I played the original RollerCoaster Tycoon a lot. Maybe even too much. As a real-life roller-coaster enthusiast, I loved the ability to design and build my own coasters. It was titillating. It’s been a while since the last RollerCoaster Tycoon was released, but now we have RollerCoaster Tycoon World to look forward to.
The most obvious difference between the original game and RollerCoaster Tycoon World is the beautiful graphics. The game has been designed to take advantage of modern PCs. As in the original, you can include rides other than roller-coasters in your park. Things like ferris wheels and carousels can be placed to help fill out your park. The development team behind RollerCoaster Tycoon World spent a lot of time studying what real theme-park rides look like and it shows. The intricate details on the carousel horses are quite impressive. But the pretty graphics only go so far. The nuts and bolts of the game is building your own coaster.
RollerCoaster Tycoon World has made building coasters more complex, but not more difficult. In the older games, you had to build your coasters from a pre-determined selection of pieces. Even though you still use pieces in the latest game, they’re much more robust and easy to manipulate. For example, you can raise or lower any section of the track at any time and the pieces around it will compensate. Likewise, you can make turns in the track with just a few clicks. The physics involved in building the coaster are taken into account too. The sections of your track will be green if everything checks out. If it doesn’t you’ll see them turn yellow and red. You can also set the speed for the ride. Of course, one of the most fun things (at least for me) in the old games was purposefully making a bad design and watching the coaster fly off the tracks. Much to my delight, you can still do that in RollerCoaster Tycoon World.
Another new addition is the ability to add actual themes to your theme park. The decorative items you can place range from the old West to the space age. But this aspect isn’t purely ornamental. The more you place things in the same theme, the more it becomes an actual section of your park, attracting park guests who are partial to themed areas.
Just like the original, RollerCoaster Tycoon World has a campaign as well as a sandbox mode. I always really enjoyed the theme-park management aspects present in RollerCoaster Tycoon, so I’m excited that they’ll be returning. One of the things I loved about the first game was building rides that would make park guests ill. (I’m sadistic, I know). This measure of nausea, or “vomit meter,” exists for each park guest in the new game. And you can click on any guest at any time to see their preferences and happiness.
Finally, what would a beautiful 3D theme park be worth if you couldn’t experience it for yourself? In RollerCoaster Tycoon World, you can ride any ride at any time from the first person perspective.
Playing RollerCoaster Tycoon World at PAX Prime made me terribly nostalgic, but in a good way. I’m really looking forward to building more coasters in the future.