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Roller Coaster Tycoon: Series

Finally, A new vidya review after holding off for so long. This is an old classic game though so It’s not like I had to do anything to make a review for it. Rollercoaster Tycoon series has been one of my favorites in a sea of games that I classified as Tycoon games (stuff like Railroad Tycoon, Sim City, OpenTTD, Zoo Tycoon, just to name a few). For this review, I’ll be mainly focusing on Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 as that’s probably the best out of the classic series (I played RCT1 back in the day and really enjoyed it before RCT2 was released. If you download OpenRCT2, you can port the scenarios from RCT1 anyways, combining the two games along with a bunch of awesome additional features I’ll talk about later).

Basically, the game is all about making theme parks. You can pick a scenario and must complete the goals by a specific year, have a park score higher than a fixed number, or various other objectives. You could also build whatever you want depending on the scenario. You will be doing a lot of micromanaging though in all honestly, it’s not as complex as you thing it might be at first. Maintaining your park’s reputation by keeping your park clean, your guests happy, and your ride in working and safe order are key to a successful park. You’ll need to manage ticket prices, the price for rides, stalls, and other goodies for your guests. The coaster building mechanic is complex in it’s own way in such a way you have to make sure your coaster isn’t too intense, too boring, and actually able to function. You’ll have to work with basic physics in order to help your coasters overcome loops and hills without stalling. In regards to RCT2, there’s even a scenario editor.

The UI is easy to learn, the isometric view, usually never gives you any issues though building complex scenery can be a hassle because of the isometric view. Regardless, it’s not required for the player to do anything too complex in terms of park scenery though it will look nice. Speaking of which, the visuals aren’t going to be crazy advance but they are aesthetically pleasing and rather detailed for a isometric game. As many have claimed, it certainly does stand the test of time, and both RCT 1 and 2 are easy to run on modern operating systems, especially with OpenRCT2.

Probably the best thing to come out in my own lifetime, OpenRCT2 is an opensource reinterpretation of the RCT engine. While making it easier to run on modern systems, OpenRCT2 adds tons of additonal features to enhance the game even more! You can now do things like enable freeplay mode, enable day and night cycles with some neat lighting effects, and even play with other people online and build parks together. When you have the additional scenarios from the first RCT and especially with the abundance of user created scenarios and parks you can download online, you won’t run out of stuff to do in-game.

Overall, the Rollercoaster Tycoon series is top notch for it’s class, and though I don’t own it, I heard some good things about Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 as well (this game has 3D visuals). You can’t go wrong with playing any of the games from those first three though I recommend getting RCT2 since it’s the one with the most support, especially when it comes to OpenRCT2.

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