Review by Nivla
"My fantasies have been realized"
Amusement parks has never failed to give someone the thrill of a life time. With all of its rides, foods and attractions, it is without a shout of a doubt the favourite pastime of anybody in the world. So it goes without saying that someone would eventually make a game all about the amusement/theme park. That somebody is Chris Sawyer! Roller Coaster Tycoon is a game all about an amusement park. The engine is similar to that of Sim City. Really easy to learn, really hard to master.
First of all, numerous scenarios are presented to the characters. Each with their own unique landscape, restrictions, challenge and objective(s). The player is then given total freedom and construct/change the park to meet the objective however he/she sees fit. That is one of the better things about this game. The freedom (with the exception of some limitations on some of the scenarios). The difficulty of the scenarios range from pathetically easy to impossibly hard. The game offers a great scaling difficulty.
Of course, what ammusement park can survive without, THE RIDES!!!!. The main focus of the game is roller coasters, hence the title Roller Coaster Tycoon. The game offers 14 different types of roller coasters. Anything from a classic wooden rollercoaster to a stand up roller coaster. But roller coasters are not the only thing available. There are thrill rides, calm rides, and rides that utilize lots and lots of water!! Besides rides, the player can construct concession, bathrooms, decorative ornaments, and much more! Statistics of the rides are kept. The player can look up which rides are popular, which ones are as good as garbage. Which ones needs to be inspected, and so much more!
But an ammusment park cannot be run without the proper staff. Handymen to sweep up debris left by a rider after a nautious ride. Mechanical workers to repair broken rides and just maintain rides. Entertainers in oversized animal costumes to entertained bored guests waiting in a long line. And security guards to keep naughty guests from acting up. These staff members can be hired and fired by the click of a mouse. They can be placed anywhere in the park. And their wages must be well looked after.
But perhaps the most important aspect of an ammusement park are, of course, the guests! They come and leave depending on your performance. They will leave happy, or leave hating your guts. The player can use numerous windows to keep track of their feelings, what they're thinking and what they want. But of course, all lives must eventually come to an end. Some guests may die in your park because of a poorly maintained ride. Some rides crash because they are not properly looked after. That is the only way people will die in your park and the player must make sure it will not happen!
There is nothing difficult about the controlls of this game. Think of it as a much simpler version to the controlls of StarCraft. Where the player uses the mouse and the keyboard (mostly the mouse). All that is requried is to click on a few things and voila, the player has what he/she wants.
The audio and visual is almost if not perfection. The rides look very smooth. The way roller coasters go up and down are such are so pleasant to look at. All the guests are drawn in a great detail. As for the sound, listen to people scream on an intensive ride, or the cheer as they let you know they like something.
And as for the fun factor. It is out of this world high!! Who wouldn't want to try and build their own amusement parks? To controll everything with the click of a mouse? To construct a park of dreams. The replay value really depends on the player. If the player likes to go to parks such as Disneyland or Six Flags Magic Mountain in LA, California, then they are more then likely to enjoy this game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/00, Updated 06/15/00
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