercoaster crash. It's basically like if you were in charge of a REAL theme park, there always comes along problems, which can be easily repaired. The worst accident you can have could be if your best coaster (that you've put time and money into) crashes, or breaks down constantly. It may mean the ride is too old, and you'll have to choose either to edit it (i.e. putting brakes on the track to slow the train down), or demolish it all to build another ride. That's just the facts. But with every demolish, there's always a seed left behind, or at least a memory of that ride. Now I might take things too serious, but building a ride should be all about pleasure and patience; soon after, you won't have to worry about your dream ride breaking down.
In short of all of this, Rollercoaster Tycoon is a giant recommendation for those who want the biggest of simulation and creativity. And it goes to show that what you've always wanted to build, you can
build it. There is always a memory of every ride you've built over the years, and each one just hits you. Right there, in the heart. To me, this a game I most cherish; that and its multiple Add-Ons and sequels over the years, I'll never forget the glory days of isometric viewpoints in a game. Now we have the technology to make three-dimensional games, with tons of information, but nothing beats the classics. Nothing does.
TOEZNG's Rating of Rollercoaster Tycoon:
Audience Appeal: Anyone who loves to dream the impossible, but it's never
impossible for this game.
Overall Rating: 9/10
- Seemingly infinite stuff to choose from
- Simple, easy to learn stats and controls
- Real life manipulation of physics throughout the game
- Memories to be passed on
- It makes Sim City look like a dwarf