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RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Atari, Inc.
Developer: n-Space, Inc.
Style(s): Business Sim
Synopsis: Inspired by 1999's best-selling computer game, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D has you managing a theme park with custom-designed roller coasters. Design death-defying attractions with the touch-screen interface, and then complete various challenges in the all-new "Coaster Story" mode. In each Coaster Story, you'll create a character and travel to destinations around the world, trying to expand your business. Along the way, you'll be able to unlock new themes, amenities, attractions, and more. Also included is an open-ended "Park Sandbox" mode, allowing you the freedom to build your park as you see fit. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
Package Contents: 40-page Instruction Manual
One of Atari's long-neglected properties makes a surprising return on Nintendo 3DS, offering players an opportunity to construct and manage their own theme park from a view high above the attractions. While the original RollerCoaster Tycoon was released in 1999 on PC, this handheld version scales back many of the features that made the computer game a blockbuster hit. Those looking for depth will find it, but it's limited to the system's 3D slider. While the game includes a story and sandbox mode, the latter letting you design your own park with the option of an unlimited budget, there are several restraints placed on your creativity. Instead of building a sprawling resort to rival Disney, you'll have to keep a watchful eye on how many rides, buildings, and paths you create, which all count against your park's cap. You'll soon realize why a cap is in place once you start expanding; the frame rate takes a hit when there is too much activity on the screen, so the game isn't well optimized for the handheld. Another significant issue for those new to the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise is the lack of a proper tutorial mode. Instead of including the first park as an introduction to the game, the developers have instead thrown together a series of lessons that don't go much beyond describing the buttons and what they're used for. The majority of hands-on activities simply involve tapping the next button to read more text. None of the content adequately explains how to construct a roller coaster, and since the button icons are somewhat obtuse, players will have to learn on their own through trial and error. Learning on your own is made more difficult with the user interface, which is a poor use of the system's touch screen. Tap one of the buttons positioned along the right margin and another series of buttons will appear along the bottom of the screen, with no text to indicate what they represent. You have to tap each one to figure out what does what, and even then, there's not a helpful system in place to guide you through the process of building your park. You can't simply tap on the terrain to access building options, using the stylus to drag and drop objects or rotate them. Instead, all actions are clumsily tied to on-screen buttons. Thus, the process of building a coaster is often frustrating, since there isn't detailed feedback. You have a choice of different corkscrew loops, for instance, and other track sections, but there's no way to gauge the height of what you're building. If you can't connect your coaster near the end of the building process, you have to start over since the editing function is unwieldy and slow. It's better to plan a series of simpler designs until you get the hang of how the system works, but even then you'll find the game has trouble supporting more than two roller coasters simultaneously. It's a shame the game suffers from such technical issues, because it could have been an entertaining title for those who like to build things. The game offers 44 different coaster types, 36 other ride options, and an assortment of gift shops, food and drink stands, signs, statues, boulders, fountains, shrubs, and trees. There are also five different themes, including horror, fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, and Atari, with the latter offering such whimsical items as a Warlords bench, Circus Atari animatronic, Breakout fence, and Yars' Revenge shrub, among others. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D also includes some interesting platform-specific features, such as the ability to ride your created coaster with a nifty 3D effect as well as incorporate your Miis as park VIPs. Ultimately, however, the game feels more like a puzzle title than a management sim, where you'll spend more time deciphering cryptic buttons and managing an unwieldy interface than you will building your park. Younger players will likely give up in frustration, while more patient fans of the computer series will be disappointed with how many customization features have been simplified or outright eliminated in order for the game to work on the handheld. Even with the concessions, it doesn't work all that well. It's a rocky ride in desperate need of maintenance. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide
the game requires Joystick/Gamepad.