Sorry for missing yesterday, but due to the holiday I was distracted from developing content.

This week’s game is an ‘old’ favorite of mine: Roller Coaster Tycoon.

Roller Coaster Tycoon was one of the first games of the Tycoon Game explosion of the early 2000s and remains one of the best of the entire genre.  Roller Coaster tycoon was Chris Sawyer’s second successful venture into the business management genre of games (The first being Transport Tycoon).  However, far from being a simple business management game, Roller Coaster tycoon also featured a very good roller coaster simulation engine.

Roller Coaster Tycoon (and the two expansion packs) featured a semi-sandbox style play.  The premise is that you’re the owner of a theme park and you need to make it successful.  To do this you have to place rides, build walkways, add shops, hire staff, and handle a lot of the other management tasks that are involved in running a theme park. There were a variety of levels that came with the game, each one with certain victory conditions that needed to be met to unlock later levels.  These victory conditions were predominantly linked to having a successful business given the scenario set out by the level.  Usually this involved having a certain part rating and a certain number of park visitors after 2 or 3 game years.  Scenarios were varied from not really having any constraints to not being able to build more than a few meters above the ground, not being able to dig up any ground, not being able to delete any trees, etc.  So long as you operated within the bounds of the scenario, how you achieved the victory conditions was up to you.  If you finished all the levels in the original game, you were given access to the Mega Park sandbox level,  which was just a big lot to create whatever roller coaster park you wanted.

But, the real reason you play the game is to design roller coasters.  Roller Coaster Tycoon featured a very easy to use (and pretty slick for the time) roller coaster building engine.  Not only would the engine allow you to build your roller coaster, but after you were done, you could do a trial run where you could analyze the physical properties of your coaster in order to determine how ridable it is.

Roller Coaster Tycoon is easily my favorite business management simulator game, and is probably one of my favorite games to come out of the late 90s.  Now I kinda want to dig it out and play it some more.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?

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