Review by chameleon

"Warning: Before playing, put on your earphones and listen to something constructive before you go absolutely bonkers!"

Whether you like to build coasters with overwhelming heights, watch guests barf after getting off your most nauseous ride, decorate and touch up on the park so much that it looks like one of the parks you go to in real life, or just plainly want to solve scenarios in a given amount of time, then this game is for you. Need I say more? When I first downloaded this game, I thought to myself, this is even better than Sim City 3000! It’s much more fun and almost as complex at the same time. Then I glanced at the rather cheap price for the game, and then I made no doubts about getting it, and had one of the most fun weekends at my house. All I did for three straight hours was play this wonderful simulation. Alright, I’ll admit it, I am also a big simulation fan as well. That doesn’t mean you should hate it if you like, say racing games. There are, for example, Go Kart rides, so you should definately download this one. I command you to download this game and give it a try. Play for three hours and come back with a report. It should be a good one I’m hoping...

Well, this game doesn’t have much of a “Story”, so I’ll replace that with “Presentation”.

Presentation: The game not only comes with a thick and handy instruction booklet, but it has a rather nice introduction. When you enter into the world of Rollercoaster Tycoon, you are at a screen that presents you with all the features and what kind of stalls and rides you can establish throughout the scenarios. I just kind of sat there for five minutes in awe with all of the things that I could eventually do, and it is a pretty long sequence. Anybody that downloads or even buys the game will really get into it because of this. The nice introduction puts the Tycoon in Rollercoaster Tycoon. After I tried out the game, I read the nice and long instruction booklet that is offered with it. It offered many helpful tips. To sum it up, the Presentation is fantastic.

Presentation: 10

Graphics: Well, while Rollercoaster Tycoon was made a while back as of this review, it still didn’t shine when it first came out regarding the visuals. The scenery is nice, the coaster designs are mediocre, and the people and a few other things are pure crap. The last time I came to a theme park, no one was wearing a green shirt and orange pants or noticed that they all had the exact same hair and countenances. I don’t think this will bring up an outrage to addicts of this game, but it sure makes me puke when I look at the backgrounds. The beaches that I go to, it doesn’t go from sand to grass immediately. Take a look at the gardens too. They look like plastic toys, don’t you think? The color designs and most of the scenery looks fine, but everything else appears like a very old computer game. Ridiculous, yet barely acceptable.

Graphics: 4.5

Music/Sound: Unless you really like Merry-Go-Around melodies, Wild West themes, Circus songs, or anything similar to it, then, well, you’ll enjoy I suppose. Most people will become quite annoyed with the Merry-Go-Around music especially, because if you turn it off, then guests will become much less happy. So you are sort of “forced” to keep all the music on during the scenarios if you want to succeed easily. That is very annoying, and I cannot give this game a good music score. There are absolutely no good tracks to listen to. What about the sound? Well, it’s definately better, that’s for sure. The screams of people feeling the adrenaline on the drops sound great, but pretty girly. This game has a sort of kiddy theme to it, but still, it’s a neat simulation. The sounds aren’t anything to celebrate about, but I always put in a C.D. to prevent myself from going bonkers because of that music. That is all.

Music/Sound: 4

Gameplay: Thank god this aspect saved the day. This game provided nearly countless hours of enjoyment, and that is not an exaggeration. From building the rides, managing the park, paying employees, maintaining the park ratings, completing objectives, to killing annoying guests (no joke). The real fun in this game is building successful Roller Coasters. Withing the construction of a Roller Coaster, you can make sharp curves, steep drops, water splashes, vertical loops, corkscrews, barrel rolls, s-bends, to even curvy rises and speed boosts! I forgot to mention water rides too. You name it! The possibilities are nearly endless. There are so many types of coasters to pick from, including the traditional steel, wooden, bobsled, mouse, suspended, vertical, and even whoa bellies to name a few! Everything that you would expect in a theme park is in this game. There are shops ranging from Pizza Stalls to Souvenir Stalls. There are bathrooms, gardens, benches, Information Kiosks, and much more to be erected. You hire Handymen to clean up vomit and other untouchable work. You hire Mechanics to check and fix rides. You hire Security Gaurds to prevent vandalism. Finally, you hire entertainers to keep your guests jolly. You are able to give each of your employees a certain area of the park to control or you can even name them or change their appearance, just like the guests! Speaking of guests, options include keeping up with every activity a guest is doing, how energetic, sick, hungry, thirsty, happy, etc. they are, and even how much money they have left in their wallet. Don’t forget that you can set up prices for any ride or stall. You can check up on a list of guests that are complaining about the same thing as other guests are in order to determine what sort of improvements you should make. There are awards that you can acquire if you happen to keep your park tidy (or even untidy), nicely decorated, have great rides, best prices, etc. The awards can boost your park ratings in order for easier completion of your objectives. Most scenarios in Rollercoaster Tycoon involve maintaining a certain amount of guests and keeping the park value high. Some scenarios allow you to have more options than others. Heck, some scenarios don’t even allow you to bulldoze trees! While that may seem tough, one scenario’s map is the size of your pinky! The scenarios have a high variety and they all range from ridiculously senchy to nearly impossible. This game is just too much fun. How else can I describe it? Do you know what kind of feeling I had when I built an awesome ride that everyone wanted to go on? I felt proud and warmhearted! You’ll feel that way especially when you look at your theme park a few years after beginning it. There is one slight problem with Gameplay, and that is the few bugs that are roaming in it. I have encountered a few of them, so watch out for that. It’s nothing to panic about, that’s for sure. Overall though, the game strongly reflects the everyday life of a park manager. You could play for hours without even realizing it. I guarantee it.

Gameplay: 9.5

Replay Value: There are many scenarios to accomplish, so get working! Over twenty scenarios. You think that’s it? Oh no, you’re wrong. Sites that are devoted to this game have countless patches and saved games you can observe. Maybe sometime the next few months, you will complete them all, but I doubt it. Millions of fans have put them up, so search for them if you are tired of the scenarios. Once you complete all of the scenarios, a new one opens up where all you do is start your own theme park from scratch with no objectives other then to have fun. The land is relatively flat and you are given just about every option for a ride and stall. Think that is not fair enough? You got problems if you don’t! I am still not finished with this one park, and I have been managing it for a month now. The point is that you can never get enough of this game. It’s a much less price than most other P.C. games, so why not? Simulations are known as games with good replay value, but this one has godly replay. Check it out.

Replay Value: 10

Presentation: 10
Graphics: 4.5
Music/Sound: 4
Gameplay: 9.5
Replay Value: 10
Overall (not an average): 8.5 (leans more towards 9 according to the overall score above)

Bottom Line: Simulation and/or Roller Coaster fanatics, purchase this. Just make sure you listen to something else other then the Merry-Go-Round music or you will regret it! Otherwise, enjoy!


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 03/18/01, Updated 03/18/01


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