RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Title: RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures
Developer:  Nvizzio Creations Inc.
Publisher: Atari
Website:http://www.rollercoastertycoon.com/adventures/
Genre:Strategy, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Everyone – Comic Mischief
Release Date: 13/12/2018
Price: £44.19– Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.

What the Developers say

Adventure and family fun await! Build over 120 wacky rides, coasters, shops and more.

In RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures, players have three distinct game modes to build their entertainment empire — Adventure Mode (a spin on the classic Campaign mode), tricky Scenarios and the open Sandbox. Over 120 wonderfully wacky rides, restaurants, and shops ensure parks burst with eye-catching action, and the intuitive coaster builder lets players create wild, death-defying coasters with ease. Four unique themed environments, along with water and terrain options, ensure every park is distinct and exciting. A streamlined simulation and game economy allow players of all ages and skill levels to build the park of their dreams. Play it on your TV or on-the-go — becoming a RollerCoaster Tycoon has never been easier!

Introduction

While many of my school friends were playing RollerCoaster Tycoon on the PC in the late 1990s, my allegiances lay with Theme Park on the Sony PlayStation. Although I often admired it from afar, the lack of a decent PC in my household meant I could do little more than watch over their shoulder as my mates played RollerCoaster Tycoon whenever I visited their houses.

With a sheltered childhood without a ‘gaming PC’ as it were, the tone was set for my teenage years, and I became a fully-fledged console gamer. As such, any future iterations passed me by for the most part. That is, of course, until the introduction of mobile Tycoon games, some of which were fantastically faithful reiterations of the classics of old, while others were better left untouched. My fear when reviewing RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures on the Nintendo Switch was that it was going to be more of the latter. Read on to see if my concerns were justified with my Rapid Review!

Looks and Sounds

The screenshot above is almost a picture-perfect representation of how I visualise RollerCoaster Tycoon when I think of it in my mind, and fortunately, it does not disappoint on the Nintendo Switch. In both handheld and docked, it has all the vibrancy and charm one would associate with the Atari-published heavyweight and I enjoyed watching my park grow and the visitors interacting with it.

Equally, as pleasing was the soundtrack, which, without offering mind-blowing audio or revolutionary sounds, was pitched just right, Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures had me eating out of the bowl of its candyfloss stall in the early stages of my playthrough.

First impressions are always unreliable…

Gameplay and Replayability

Now, it is with a heavy heart that I report that my delight was somewhat shortlived. Although steeped in customisation and park development opportunities, there seemed to be something lacking while I was busy playing the tutorials, and this extended into the main game itself.

Initially, I could not put my finger on it. The signs were fantastic: the tutorial was detailed and enjoyable, offering many an opportunity to learn more about the different tools available, the intricacies of park management, and all the various ways you can enhance and develop your main attractions. At the time of playing the tutorial, I was convinced it was everything I had hoped it would be, and then some.

It was only when I moved on to the other game modes available, ‘Adventure’, ‘Scenario’ and ‘Sandbox,’ did it feel a little cumbersome and uninventive. There is always an argument for the good ol’ ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ and I can certainly vouch for that in some gaming circumstances. However, it dawned on me after ample time playing the ‘Adventure’ and ‘Scenario’ gameplay modes, which I will discuss below, that it was much of the same with just a change of aesthetics.

The ‘Adventure’ mode allows you to ‘fulfil your destiny and become a true Tycoon!’ Here, you will build a park from the ground up and make decisions that affect the outcome of your story. You can select from one of four maps, be it a field surrounded by rolling hills and lush evergreens or a marvellous moon where technology has ushered in a new era for amusement parks. After a considerably long loading screen, presumably allowing for the empty map to be loaded, you are presented with a blank canvas and a modest budget to begin building. Elements of the landscape are locked and require a level increase before you can expand the land. You have a limited number of rides and attractions to build, with the rest available upon completion of research.

The second mode on offer is the aptly named ‘Scenario’ option, which allows you to complete short challenges in a variety of parks before the timer runs out. It was here that I felt the game showed its cards, with what some would consider as lazy game design comes into play in the form of in-game objectives. For example, the three levels of achievement had the following goals:

  • Level 1: Have 15 junior rides in your park and a park value of 70,000;
  • Level 2: Have 20 junior rides in your park and a park value of 95,000;
  • Level 3: Have 30 junior rides in your park and a park value of 110,000.

Of course, I understand the concept, and individually, there is nothing inherently wrong with the objectives. Collectively, however, I found the goals did little to motivate me, and I was happy to have just met the first set of objectives before moving on.

The third and final game mode is the ‘Sandbox’, with a unique selling point of an empty park with no set goals or distractions. Starting this game mode offers you the same four maps to choose from as the ‘Adventure’ mode – another example of how it could become quite stale quite quickly. What makes this mode a little more interesting is you can either access the ‘creative’ mode which allows you to build a park with unlimited funds and all items unlocked, or the ‘career’ mode which offers the chance to climb the career ladder at your own pace.

You can be forgiven for thinking I may have gotten this review wrong. On the surface there is a lot of content on offer here: a tutorial that is almost spot on regarding delivery, a fantastic control scheme (the touchscreen makes a welcome introduction here), and decent graphics. For all it offers, it is missing the inventiveness to keep things interesting for any significant length of time, and as a simulation game, that is unforgiving.

Conclusion

Recent exposure to strategy sims that are detailed, immersive and brimming with personality, titles such as RollerCoaster Tycoon can no longer rely on tired and tested gameplay mechanics to make sales. Equally, the success of indie titles on the Nintendo Switch has demonstrated that game and publisher notoriety alone is not enough. It feels that in recent years, us gamers have become more demanding of publishers to offer content that is fresh, engaging and creative, and in my humble opinion, RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures falls short.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

3 out of 5 stars

You can purchase RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures at the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/RollerCoaster-Tycoon-Adventures-1477540.html

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