When Rollercoaster Tycoon (RCT) appeared and brought us 3 great games between 1999 and 2004, it’s more realistic take on park management and greater level of detail and design pretty much killed off the “Theme Park” franchise, but after Frontier sued publishers Atari over RCT3 royalties, the park management genre was a little quiet until the amazing Planet Coaster appeared more than 10 years later in 2016.
Just as RCT had to Theme Park, Planet Coaster (created by the develoeprs of RCT3 – Fronteir) offered more detail, design and depth in what many see as the ultimate theme park management simulation and its fair to say RollerCoaster Tycoon has struggled like a Merry-Go-Round in a park full of advanced modern Rollercoasters.
Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe is an enhanced version of the 2018 release “Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures” which brings over 80 new rides, but otherwise sticks to the more simplistic approach of Adventures, which is seen as a “Console Spin-off” of the RCT franchise.
Rather than trying to further the genre (and compete directly with Planet Coaster) Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures keeps things simple, with straight forward controls, limited design and ultimately much less depth.
The game is mostly built around “Adventures” mode, a simple take on park management where you’ll start with an empty park and have to build it up while making a few yes or no decisions which impact your park such as taking a risk which might raise or lower the fun your guests are having at your park, there’s also scenario mode with 16 scenarios to work through and sandbox mode which offers creative for unparallelled freedom and career, which is very similar to adventures.
Whichever mode you jump into, the experience is very similar, place down a ride, make sure it’s connected to a path and it starts making money right away, there’s no queues to worry about and even setting the price gives you a straightforward result on whether it’s deemed good value or too expensive. You can place some decorative items, but rather than creating complex scenic areas, you feel like plonking one tree in the corner feels more than enough to please your guests.
There’s no making routes for entertainers and janitors, no adjusting salt levels on fries to make guests more thirsty, and no designing complex ride tracks that loop through each other (or surrounding scenery) so if you’re looking for a Planet Coaster competitor, you’re likely to feel dissapointed, but for anyone (especially younger games) wanting a more streamlined apparoch to creating your dream theme park, RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxes gives you that, and does a pretty good job of it.
There’s a simple charm to just being able to throw down a drop-tower and move on to a few food stalls… I’d easily take 20-30 minutes fine-tuning the ride and surrounding scenery on Planet Coaster but in the same time I’d placed another 4-5 rides, researched two more and placed food stalls, utilities and restaurants around a simple central water feature. Even when it came to placing my first Rollercoaster, rather than having to fine-tune every aspect to make sure it took up as little excess space as possible, I only had to worry about the entrance and keeping the tracks within park limits.
Progressing through the story of Adventures, as long as you’re placing new attractions to keep your customers coming in and paying for them, you continue to hit park goals, as the city expands your permit allowing you to research more rides and utilities for your park. You’ll occasionally get a pop-up giving you a decision to make, and while it was never clear if i’d made the correct call (or even if there was a specific right or wrong answer), I was able to keep building and keep researching with my park getting plenty of visitors (and income) to keep expanding.
It’s almost unfair to call Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe a “Park Management” game, because the management side is so simple and streamlined, it’s literally childs play, I spent about 4 hours making a park, easily unlocked all permits, and researched all available rides, and while my profits weren’t quite as good after a few years, this was mostly down to speeding up time to research items faster, and not replacing any of my aging rides (which were now vastly overpriced) however 10 minutes going thorugh a few rides and lowering their prices soon started bringing plenty of customers back through the gates again.
It’s a little plain when so many management areas are simplified, but daunting when these aging rides need to be located, deleted and then reselected and rebuilt, I would have had no isses at all if there was a “replace” button, but still I breezed thorugh the entireity of the mode, without any major isses, while near filling the maximum size of park allowed.
Graphcially, RCTA sits somewhere between the three aforementioned franchises, it’s Rollercoaster Tycoon at heart, but looks more much Theme park, than Planet Coaster. Rides, Stalls and even decorative items all have simple predefined dimensions which makes it very easy to organise things, especially when you don’t have to worry about space consuming queues.
My main visual complaint is the lack of clipping, I’ve had many frustrating moments on Planet Coaster rtying to place a Rollercoaster track that perfectly loops beside another feature, but on RCTA, there’s none of that, if your track goes straight through another ride, there’s no problems, no injuries and no effect on either attraction. It’s understandable to keep things simple, but I would have much prefereed a simple “Can’t park their mate” rather than seeing tracks go straight trough each other, it just takes away any sort of realism, and rather than caring about customers, they just become blobs on the screen.
There’s also no real complexity to customers (or rides) you can’t see anything telling you their name, how they feel, what money they have, or watch them enjoy their rides in real-time, you’ll just get the occasional alert giving you an overview of your performance, such as the parks dirty, the rides too expensive or somethings broken down, it’s understandable, keeping things simple and striaghtforward, but it feels like a large slice of soul has been sliced away as well.
Audio is another area that’s not quite as complex, there’s no individual cheers and jeers from customers and you wont get the sounds from all surrounding attractions as you zoom in close to view your park.
across the presentation, there’s not a bad level of detail for what the game offers, but it’s important to remember what you’re getting with Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe, this isn’t anywhere near competing with Planet Coaster (or Park Beyond, or anything that’s even remotely more complex) while labbeled as a “console Spin-Off” it should be marketed as a “for Kids” spin-off.
For younger players (maybe upto 10-12 years old) there’s an adequate theme parking experience, which takes away (or vastly simplifies) all the business side, but keeping most of the fun and simplicity of creating a theme park.
This obviously results in a shorter experience, with the main mode easy to complete in a single evening, but younger gamers are less likely to enjoy spending 4-5 hours finetuning a single section of a theme park, so allowing an entire park to go from nothing to a level 10 mega-park in the same amount of time doesn’t make RCTA a bad game, it’s just massively different to it’s closest competition.
If you’re considering upgrading to Deluxe over another version of Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures, you know what to expect, a very hollow extra 80 rides with some seasonal scenes that look good but don’t really offer much more longevity,
Arriving at £31.99 Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe is great value for the right people. Anyone expecting a Planet Coaster competitor will be disappointed and might be better sticking with that, or looking at a deeper alternative like Park Beyond.
But If you want a simple, straightforward and streamlined theme park experience, either for yourself or a younger gamer, Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe offers more than enough simpicity with a massive selection of rides, attractions and shops to fill your park and evening.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe
If you want a straightforward and streamlined, but ultimately soulless theme park experience, either for yourself or a younger gamer, Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe offers more than enough simpicity with a massive selection of rides, attractions and shops to fill your park and an evening.