Roller Coaster Tycoon: “The Possibilities are Endless”
Last week’s review was Destiny 2. This week’s review is an older game, and a favorite: Roller Coaster Tycoon (RCT). RCT is a construction and management simulation game developed by Chris Sawyer and was first released in March 1999 for Windows. The goal of the game is to build and manage a theme park; this involves building rides, shops and stalls, and scenery while also hiring and managing staff, advertising the park, and keeping guests happy.
One of the best things about this game is the amount of creative freedom it gives to players. You can build theme parks in just about any location. Forests, cities, hills, deserts, lakes, and so on (new parks are unlocked by completing objectives in earlier parks). Additionally, roller coasters can be designed in any way the player wants, though whether or not it will be successful will be determined by how exciting and intense it is. This is governed by the game’s impressively accurate physics engine. You can also landscape your park, digging ditches or raising mountains or water, replacing the grass with sand or vice-versa, placing scenery, and so on. You also get to choose how much to charge for admission, ride tickets, food, merchandise, and so on. You could even charge guests to use the bathroom if you wanted to (though I wouldn’t recommend it). The possibilities are pretty much endless, so long as you can manage the park’s money. But even then, there are some parks where money is not a factor. Build to your heart’s content!
The other great thing about RCT is how it can run well on just about any PC. Chris Sawyer programmed his game in machine code, so it’s as efficient as a game can possibly be. Even if you use a basic PC instead of a titanic computer like the one your friend has that takes up half of their room, it will still run fine with no problems. Overall RCT is a game that has aged very well as many people are still playing it today. RCT 1 and 2 are available on Steam, and as of Dec. 2016, a port of these two games called Roller Coaster Tycoon Classic has been published for iOS and Android, so you can even play it on your phone.
Lastly, anyone interested in picking up a modern version of RCT should consider Planet Coaster. Although RCT 3 and 4 are available, they are not recommended as they have strayed a bit too far from the franchise’s roots and received poor reviews. Planet Coaster, on the other hand, was created by fans of the original games and developed by Frontier Developments and released in Nov. 2016. Its game play bears a striking resemblance to the classic RCT games, retaining its core mechanics while building new layers upon them, delivered in modern, 3-D graphics. Planet Coaster is also available on Steam, but unlike its predecessors, it will require a strong PC to run smoothly. Eight GB of RAM is recommended.