Review by El Greco

"Charge people to take a whiz?"

Roller coaster Tycoon is a game where you can build the ultimate fantasy park. You are given a scenario and are required to gain a net worth of X in Y amount of time. These can be quite simple, you may only need to build a few pre-built rides and let the visitors pour in or you ma need to build it from the ground up designing your own rides and attractions. You must cater to the guests liking or else they will respond with a prompt exit from your park.

The rides are quite diverse. There are the obvious roller coasters, then after that there are water slides, Ferris wheels, go-karts, drop towers, transportation rides, swinging ships, and 3D theatres. If the guests are hungry then you have top build a food court.

You can design your own roller coasters, water slides and any other track set rides. They come with several pre-set standard track pieces, and a wide array of special features, such as a helix, corkscrew, on-ride-photo-section, and a half loop. The way to build is so simple that it makes the overall experience so much better. You can build them underground, above the trees, or winding through them. Depending on how you utilize each feature that will bring the intensity and excitement meters either up or down. This will determine whether you have built a masterpiece or a load of scrap metal.

You will have to figure out where the best location is for a certain attraction in order to generate the most money. For example, you should build your big attractions and food stalls near the back of the park so the guests have to go past all your other attractions in order to satisfy their hunger. They may stop off quickly for a ride on the swinging ship while they venture back to the end of the park.

Landscaping also comes under your control, there are several different landscaping themes so that you can build areas of your park that are Roman, Egyptian, or mine themed. Suitable rides must also be built in these areas or else the guests will not get as much of a thrill as they would if appropriate rides were built.

It is up to you for the pricing on each attraction, which means that, yes, you can charge people big bucks to take a piss. Good rides will make people take out bigger portions of their money, and will keep them coming back for more rides until it becomes old, they become nauseous, or they run out of money.

You also must advertise properly for your park. If you build a new ride people will not be aware of it until either they enter your park or you advertise for it. If it is a good ride people will come flocking to your park. You can either just plain advertise or give out special coupons for half-price entry to the park or free rides on your big roller coaster.

Now, you must maintain your park and keep all of your rides operating properly so you must hire help. Handymen will water the gardens, mow your lawns, and sweep up litter and vomit. Mechanics will inspect and repair the rides when they break down. Security guards, well, they keep everybody from vandalizing your park and keep down crimes. And the entertainers will dress up in moronic costumes so that your guests can laugh at them while they wait in enormous lines.

The game comes equipped with a bunch of unique scenarios in which you have a special and enjoyable goal to reach. If you succeed you are rewarded with the unlocking of a new scenario. If you fail then you get a sort of game over, in that you have to start over at the beginning if the scenario. If you repeatedly fail then maybe you should go back and take a look at the tutorial for beginning players, which shows you the basics of the game in a simple and understandable way.

Your reward for all your toiling and work at the end is a huge park with as much land as you can fill.

The graphics are OK. You can see people’s faces, ducks floating around in the water, and light shining off of shiny surfaces and that is about all that is notable about it. Otherwise, it is just as good as a standard PC game, not much to brag about.

The sound is very irritating. It’s always people screaming, yelling, puking, grumbling and the like. Unless you enjoy hearing someone doubling over to vomit then you will probably end up with a headache. So it is usually best to just turn off the sound when you are playing, and just listen to something else, like your favorite music.

So here are the final scores,

Sound- 3

Graphics- 7

Gameplay- 10

Replayability- 9

Final score- 9

Final recommendation- Buy. You will have a lot of fun playing around with the different scenarios and messing with the guests so that they become your pawns to do be manipulated by your greedy self.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/06/03, Updated 07/06/03

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