on 17 May 2005
The graphics on this game are amazing. The park looks real (even the trees blow in the wind) which solves my biggest criticism of the previous two versions of this game which were very two dimensional. You can zoom in really close and actually see your peeps walking around the park. I agree with one of the reviewers who said that they tend to congregate on the main path and don't always use the rides because of path placement. This makes the game much harder than the previous versions, but that's no bad thing. Having said all that, be wary if you have an older PC or monitor. The outstanding graphics mean your hardware has to be fairly up-to-date just to play it and so does your monitor. I had a monitor that was a few years old and it couldn't cope with this game at all.
on 17 October 2004
(based on demo release and previous 2 games + expansions)
First there was Transport Tycoon, then Theme Park (from Bullfrog) and then came Rollercoster Tycoon 1 - which pre-empted many of the other tycoon style games. It was innovative, it was addictive, and most of all it was fun. Next came two expansions - which certainly increased your choices and did improve the game. It looked like nothing could go wrong.
But then came RCT 2 and its two poorly developed and thought out expansions - which despite all the hype did very little to improve on the original. In fact many fans (including myself) thought much of it was a backward rather than forward step.
Now, after many months of waiting comes RCT 3. With a totally new engine and new approach to the look and feel of the game. Whilst attempting to keep a lot of the favoured play style elements firmly rooted in its core.
This time it looks like they sat back and listened to the fans - they have included both night and day, fireworks, and a sandbox mode (free build).
The game still follows it's tycoon ideals, taking you through Theme Park management, almost to micromanagement levels. Rides are placed in a similar fashion to the old games, and you still have to think where you want to place each item in relation to park management (A hot dog stall next to the the whirley vomit spinner is just asking for a plethora of pavement pizza). You hire and fire staff, but now you can also train them up, and determine their payscale (Sorry Bob, no pay rise this year).
And now, you not only place your money grabbing side stalls, but you also control details down to the extras given with each item. (you want ketchup on that hot dog? You got it, but I reserve the right to charge you 20p more for it).
But it is the coasters that everyone wants in this game. (Isn't it?) And you can either plonk down ready made ones - or design your own, (including a nifty auto complete function, if your getting fed up) Then test and run them - If you don't know how to do any of this, a series of step by step tutorials are present to guide you through, until you get the hang of the new controls.
But now, thanks to the new 3d engine, you can also ride your rides and see just how that 'Looping Demon' you just created is from the peeps perspective. And not just the coasters you can jump in for a 1st person view of anything from the Teacup Merry Go Round to the Latest Dive Bomber Spin Frenzy. Each with its own customisable theming, and music - including MP3 import - so now you can not only terrify your guests with Dive Bomb Frenzy, you can finish off your latest evil design with Limp Bizkit or Donny Osmand (now that should really get them regurgitating their lunch)
And talking of guests, thanks to Frontier's involvement on this development, you no longer have 200 little clones of Johnny B, you have parties of Male & Female in every ages size and colour you can think of, bringing with them their own preferences.
Park theming appears to follow full park methods, including triggered events and objects that animate as you coaster reaches a certain point.
And if you get fed up with all that, you can spend your time using the inbuilt fireworks creator, trying to synch a display to 'Ride the Lightning' or the 1812 overture.
All in all, it looks like Roller Coaster Tycoon has returned to being what it was best at, A fun Game. The only reason I did not give it 5 Stars - Is because (as I said at the start) this is on the demo, rather than full version, so overall limitations etc., were not aproachable. (i.e. just how much I can cram in one space without my PC falling over).
Lastly, to take full advantage of the many wonderful 3d textures and camera actions in this new game, is naturally going to demand a lot from your PC, namely, if your box is a couple of years old and straining at the seams, you are going to have to turn off many of the higher features to get it to run smoothly, but such is the price of modern gaming tech everywhere. Personally I found it to run as smoothly as a heavily greased sausage down a soap sud slalom, even on max, but then I have a PC that it should've done, and even the demo appeared to have a selectable config that would backtrak in resoloution and feature in an attempt to accomadate all but the new dinosaurs in the PC world (which is about 18 months these days).
on 13 March 2005
Transport tycoon and locomotion were out dated, zoo tycoon gave me no real interaction, and I wont get started on the lesser trucks and trains/railroad/airport tycoon.
Really, the only tycoon games that gave me real entertainment were the roller coaster tycoon games. And this new addition is by far the best.
The graphics are smooth and are something that you can never get bored of. Much more detail has gone into the guests, who all look different and at least have there own name instead of "Guest 100023456". The park feels so much more realistic and is more flexible to play about with. Using the terrain tools are a bit tricky at first since the land isnt just squares anymore. But once you get the hang of it its almost like Sim City's god mode in a park. Infact the only thing you cant do are cliffs, ironically the only thing you could make on the original versions.
There are tonnes more rides that all seem to be based on a real ride somewhere in the world (whoever said that most of them were made up should get a kicking!) and making them has never been easier. The biggest advance being the autocomplete function that puts and end to fiddling around with the last bit of track, trying to get it to connect with the station. A new feature is the building builder function which lets you design your own buildings. This can be a little time consuming if you dont have a clear image of what you are making or what purpose it will serve, but it is still quite wonderful to add yet something else that you made to your park.
The coaster cam couldve been better. Infact, on the official website the coaster cam is amazing, but in the actual game it lacks any realistic graphics to give you any amazment or thrill. The position of the camera never feels like its in the right place, wherever you put it and the screams of the peeps is just plain scary. But it is still a neat little feature that is there if you want it.
The only thing that lets this game down is the actions of the peeps. The crowd move so slowly around the park that it is a little irritating and they seem to stick to a main pathway or open space, not bothering to go down another pathway where all your rollercoasters and amazing attractions were placed. Infact, the main thing that determines if you make a profit is where you place the que line, which is just plain stupid.
One review was titled "Good, but lots of bugs" or something along those lines. I have seen only one bug; Sometimes the roller coaster's intensity ratings drop to "low" for no real reason when it clearly has 100 massive drops and some brain churning turns. When this happens, the peeps dont want to know the ride, and so it falls into dissuse and costs alot of money. Its a silly bug that should be fixed in some patch sometime.
Having critisised the game a little, I am still going to give it 5 stars because it dosnt actually deserve half the critisism it is getting. The two points I nagged at are things that can be fixed and it is highly likely they will be with the arrival of a new add on I am sure to get. Most fans of the original won't be put down, its just the picky ones that are used to the olden days that will be dissapointed.
Well it's here and I've played it quite alot. RCT 3 is simply good clean fun and it has alot of what game manufacturers forget about, and that is simply PLAYABILITY.
If you have played the earlier versions then it is a massive update - but the gameplay is still remarkably similar so it's very easy to get started. If you haven't played then the tutorials are very well presented and you should be up and running in no time.
I agree that there were a few teething problems with the game when it first came out - but it's not a massive blow to have to downoad a patch as I always do this routinely with any software I buy anyway.
You can choose to play a structure career through a number of parks - some of which are very difficult and some of which are very easy - or you can choose to create your own scenario, or play in an unlimited enviroment (sandbox mode) where money and size are NOT a problem - and you can even simply sit there are design new roller coaters if you wish!
This game is good fun and doesn't involve destrying the enemy, for a change - but after a while it does get a bit repetative (but only after you've probably nearly finished the game).
You do NOT need a super computer to run this game on (unlike what some of the other reviews state) I have an Athlon 1800+ 1GB Ram and a Radeon 9600 (so hardly a cutting edge computer) and it plays erfectly - obviously I dont have ALL the graphics options on but is that a problem?
Personally I like it and I'm giving it 8/10.
on 28 March 2007
At time of purchase of RCT3 i was presently supprised with how good the game looked, in comparision to its earlier version RCT2, and to many other games i own. The graphic are the main feature of this game, and was pleased to say, done very well.
However, the reason for not giving it 5 stars is due to the fact that Atari have spent to long on the graphics and not on the gameplay. There are many bugs in the game (only really fixed by the addon packs; more money). The game actually features less rides than RCT2, and does not have the abbility of customising allready made parks (like Six Flags), which was a nice feature to RCT2.
However, saying that RCT3 offers hours of gameplay and enjoyment. A must have, but be prepared to spend money on at least one of the addon packs.
If you feel like a change from the death and destruction that is a prominent feature of most modern computer games, or you already love this kind of management game, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is for you.
For the first time in a game of its type, we have a fully-fledged 3D engine, and Frontier have put it to very good use. The first time you go into Coastercam and ride the 'coasters yourself (or any other ride you build), a stupid great grin spreads across your face as the sheer brilliance of the feature hits home. It certainly makes the hours you have spent painstakingly putting your rollercoaster together worthwhile. There are also plenty of lighting and water effects, birds flying overhead, fully animated peeps (your customers), a camera that pans, tilts and zooms in and out, full terrain deformation, night & day effects and even weather. Brilliant stuff.
As with the previous games in the series, RCT3 is a theme park management game. It's core is the scenario-based career mode, in which you are placed in charge of an already up and running park and charged with meeting certain objectives of increasing difficulty. These can involve earning so much money from shop sales, increasing the number of visitors, building certain rides and many more. They are quite varied from park to park. Successful completion of an objective opens up access to new scenarios, rides and the like.
The brief tutorials get you going, but time spent with the manual and with game guides and forums for the game is time well spent. RCT3 is, under the shiny and happy surface, a complicated game and all the better for it. As well as the easy satisfaction of placing great rides and making people happy, you also have to turn a profit and keep improving in all areas. Hours can just slip away without even noticing as this delicate balancing act requires a lot of dedication.
RCT3 is not too hard on the player though. You are often given plenty of warning of upcoming problems, so if you want to spend most of your time designing great park layouts, with beautiful scenery and thrilling rides, you can. The business side is always there as you need to make money to invest, but it doesn't keep bashing you over the head in the way of older games such as Theme Park. It's not a cynical game, it is keen to place the emphasis on keeping peeps happy rather than fleecing money from them. Apart from the brilliant ATMs you can put in there when they run low on cash...!
The Sandbox mode gives you the opportunity to build a park with no financial constraints, you can even attempt to re-create real-life parks. This is good fun, although personally I find the lack of pressure on you to keep the park successful takes some of the edge off.
Rollercoaster design is one of the game's coolest features, but it can also be hard work. Hours can be spent putting together the perfect 'coaster. If you are in a hurry, happily there are a lot of pre-designed 'coasters you can plonk into your park with ease.
Other great features include the Peep Designer, where you can create your own groups of peeps who will visit your parks. Place photo spots on paths and rollercoasters and they will even take pictures, which are stored as JPEGs on your PC. You can even use the included Photo Story 3 application to produce a form of slideshow of your peeps' visit. You can import your own music to play on rides and items of scenery or even rides themselves that other players have designed.
There are a few problems: sometimes you cannot place a path or ride and there is no clear reason until you fiddle with scenery or terrain for some time to get it level and clear enough; some of the pre-built 'coasters do not work properly without tinkering and finally make sure you download the latest patches as they fix some pretty fundamental issues.
There is always so much to do and plan ahead for, that RCT3 has loads of playability. The fact that it looks and sounds great too makes it a fantastic package. It does require a reasonably powerful PC to see in all its glory, but it is well, well worth it.
on 18 April 2005
This game is much, much better than the previous couple of rollercoaster tycoon games. I had a lot more enjoyment and i was on it all the time (that may sound a little sad).
There are loads more rollercoaters and shops and the fireworks are great. A huge variety of different people come to your park. It is way more fun and challenging. I certainly recommend it!
on 8 November 2004
I got this game from Amazon on the day of release- they were very quick! The game itself is great, although slower pc's might have a few problems. Even though mine is quite new- I had to build a fairly medium sized park, but I expect future patches will address the teething problems. Other than that- perfect. It's quirky, fun and highly addictive. If you like The Sims, and Zoo Tycoon, this is like a mix of the two.
Each of the patrons (Peeps) have their own personality and the micro management is intense! Right down to how much cheese you can put on the burgers on the stalls. There are loads of rides, stalls and buildings to place in your park.
For most people the most significant change in this latest in the series is the ability to jump on the rides and see what your patrons are experiencing with the new coastercam!
You can tell the developers have done something so simple, yet not all of them do it- listen to what people want! Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 delivers that alright, and there are talks of expansion packs later on, so the fun keeps on growing..
Finally be prepeared to use up hours, even days on this...it really is that good.
on 6 November 2004
...I've been waiting for this game for a long time and has now finally arrived. From previously owning RCT1 and 2 this game is just 100% best pc game of all time. In addition, a new fireworks mixmaker lets players create pyrotechnic masterpieces and synchronize them to music using pre-set in-game songs or selections from their own music files. And, as with all the other customizable elements like exchanging rides and people, in addition, RCT3 will also include the ability to assign music from the player's own library to rides in the park. RCT3, developed by Frontier Developments, Ltd. of Cambridge, England, is a complete update for the franchise with stunning 3D graphics and the ability to see the park from the eyes of a guest and ride the rides with the new CoasterCam feature. I admit that this game is harder than the other RCT's for example, just like a real park, you'll get inspectors walking round your park undercover to check your rides & catering are in good working order so always keep one step ahead of the inspectors.
So don't be afraid to purchase this unforgetable game which will keep you occupied for ages. Believe me, you won't ever want to leave the computer ever again. Why not check out the official RCT3 website to test the rides yourself and meet some of the characters at: [...]
on 6 November 2004
In my opinion, I think the producers of the roller coaster tycoon series have out-done themsevles this time. I've played the demo of this game and the game play is brill!! The controls are almost exactly the same as in the other roller coaster tycoon games (for those who have played them) but there are loads more new features. You can create stunning fireworks displays with a new fireworks designer and sequences them to the music. You can now ride your rides that you have built in your own park, you can even zoom right down to ground level and walk through your park as if you were a guest at it. For those of you that have not played any roller coaster tycoon games before, this game is about building your own theme park. You can build your own roller coasters or build a ready made one. You have to hire staff like cleaneers, mechanics, security guards and entertainers to keep your park spick and span. There are also many other rides to choose from such as a swinging ship, ferris wheels and even jet skiis!! And you can build food, drink and souvenier stands so your guests don't die of thirst or hunger. So I hope you have fun playing this game if you buy it.