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Roller Coaster Tycoon 3

   
 
RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
 

I've been playing Roller Coaster Tycoon since the original version came out years ago. The last version that came out was 3. Just as the title suggests, the object of the game is to build roller coasters. Well, actually, it is a little more than that. You build amusement parks, adding attractions, food and souvenir stalls, themed decorations, staff, and of course roller coasters. In normal play mode, you start with a small, existing park, and some money. You invest in new attractions, and try to build up your park. It can be a little tricky managing the money, since you have to pay for expenses of running the park. If you don't have enough maintenance people, your park become dirty with trash and puke, turning customers away. If a coaster or attraction is not popular enough, it can actually cost you money instead of earning it. Some times you have to adjust prices for your rides to either maximize your profit, or attract more customers to it with a lower price in order to stop it from losing money.

Expansion packs are available to Roller Coaster Tycoon 3. I happened to buy the Platinum version which included the Soaked! and the Wild! expansions in the package. Soaked offered water rides, themed decorations and swimming pools. Wild! gave you the ability to have animal exhibits, just like a zoo, and animal act attractions, as well as safari themed decorations. Of course, these additions add many costs and problems of their own. The animal exhibits require you to keep an appropriate number of animal keepers, the correct type of enclosure for the animals you have, the correct size and terrain for the animal type, as well as toys. Also, the number of animals kept together is of great importance. Too many, and the animals are unhappy and unhealthy, as well as too few. You also have to take into account animal breeding.

Although the normal play mode offers the most challenge, I find I prefer the sandbox mode. In this mode, you start out with a blank park and unlimited money. You are able to add hills, valleys, cliffs, lakes, rivers, even waterfalls to your park, before a single attraction is placed. Then, you can add whatever you want. I usually start with a few rides that are usually popular, and add one or two pre-designed coasters. Then, I build my own coasters. The challenge I enjoy the most is building a coaster that has a high excitement rating, with a low nausea rating. This usually takes a while to get the feel for. It is also fun to jump into the passenger view while you test your coaster. You get to virtually ride the roller coaster you just built. And if you build a successful coaster, you can save it and use it in other parks you build. Another fun element is that you can assign music to play at your coaster, and you are free to use your own MP3 songs. You just need to copy it into the correct Roller Coaster Tycoon folder. I've created dozens of parks, and several dozen coasters over the years. I will undoubtedly create many, many more.

 
Copyright © 2012 Tom A. Wright