Retaining the same aims and objectives that have underpinned the series to date, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 nonetheless is a solid evolution for the franchise. And it doesn’t hurt that it happens to be one of the most friendly, open and accessible management games on the PC platform.
The aim remains to build up a winning theme park, with a special emphasis on building and designing its premium rides. And this is where the game’s most obvious improvement kicks in. Whilst its predecessors were undoubtedly engrossing and enjoyable strategy games in their own right, neither was graphically anything special. Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 however features significantly improved visuals, that make a surprising difference to the game itself. That’s because you’re now able to get virtual first-hand experience of your creations, and can zoom in on any part of your park, and the overall effect is one of added depth.
Elsewhere, the challenges have been tweaked and refined, and are just as much fun as they always were. Whilst you can play at different levels, the long-term test lies with the career mode, where you must beat the numerous scenarios the game has to offer. Suffice to say, to succeed at that you need to be fully versed in resource management, park design and, crucially, keeping your customers happy. It’s not easy, but it is tremendously immersive, and given the game’s steady and cultured learning curve, you never feel out of your depth.
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is ultimately a steady evolution of a formula that works exceptionally well, and it does so here again. Sure, the mechanics have evolved at a slower rate than the visuals, but that doesn’t stop the game being that rarest of things--a strategy game that the whole family can enjoy.
- Create and customize your own amusement park
- New 3-D graphics
- Complete camera control allows players to view their park from any angle
- The new CoasterCam lets you ride what you build
- Create your own family members and friends and add them to your park
- For 1 player