If I was to write a list of games I loved as a kid in the 90’s RollerCoaster Tycoon would make the list pretty quickly. I remember spending many hours at a time playing the game which involves building and managing a theme park on a much older desktop computer running Windows 98.
It is now some 15 years since the release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and the iPhone I hold in my hand today is much more powerful than my old computer. So when Atari released a full original port of the game to iOS allowing me to play the game I loved so much from my iPhone or iPad it was like a dream come true.
For the last few weeks, I have played the game on my 12.9-inch iPad Pro and wanted to put together some thoughts for a quick review.Right up I realised it is exactly identical to the original game so I was quickly able to get into the game. I feel the fact the game is unchanged is a big reason as to why I have spent hours playing, it does not feel like a modern mobile game which are usually designed for short bursts of gameplay. This can be played for hours at a time, or a short time – either way the game syncs and saves to iCloud.
All the original parks, rides, scenarios, and even the ability to create custom roller coaster layouts and adjust the landscape are there, so is the all important park management from controlling and hiring staff, building park facilities, and managing financials, litter, vandalism, rides breaking down, and so on.
Controlling rides and the park itself does mean a lot of information needs to be viewed through menus and windows, and at times are quite busy with information and buttons – I would suggest it is much better on a larger iPad screen over an iPhone.I expected the game to look quite pixelated and not made well for the giant iPad Pro display but I was proved wrong, although it does look pixelated if you zoom in too much the game generally looks sharp and quite good. The game fills to every edge of the screen and has 4 view perspectives because of the 2D style.
It has not been completely perfect, though. I don’t remember it being so easy for my park to be vandalised despite hiring many security guards. There was also a crashing bug for quite a while which prevented me from playing the game, that has been fixed in an update.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic is available from the App Store priced at A$9.99 which at first seems high, but, at that price you get the full game with no ads, and you can play it offline.