I was provided with a complimentary copy of RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures for the PC to facilitate this review. This post contains affiliate links from which I’ll earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
I was about 15 years old when the original RollerCoaster Tycoon PC game was released (please don’t do the math!). I loved that game (and its future releases), along with some other 90’s-early 2000’s favorites like The Sims, Petz, Zoo Tycoon etc. When I wasn’t at school, doing homework, studying, or visiting the beach with friends, I was playing on the computer.
My kids have since joined me in playing The Sims 4 (holy cow – where has the time gone?), and I love that they can enjoy something I had so much fun with as a kid. My daughter’s now the age I was when I first got into the franchise, so it’s really fun to see it all come full circle.
You can imagine my excitement when I learned that Atari recently released a brand-new RollerCoaster Tycoon game for the PC called RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures. My inner child just about leaped out of my body. We usually take a small chunk of our weekends together playing games (computer, video, or board games) of some kind, so I knew that weekend was going to be all about the amusement park game.
My kids and I gathered up a bunch of information for this RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures review so you can decide for yourself if it’s something you want to try!
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures Review for PC
What do you do?
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is an amusement park simulator that builds upon the original version of the series with all-new graphics, rides, adventures, and ways to play. You can choose from pre-made scenarios that you need to follow to build your park or you can build one from scratch.
One of the new features I really like is the Choose Your Own Adventure events system. While you play, occasional questions will pop up with a couple of options for answers. Pick the one you want and something good or bad might happen to you. For example, I once got a negative result that decreased my visitors by 50% for one month, but another one gave me increased sales for 75 days from season passes. It’s a fun way to change up the game that wasn’t offered in previous versions.
Of course, you can always build your own roller coasters in RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures! Either choose from premade tracks to customize or build one from the ground up. The latter might be a bit complicated for younger kids but the tools make it a breeze for older kids and adults to handle.
You can also decorate your theme park with different terrain types, fences, foliage, fountains, and more, just like the real thing. Add decorations to your rides to keep your guests happy!
Here’s the official trailer for the Nintendo Switch version, but the PC version offers most of the same features:
Graphics and Playability
The graphics of RollerCoaster Tycoon weren’t bad at all at the time, but now they look a little harsh. Understandably, Atari gave a fresh update to the RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures graphics with a more lively, engaging feel. It’s not going to mirror what you’d expect from other simulators, like The Sims 4, but it’s certainly a welcome refresher.
As for playability and controls, it might take you a bit to get used to the new console. There are a couple of tutorials that you’d benefit from checking out that introduce you to the game and its controls. Once you go through these, you should be good to go on your own.
I have seen some hiccups throughout my play, like visitors complaining about a lack of rides even when it’s packed to the brim with the latest and greatest. I also can’t seem to ever get my Restaurant score above 80%. And I have the worst luck choosing good answers for events. I always get stuck with reduced visitors or sales. Overall, I’ll take a few weird things here and there because the charm of the game is still there at its finest.
One of the most important features of a game for me is long-term engagement. Will it be fun for more than a day? Can we continue to enjoy it and get our money’s worth? The original game provided hours upon hours of amusement for me, so I hoped this one would do the same.
I’m pleasantly surprised that, even as an adult, I can continue to have fun building and enjoying my theme parks. Since there are a few different modes of play and virtually countless ways to build your park, every game you start can be something new.
Playability for Kids
As someone who played the original RCT series when I was a teen, I looked forward to playing with my kids. However, I wasn’t sure if the new version was going to be more complicated or more user-friendly. Officially, it’s rated E for Everyone, which simply means that most ages can enjoy it.
After I played for a while, I found that some things were much easier than the original but others were a little more challenging. So, I sat my 7-year-old down to give it a test run:
The consensus? He definitely can play, but he needs a little help from me once in a while. Since my son’s still learning to read, he needs some help with text that pops up. Fortunately, there’s not much to read unless you love reading the thought bubbles from your visitors (I personally find them annoying!). But he does need help when events happen so he can choose the answer he likes.
Of course, the researching and financial aspect is a bit much for him, too, so I help with those features. For the most part, though, he’s able to play with a little support, which makes for some fun bonding time.
There’s nothing bad in the game, like violence or profanity, to concern yourself with. It’s wholesome, family-friendly fun that kids, teens, and parents can enjoy together.
If you love simulation games, you’re probably going to love RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures. After all, it’s based off one of the original simulation games for the PC and its many spin-offs. And, by all means, if you played the original, do yourself a favor and bathe in the nostalgia of the new version. Trust me. You can thank me later.
This game blends strategy, luck, and pure fun into a casual experience you and your kiddos can enjoy. It hasn’t quite worked out all its kinks, but I don’t know many games that have. Overall, it gives you exactly what it’s designed for: Creativity and amusement.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is available for both PC and Nintendo Switch, which you can purchase here.
Have you played any of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series? I’d love to hear your memories and your thoughts about the new game. Leave me a comment down below!
Amy is a mom of two, freelance writer, and blog manager who works with family-focused businesses to improve their content strategies. You can find her published work on Reader’s Digest Online, MSN, Niche, Frugal For Less, and other lifestyle publications.