RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
In its day, RollerCoaster Tycoon was a pretty awesome game. Of course, the â€œTycoonâ€ game field was not saturated yet, and Railroad Tycoon II was still king. But even when its sequel came and went, and the field was pretty darn soggy, there was just something addictive about the series. All of the expansions and deluxe editions enjoyed long runs on the bestseller lists, and were highly endorsed by all of the â€œfamily friendlyâ€ organizations that boycott stuff like Grand Theft Auto.
If or when you heard about Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, the first thing you probably thought was, â€œOh. Just more of the same, only in 3D.â€ Well, youâ€™d be partially right, as the main concept hasnâ€™t really changed, but added features and enhancements help it continue to shine, and its still-superb gameplay model might convince you that thinking about the original â€œIn its dayâ€¦â€ may not give it enough credit.
The first thing to notice, besides all the 3D eye candy, is that theyâ€™ve overhauled the interface and installed a task-specific hub â€” a much cleaner and simpler approach. There are hundreds of different small guests, or â€œpeeps,â€ with over 50 different facial expressions, in all shapes and sizes, and all bigger than the previous ones that seemed about eight-pixels-high. Looking like bright animated Colorforms, the peeps roam through the park, some with really silly-looking, hand-waving, run animations, some with immense blue or green afros, and some teenagers doing their stuff. With all of the detail the camera zoom-control affords, itâ€™s almost like being there.
Of course thereâ€™s a sandbox mode, as well as an extensive campaign with three objective-based difficulty levels per scenario â€” Apprentice, Entrepreneur, and Tycoon. Theyâ€™ve also added dynamic speed control (the lack of which has been very frustrating in the past) and eliminated most time limits. You wonâ€™t be forced to make an inefficient park just to meet some objective, but there will be â€˜intermediate objectivesâ€™ youâ€™ll have to contend with, in both random and non-random situations. An example of a random situation would be a heat wave, which would necessitate things like extra liquid-refreshment stands, more shaded areas, aerosol deodorant in the vending machines; and a non-random one might be something like preparing for a high-school graduation night, where youâ€™d want to make everything very student-friendly.
Youâ€™ll still build with the traditional grid system, but several new tools will really facilitate the process. Thereâ€™s an â€œaveragingâ€ tool, which takes your grid placement and extrapolates its position over topographically variant terrain. In other words, itâ€™s easier to build on hills. Thereâ€™s also â€œauto-complete,â€ which connects various design points without your having to worry about making them actually â€œmeet.â€ The biggest new feature in RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, of course, is the ability to view your coaster rides via first-person – a feature that was asked for since the first game appeared.
You can expect all of the old standby coaster types, including hanging coasters, as well as some newer ones, such as huge, monster, mega-tacular â€œgiga-coasters,â€ and specialties like racing roller coasters, or â€œduelingâ€ coasters that share the same grid (but not the same track) where cars meet one another as though in a joust. In addition to the looping, twisting, corkscrewing, death-on-stilts coaster rides, there are many other kinds of rides and attractions like Giant Concentrically Spinning Teacups, Ferris Wheels, Water Flumes, Hyperslides, and Laser Tag facilities.
Explore RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for long enough, youâ€™ll find a brilliantly simple design thatâ€™s also jam-packed with intricate gameplay for the build/business sim enthusiast.
System Requirements: Pentium III 700 MHz, 128 MB RAM, 1.24 GB HDD, WinXP