Ever wanted to design and build your own theme park? Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D is probably the closest you might ever come.
The Tycoon series have been renown for their simple approach and deep economic management features, and the franchise finally hits Nintendo 3DS after a spat of delays. So how does it add up? Is running a theme park on your Nintendo 3DS all that it’s cracked up to be?
There isn’t much to be said about the story in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D — you’re either a guy or a girl who dreams of owning a themepark and making the world’s most awesome roller coaster. This simple and tacked on plot is played out by laboriously long written sequences, but there is a couple of cheesy jokes thrown in that will remind you the game doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Presentation is the biggest issue in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D so I’ll get it out of the way quickly. If I didn’t know better, I would guess the game was originally designed as an eShop-only download title. The menus feel cheap, the way the story rolls along is annoying more than anything and simple elements like placing items on the touchscreen can be confusing.
Luckily, though, this is a game you will happily sink hours into and these little annoyances soon vanish, though the ability to save your game mid-challenge would have been nice.
Challenges is how you progress through the game — you might have to build a certain type of attraction, or make a certain amount of money. Some are fun, others feel like work but that’s to be expected. The game is about money management, after all.
The economics side of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D is questionably simplistic — gone is any ability to have full control over things like food stand prices and the like. While this does speed up gameplay, fans of the genre might feel a little cheapened by it. On the other hand, there is quite a lot to manage in your theme parks that you feel very satisfied with the amount of tasks you’re looking after anyway.
The day-to-day operations of your theme parks will involve building paths and attractions, including the design of your own roller coasters which you’re able to share with friends, and keeping crowds happy. You will be expected to hire staff and tell them exactly what to do, such as which route guards should patrol. This is very cool and it’s also a load of fun watching the theme park customers interact with the park.
Players are able to design, build and even ride their own roller coasters. There are a lot of customisation options here including a camera which will take your real photo using the inside Nintendo 3DS camera as you ride the roller coaster. Some crazy attractions can be built with all kinds of track types, you’ll have a blast getting to work.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D is a solid management game that packs in the fun and looks great where it counts. The Campaign mode is the least enjoyable of the whole package, but in the grand scheme of things will probably be the mode you spend the least amount of time in. While more could be done with presentation, there are literally hours to be lost in Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D is very well suited to the handheld Nintendo 3DS. Fans of the genre should definitely give it a serious consideration.