RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 brings such a wonderful and entertaining experience! Building, designing, and creating one’s own attractions had always amazed me most about this game. As it is an amusement theme park and a tycoon game, you’ll be able to work as an architect having your canvas being this free space to create and make money along the way. Designing all sorts of rollercoasters, plenty of other fun rides, and even some lovely visual landscapes and other entertaining attractions, which can be blended or all dedicated to just a single theme. The possibilities are endless in this game. Unlike a few versions before, there is so much more one can do and build within this game.
Fortunately, I was lucky enough to have had a chance years ago to play a version of RollerCoaster Tycoon for the PC, a game my Aunt owned. That actually started my love for tycoon-style games, especially theme park types. Afterward, I had been hooked playing so many other tycoon games, a few very similar to this one. Yet, no game ever came close to RollerCoaster Tycoon especially this updated and complete version, the 3rd edition.
To be honest, RollerCoaster Tycoon is one game that will always bring back pleasant memories and be the first game I think of when I want to play a tycoon-style game. Since it is the one that really started my joy for tycoon games. Then again, being young and amazed with the ability to make an amusement park from scratch, well that helps too! Nevertheless, I wouldn’t steer anyone down the wrong path or hypnotize them by making something out to be better when it really isn’t. So don’t worry, I won’t be telling you that playing this edition is nothing but the best game ever and you won’t be sorry to have played it! Nope, don’t worry about that, I will be honest and will provide my honest opinion about this game, especially cause there is so much more that could have been done or made way better!
So to begin, I want to start by sharing the level of experience I had when I was young building my own amusement parks on the PC version of RollerCoaster Tycoon, which was amazing. Now years later playing the 3rd edition on my Nintendo Switch Lite console only gave me a memorable, wonderful, and excellent experience. Plus, just I can’t believe how much better things just got as the game has evolved and updated with the ability to do more than one could do before. Including the ability to play on a handheld console and take it on the go. So that was actually the first acknowledged aspect of the game, a better gameplay experience than I had before.
I honestly love that there is so much more one can do, from the awesome capabilities of tools supplied to the player and even one’s own possibilities to think outside the box. Allowing you to take control of not just what you can place and set inside the fenced park, but how high or low you want to go with any attraction you want to design. Also, creating original things by adding rollercoasters, wild safari, or just the path you want, which can go nowhere or end in a spot where people can sit, enjoy food and view the scenery, it’s all possible in this game. There is nothing but a realistic sense of what a theme or an amusement park is all about!
On top of all that, just being able o be an architect and designer, you can even get to take control of the camera to view in and out as far and close within the park. Allowing you the player, to see how the people are enjoying and they line up to get on a ride, what they do when inside the park, and so much more! Additionally, I want to let you in on this other aspect of the game which I’ve always enjoyed. You can choose a working member or guest that you want to see what they do while in the park. Also, the capability to access a ride to adjust the prices and keep the entire park running smoothly. This would be by keeping things repaired; working correctly when needed, and updating the rides to make a park stay flawless for days, weeks, months, and years to come!
In addition to what you can create, now it’s time to jump on to the ride and take a test drive. Giving you a taste of what you’ve created and feeling the thrill of the ride for the first time or how many times you’d want to ride it! That’s one feature that makes this game so amazing. Just to be in the rider’s seat alone or with others, and watch exactly how it feels to ride the rollercoaster around each curve, steep drop, or just the way it speeds from beginning to the end. That I must admit is one feature I don’t want them to ever get rid of in any upcoming games. This really makes the game way better than any version I’ve tried in the past!
Even though there are plenty of features that really made this game most enjoyable, and yes, I named a few already, but I can’t help to go back over each aspect and explain the wonderful features in detail. Also, what I haven’t yet mentioned, those parts that I didn’t feel were created very well or could have been worked on longer to give a more appealing and realistic look. Before I do begin, I do want to let you know that I’m not going to take the time and compare any older and newer versions. As there will always be a better version of the game as time goes on and even the classic versions are great in their own ways. So here we go!
First, I tried so much of the game and even got to comprehend how to work with the game’s technical and way more complex features. This I didn’t take as a negative aspect or would I consider it being a problem. Instead, it’s just something you need to get a hang of while playing. Like in every game, especially simulator types. Thankfully the game does help the player understand the keys; mapping of the buttons on the controller to move and maneuver between different features. It does get easier, after a few times working with the first career goal in the game. Understanding everything you need to do to access and use the buttons correctly. I do have a little unfavorable feeling about this, and that will be explained below.
Oh yes, I wanted to add a little note about the console. When I used the Nintendo Switch Lite to play the game, well it isn’t bad for this game. However, I felt that it may appear better and even nicer on a bigger screen with the original Nintendo Switch. Since there is so much more to see, and the player may want to be able to get an idea of where you’re moving or placing new additional features in the park. Especially cause the bottom of the screen has the object choosing feature blocking a large portion of the screen when in use, the left and right side. Regardless, I played this on the lite and I honestly still was given that full entertainment experience.
One example of this, I was able to view the entire landscape that goes beyond the park at all angles and using a full rotation, 360° with the camera. It practically allows you to see everything. One thing that is always fun to check out with the camera zoom-in feature, is being able to see the face of the guest or working members. However, you can pull so far out, zoom out and see what is beyond the park or how much more area you can purchase or may want to invest in for a larger park.
Another favorite feature of the game is the freedom to do what you like, build as much as you want, and charge a fee that will not only support the park’s upgrades but keep things working as they should. Also, don’t forget the actual things that people do when they come to any theme or amusement park. This could be leaving messes, buying food, using bathroom stalls, buying other items, and so on. Sometimes, sitting back and watching the scenery is another piece of a theme park, which is also something these guests will be doing. So no matter what may be in your park, so as to mine, this game allows you to go above and beyond the original game and allows you to do so much!
Now, if that wasn’t great to be able to build one’s own park in the career mode. Another would be the ability to create from an empty lot; starting from scratch. Nothing there just you and all the tools you can use to begin building. The sandbox mode is what this is called, and it’s one mode you can choose from the beginning. Allowing you to create and build as big or small of a park as you like.
Of course, in either mode, time goes by at the same pace. As if in life, we have 24 hours, well this seems to be a bit different with the timing, cuts off as it gets dark, and begins at 10 am again. Thankfully, that moves the day along quicker, but even better is this bonus feature that allows us to control the time. No more waiting for the day or days to go by. Especially if the goal is to get a certain amount of cash or people in the park. We can adjust the time’s speed. Getting us faster to winning the goal of the career mode or achieving what is needed to be achieved. That is another thing I’m grateful about in this game.
However, don’t get me wrong, speeding is a great idea, but it doesn’t mean one can’t pay attention to the financial and other data, as it may end up going down verse up in earning, people coming into the park, or even just everything that could go wrong and needs to be repaired to keep the park thriving. Thankfully, this additional speed feature allows you the ability to pause the game if need be and do some adjustments. It also allows you to continue at a normal speed, pick it up a bit quicker and go to a super-fast pace that will help you get to a timespan you need to accomplish a task or just to get the day or a few over sooner. No matter the purpose, it’s a wonderful feature that really comes in handy. Especially during the normal career mode.
One last thing that I really enjoyed most about this game is that there are three additional features in one section of the main menu. This really caught my attention and I am considering it to be one giant plus towards why this game is awesome! The first of the three is the ability to design one’s, own member or guest. Not many details can be changed by clothing, but the rest from 3 different ages; a child, teen, or adult stage of life and the sex type; female or male can be adjusted. Also, like a simulation game, you can even play around with the hairstyle and color. The only thing is that it’s only a bit limited as mentioned above with the clothing style, yet there is the ability to change the design or color to make it appear original from one another.
The second out of these three additions is the ability to construct your own rollercoaster. Now, this is just awesome! There is no price limit, you can make it as big and unique as you’d like. The only problem to come with this is that if your architectural design is not quite right, it may end up not running properly. Some common issues I’ve come to realize when trying is that the slope may be a bit steep going up, right after taking off from the starting point or there is not enough speed to get the vehicles to get up the rollercoaster. Therefore, you may have the same issue that happened to me, the ride might just have you going backward or nowhere as a result. At least there is that chance to test the ride before saving or accepting it as a ride to keep and use during actual gameplay.
Nevertheless, the way we players style or personalize the rides, in this creative mode is fully up to us. Allowing all the enjoyment to create as we would like to if given a chance in a real-life. That’s already very amazing and something worth playing around with! Who knows, we might just all be very great rollercoaster designers and this can be a good way to see for sure!
Now the third creative option that is also very original from any other theme park games I’ve played before, which I’m also loving is the ability to create one’s own decorative features for the park. You can save it in a file and have the ability to add a large or small combined decorative design when you like. Just as you can with the two mentioned above. As an example of this creative option, if you wanted to put a dinosaur with trees and bushes in a gated fence for the guest coming into the park to enjoy, well you can! Plus, much more.
This allows you the ability to have premade designs for the park and even the sandbox mode, with less creating needed to be done as it’s saved and can be reused as often as needed. This and the last two mentioned are one other reason to love this game! Especially, the reason why I love the game way more!
Of course, as it might have seemed as if I only have generous words to say about this game. It’s almost like it’s my dream game which I’ve wanted to play and no others could ever compare. However, I can’t say it’s all wonderful and must confess that there are a few negative aspects of the game that would really cause one to feel a bit confused and distracted by the graphics, especially if the game has all these wonderful and new features, why not make the character design a little more realistic as well!
The first issue I came across is that the game might come off odd when nighttime hits. The night goes quite fast, but when it does, it isn’t as clear to see much of anything and appears a bit dark. Not much light to see the amusement park at night. I figure adding some lamps would help, even if there are a few. Yet it’s so quick in the beginning that it goes quite fast and not as clear as I was hoping even in that small amount of time. It’s a little strange and even with a normal speed of time, it just feels a bit less realistic and I’d love to capture some images at night. It would have been a better graphic adjustment with the lighting at night.
Also, let me squeeze this in and say if the character graphics could be improved, that would be nice too! They appear not super clear, but a very classic appeal from like when Playstation came out and the character’s graphics looked similar to this. However, it’s not that bad, just why not upgrade what you see a bit and not just add so much nice features to the game. At least the rides look amazing!
The second negative aspect is that the game has so many controls. Remember I had mentioned there was something that frustrated me a little about the controls, this is where I explain that issue. Since each way to control an object reuses the same buttons mapped on the controller. This can just get to be a bit confusing sometimes. Therefore, one must learn a bit of how too, before speeding through or hoping to achieve the career goals. Also, this is where I would suggest that the player use the pause speed option. It gives the player a chance to construct and do what needs to be done, like practice the buttons while nothing is moving; time sits still till you start the moving time speed.
At least, the player is taught how to work with the controller while playing the game with the tutorial mode left on. Each skill to use a new feature in this game is well explained. Practically, each time you open a new object to add to the theme park or try something new, which you’ve never tried doing or selecting before, the tutorial mode will tell you what buttons to press and how to use them correctly. Thankfully, if you aren’t a newbie, no worries cause there is a selection in the main menu to turn this option off and on if need be. Since I know how boring it can be to have the repetitive tutorial info appear when you’ve played or know what needs to be done. There is also plenty of other things that can be adjusted, which is a pleasure too.
I guess that would be the only problem I came upon. Maybe the ability to play the music being added to a ride, allowing us to hear test it; hear it ahead of time before adding it would have been nice. Yet, it’s fine, I’m still pleased with the game. So I honestly don’t have much to complain about or really anything that made me feel let down. Everything was quite stunning and brings back memories of playing that PC version at my Aunt’s house during the summer. Yet this one is so much nicer and highly upgraded and fully entertaining on my Nintendo Switch Lite
Lastly, I would like to say what can be more appealing to a tycoon or sim-style gamer than the ability to have access to change and do anything you want! Without limit to how creative or unique the park you want to own can look just done in right from your own mind, put together in hours. Also, it’s a game that can be played in so many ways and replayed over and over, the fun never ends! This is the main reason why I love it and I just can’t stop playing around with my rollercoaster amusement theme park, I LOVE IT!