RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

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a game by Chris Sawyer Productions
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 8.5/10, based on 1 review, 2 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Simulator Games, RollerCoaster Series
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 is one of the best theme park building sim style games that I have ever played. Even though this game may be classed as “classic” as it is over a decade old at this point. It still holds up very well and can easily see an intended 15-minute session turn into a couple of hours.

Your Park, Your Way

The ultimate goal of RollerCoaster Tycoon is, of course, to build the most awesome and let’s not forget, profitable theme park the world has ever seen. While you may think that the game is just all about making dream rollercoasters and putting together a theme park that would make Walt Disney himself green with envy. There is far more strategy to the game than you may think.

You see a huge part of the game is keeping your budget in check. While you may want to expand your park at a rate that is just insane. You may lack the budget to do this so you have to be very smart with the way you go about expanding your park.

Working The Marks!

One way that is fun to make some serious money in RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 is by fleecing your park patrons for everything they have. You can do this in many different ways, but for me, the best way is by making stuff like your food and drinks as expensive as they can be. Some people may complain about your prices, but the profit margin on stuff like this can be huge and as long as they are having enough fun, you can get away with it.

Keeping your park guests happy and spending money is really addictive. I would change my prices regularly as well as work on keeping my park fresh. Sometimes, you have to just stick with what you have for a while to make some money before you can do a big expansion. Other times you might want to add a new ride here, a new thing there and expand at a slower pace.

Side View Action

Even though it is not the best-looking game in the world, I do feel that RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 is a decent enough looking game. It has an isometric viewpoint and this means you can make some pretty crazy rollercoaster designs. It also means that you have a better view for when it comes to actually designing your park. While I like Theme Park, I must say that the isometric view this game has does make designing parks that extra bit easier.

What No Sandbox?

While there are some cheats you can use which basically turn the game into a sandbox-style game. There is no way just to screw around which is a bit disappointing. I really think that for the second game they could have added a sandbox mode feature and it would have been great. They did add some real-life “Six Flags” rides though so that is pretty cool.

Even all these years later, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 is a game that I can get really addicted to. I love how easy the game is to pick up and play.

8.5

Then, you can get really in-depth with the game and make sure your park is making some serious money so you can expand it and then make even more money!

Pros:

  • Tons of cool rides to use
  • Making your own Coasters is awesome
  • You have many ways to make money
  • It is a very addictive game
  • It is quite easy to figure out the basics

Cons:

  • There really should have been a sandbox mode
  • This game can take over your life

Download RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

In recent years, so-called 'tycoon' games have become something of a byword for mediocrity, with the genre extrapolated to cover the most unlikely of subject matters. We've been bombarded with the likes of Zoo Tycoon, Moon Tycoon, Hotel Giant, Beach Life, not to mention the little-known classic, Chip Shop Manager. Derivative nonsense in the main, but one title stands out from the dross, namely the original RollerCoaster Tycoon. Despite being little more than a thinly-veiled homage to Theme Park - arguably the game that started it all - Chris Sawyer’s quirky big dipper ’em up proved a worldwide hit with five million copies being sold.

Following a couple of largely unnecessary add-ons, this is - as all but the most simple-minded will have already guessed - the full-blown sequel. That said, without the addition of the number two in the title, even non-simpletons would struggle to tell the difference.

The Game Remains, The Same

Perversely, Infogrames appears to have inadvertently acknowleged this fact in its promotional material, courtesy of one of the most blatant examples of misquoting we’ve ever seen. A short news story announced the pending game thus: "The original RollerCoaster Tycoon may be partly responsible for the flood of tycoon games that currently afflicts the PC market, but it was nonetheless a brilliant game." Through the magic of the Infogrames marketing department, this was quoted -in reference to RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. Hilarious. You almost have to admire their chutzpah (as well as their 30 grand salaries and company cars).

Nevertheless, RollerCoaster Tycoon certainly was a largely brilliant game. Back in April 1999, erstwhile gimp Charlie Brooker (whatever happened to him?) described it as "ludicrously moreish," despite berating the graphics for being "a bit on the Amiga side. Well, both of those descriptions apply today, because it’s the same sodding game! The same graphics, the same interface, the same rides. Barring a couple of new features and coasters, it’s identical, and at best can be described as a glorified expansion pack.

Thief Of Time

But hey, perhaps you weren’t playing PC games three and a half years ago, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 allows you to experience that classic gameplay in the modern era. And it’s as disgustingly addictive as ever. Whether starting from scratch, or attempting to manage one of the pre-built parks, it sucks you in and eats up the hours of your life like some giant voracious carnivore.

It really is quite appalling. In the time it can take to get a viable theme park up and running, you could have flown to the US, watched four major motion pictures, or even simply had a good night’s sleep. Instead, all you’ve really done is facilitate the notional entertainment of a couple of thousand pretend funseekers, made a few pretend quid and cleaned their pretend sick off the pretend sidewalk. What’s the point? It’s not as if there's even any tangible reward for completing the scenarios, all of which are available from the outset (along with the option to design your own). Once you've achieved the requisite goals, you’re simply presented with an anti-climactic message of congratulations. You then have the option to carry on regardless, or switch the sodding thing off and get on with your life.

At least with other chronically addictive games such as Championship Manager, for instance, there’s something to show for your efforts when you return to the game, be it playing in a higher division or reaping the benefits of securing the services of a mercurial striker. All you’ve got in RollerCoaster Tycoon (2) is a great big expanse of people eating, drinking, pissing and having fun.

Ice Cream Van

That fun can be administered in many ways, the most effective being the application of unnatural G-forces. Rollercoasters can either be placed in situ ready-made, or painstakingly constructed yourself. The latter option is the more ambitious, but shouldn’t be entered into without a degree of Zen-like patience, as in the frustration stakes it’s like attempting to plait snot.

And compared to the ready-made designs, the coasters you make yourself usually look like something a bunch of drunk scaffolders put together for a laugh. Nevertheless, actually managing to create a working coaster is mildly satisfying, particularly when punters start queueing in their droves to hand over their hard-earned cash in order to ride it.

Squeezing money out of the patrons is by and large the key to success, and it’s amazing how ruthless a taste of big business can make you. Much as I loathe the practice in real life, within the game I have no hesitation in charging guests for what many consider the basic human right of taking a piss. No more than 20 pence mind, I’m not an animal.

Monorail! Monorail!

Furthermore, at the merest hint of rain I’ll happily whack a pound on the price of umbrellas, and come summertime you won’t find an ice cream for less than two quid. What else are they going to do? Shop around? Yep, the captive audience are at your whim, and providing you can keep them captive, they will begrudgingly hand over the readies. It’s not all about money though, and it’s possible to take pride in your work. It is with particular affection that I recall the day my first monorail opened, transporting guests from one end of the park to the other in an efficient yet leisurely manner. In conjunction with a decent marketing campaign, it proved a roaring success, offering a reasonably priced opportunity to simultaneously see the sights and save your legs.

Rubbish

RollerCoaster Tycoon (2) is a heady mix of flamboyance and practicality, with the big rides augmented by more mundane issue such as paths and litter. The interface can be overtly fiddly though. For instance, raising and lowering land has to be done a (small) square at a time, which is not only incredibly tedious, but irreversible too. There’s also an option to build coasters underground, but this is so fiddly it’s best avoided. And only being able to rotate the scenery 90 degrees at a time, again causes inevitable problems.

Ultimately though, there is enough here for several late nights, and I myself have been party to a couple of 6am finishes. How long the grip lasts is debatable though, and after a couple of lengthy sessions you do begin to get the impression that you’ve seen it all before. And not just three and a half years ago.

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