by William Thompson
reviewed on 3DS
Unfortunately, this version is extremely limited compared to past versions and I was really quite disappointed with it. First off, there is no management of the parks finances at all – none whatsoever. I’m not even sure why there is a budget at all, as you can’t set prices for anything. It’s just a matter of build what you want and money will come in.
The other management-type function that is missing is the research function – there is no need to place funds into developing new rides, as they’re all available from the get-go. Once you’ve built all the desired rides once, there is little incentive to build anything else. There’s also no indicators from your customers as to what they like and dislike, Instead, you are sent messages from the old guy from the tutorial. I would really have loved to know how they felt about my rollercoaster that hits 88mph (nope, no Back to the Future Easter eggs here).
Otherwise, the game plays similarly to other Rollercoaster (or City Builders, for that matter) games. Simply search through the menus and select the ride or facility you require and place it down where you’d like. Unfortunately sometimes I tried to place items down where the mini-map showed a free space for it. But for some reason, the game would not allow me to do so. Upon looking at the main screen, I could they see why… there was an object already there, it just didn’t show up in the map.
I also had some issues with drawing paths. Nearly every time I drew a path, the corners of the path would not appear until I went over the square a couple of times, sometimes having to extend the path before it worked and then deleting the excess. It was these sorts of bugs that frustrated me, not because they were annoying, but because simple things like this should have been fixed prior to release.
Ups and downs
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D isn’t all bad news though. The first person view when on the rides is quite good, especially when your park has been built up somewhat. As mentioned earlier, when riding a coaster that reaches a great height, it enables you to view your whole park in all its glory. There is a sense of pride in viewing your park in 3D from atop a rollercoaster and the hurtling towards the ground with the wind in your face.
The interface icons are all explained in the tutorial (Story Mode), but if you decided to jump right into the Sand Box or Coaster Creator Modes, you may struggle to work out what each of the icons represents. As mentioned earlier, I would seriously suggest that even experienced Rollercoaster Tycoon gamers go through at least part of the Story Mode prior to doing anything else just so they know what each icon indicates.
Not worth the ticket price
In all, if you are looking for a watered down portable version of a RollerCoaster Tycoon game where you design park layouts, then RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D will suffice. If you are after something a bit more managerial as well as the design, then you may have to go back to your PC. As it stands, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D is akin to a Facebook game such as Farmville or Cityville but set in a fun park theme. The visuals look nice in the 3D environment and it is certainly enjoyable to view your creations in a first person 3D mode. But the issue with the paths and disappearing facilities on the mini map show a distinct lack of polish. Maybe the game is just made for a younger crowd. Maybe my expectations are just too high.
3D effects are cool. Viewing your park from the top of a Rollercoaster is great.
No managerial skills required and a number of visual bugs.