Retro Game Friday: RollerCoaster Tycoon

Michael Blaker
Game Industry News is running the best blog posts from people writing about the game industry. Articles here may originally appear on Michael's blog, Windborne's Story Eatery.


Hey all I’m back with a game that I only remembered due to some stray conversation a while back for this week’s Retro Game Friday. It’s RollerCoaster Tycoon!

Gameplay: The premise of the game is to complete a series of preset scenarios by successfully building and maintaining amusement parks through business ownership as a theme park entrepreneur. The key to any park is building a large amount and diverse range of rides for the visitors. Players can choose from dozens of roller coaster types and can also build log flumes, carousels, bumper cars, haunted houses, go-karts, Ferris wheels, and swinging ships, among other rides. The intensity and type of rides must be balanced, as visitors’ preferences vary significantly from person to person. For example, some guests prefer exciting rides and have high nausea tolerance levels, while other guests are just the opposite.

In other terms it’s a basic Sim game. It was pretty interesting and I remember scheming to get ways to keep park goers kept in the park indefinitely. At least I think I remember that correctly it’s been a long time, it might be a different game. If I had been feeling irritated that day I might design my coasters to cause severe nausea.  More sadistic minded players could design rides that caused fatalities though that was more often not a good idea if you wanted to do the scenarios successfully.

Art: The art is pretty simple, and while it’s not aged terribly, it hasn’t aged well either. That being said for being done by one person  by themselves that’s pretty damn impressive.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, though it’s probably fairly campy.

Overall: A game that can be fun for a little bit for more mature audiences, but younger ones might find it much more entertaining.

For those who like: Sim Games, Construction and Management Simulation, Roller Coasters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Publishers: ,
Platforms: ,
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