Rollercoaster Tycoon

Build your own Theme Park without worrying about a visit from debt collectors or lawsuits.

The entrance to Hell is bright blue apparently.

Just The Facts

  1. Rollercoaster Tycoon is a series of games based around building and operating a theme park
  2. Players have the choice of going small, medium, large or ridiculous with their parks size
  3. Playing the game gives you so much freedom, you could own the next Disneyland or, alternatively, you could build a rollercoaster that shouldn't legally exist.

"History of the series" or "What Chris Sawyer did in 1998"

Chris Sawyer, the man behind such innovations as Transport Tycoon and nothing else, became obsessed with rollercoasters during development of the aforementioned games sequel. Instead of finishing off Transport Tycoon 2, he changed the title completely in order to focus on his favourite subject at that specific time. Acceptable in the world of videogame development, but unacceptable in every other art form (yes, we are saying that games are an art form, bring it on Ebert!). Imagine a universe where James Cameron got bored with Avatar half way through and changed it to centre around elephants. With afros. Why elephants with afros?

That's why! *GUITAR SWELL*

The new game was called White Knuckle, until marketing got on the phone and decided for a change:

Marketing: Hey, Chris. We're a bunch of douchebags who think we matter. We want a different title, because you're now officially our bitch!

Chris: What's wrong with White Knuckle?

Marketing: It's gay, that's what's wrong with it! LOLZ! We want to call it Amusement Parkageddon! That has a ring to it!

Chris: No.

Marketing:.....what?

Chris: No!

Chris had dealt a mighty blow. Marketing had been defeated. The people rose up from their hiding places and cheered until their throats were sore. Oh, and Chris changed the name to Rollercoaster Tycoon. For marketing purposes, of course. Either that or so he could later be known as "The Tycoon Man" or something.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 1 & 2

Rollercoaster Tycoon is simulation strategy game that requires the player to develop and improve a theme park they've been given in a selection of scenarios. The game gave players freedom to build their own designs, which meant a hell of a lot of park guests got confused over certain park layouts.

Welcome to "Mindfuckland"!

Guests were easily confused in RCT1 (yes, we're onto abbreviations). Paths that took more than three turns meant lost guests. Useful stalls could be placed in order to give them maps around the park, which was lucky, since a lot of the time spent on the game was used to build areas that were so complex, MC Escher would double take (we really wish we had a video of that at this point).

Obviously detail wasn't an issue for Chris Sawyer, since RCT1 looks exactly the same as RCT2. Whilst there were no visual changes from the first game, RCT2 was certainly an improvement, due to improved A.I, more options for rides and attractions and the easier method of building structures.

A great addition to RCT2 was the sandbox style feature, meaning guests could start a park from scratch to their own whacky designs. This meant even more confusing paths and bizarre rollercoasters. However, it also meant more freedom for the player, giving them the oppertunity to go nuts and build themselves park replicas.

The phrase "Too much time on your hands" comes to mind here

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3

This one is baffling. To jump from RCT2 to this, it's ridiculous. RCT2 can be seen as a basic gap filler compared to this. This is the true sequel. RCT3 is in full 3D, giving players the option to ride their own creations. This was pretty much thrown at people during the advertising phase, but there are more options that improve on the original game. Custom music for rides can be used, not only in ride stations, but on loud speakers throughout a park. Custom billboards give people the chance to put their own images along the paths.

Bet those programmers feel proud