Rollercoaster Tycoon is a simulation game from 1999 that puts you in charge of your very own theme park! Starting with bare land, you get to decide what rides, amusements, and food stands your park will have. It's not that easy, though! In addition to choosing the rides, you'll also have to accurately price admission, keep your park clean, hire mechanics and handymen, and keep track of quite a bit! Despite having a pretty complex set of options, Rollercoaster Tycoon feels easy to learn and incredibly fun to play, thanks to its intuitive design and bright visuals. If you've ever dreamed of designing or owning your own theme park, you should definitely check this simulation title out!
When you first start up Rollercoaster Tycoon, you'll choose between a handful of “scenarios”. These serves as the game's missions, where you are tasked with specific objectives. For instance, the first scenario, Forest Frontiers, tasks you with gaining a certain number of guests in your park before a specific date. As you complete scenarios, you'll unlock new ones, and each one offers a unique experience. In total, there are 21 different scenarios in the base Rollercoaster Tycoon game, with later expansion packs bringing that number up to 81. While most scenarios offer you a set time limit and a small selection of rides, later scenarios really open up the possibilities, providing you with endless cash and a huge land mass to create within.
When it comes to customization, Rollercoaster Tycoon is utterly packed to the seams. Nearly every aspect of your park can be customized, including the name, the price of admission, and much more. Every time you install a new ride or food stall, you can give it a custom name, color design, and price. Attractions aren't the only priority though; you'll want to make sure your guests keep a positive mood while visiting your park. This means you'll have to adjust prices based on customer reactions, build enough bathrooms for your rising guest numbers, and more. As rides break down and the park gets dirty, you'll also have to hire on handymen and mechanics to keep things running smooth. For an added boost in guest happiness, you can also hire on various entertainers and mascots to roam the park.
Some scenarios will place you in a specific environment, such as Pacific Pyramids, a sandy map with large pyramids to build around. However, you can often change the topography and foundation of your land, thanks to the various construction tools included. For example, you can easily form a small lake by lowering a section of land and filling it with water. Then, you can easily place a log ride or lazy river attraction, profiting off of your new landscape. Where you put your rides is completely up to you, and when you start to install roller coasters, things get particularly customizable. You can choose from pre-selected coasters, or create your own from scratch. This allows you to set every piece of track, choosing where the dips, turns, and plummets occur.
Overall, Rollercoaster Tycoon gives players an addictive simulation experience that offers incredible customization without overwhelming the player. From marketing campaigns to park maintenance, you'll be in charge of every aspect of your own personal amusement park. The large selection of scenarios provide ever-changing challenges, which will test your creativity and financial prowess. This 1999 amusement park simulator eventually received numerous expansion packs and sequels, and spawned a sub-genre of simulation games. It's one of the most influential PC games of the late 90's, and gives players an experience unlike anything else. We highly recommend you try your hand at building your own theme park in Rollercoaster Tycoon!