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RollerCoaster Tycoon

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Rollercoaster Tycoon is a real-time isometric amusement park simulation, in which the player takes the role of a theme park manager, creating rides and attractions to amuse his guests, as well as shops and stalls in case the guests are hungry.

Ride stats differ, with some being gentle and meant for "waking up" tired guests, and others being rather intense. Each and every guest has his own excitement and nausea tolerance, which will reflect on the rides' popularity and the park's tidiness. Hence, handymen are employed. Rides can also break down, and some of them can even crash, leading to a tragic ending. Mechanics can be employed to inspect rides for possible errors and to fix already broken rides. Security guards prevent vandalism in their line of sight, and entertainers keep guests happy while waiting in a long queue line.

Guests are also impressed if there is some wonderful scenery scattered around the park, leading to an increase in the park rating. They all have their opinion on the park, so it is a good idea to check their thoughts every now and then, as the park rating depends on the guests' satisfaction.

All these features require money. Loan can be raised from a bank, but the more one borrows, the more the bank asks in return. Certain rides, or even the park itself, can also be advertised, while vouchers are also available for discounts or free rides or food.


RollerCoaster Tycoon Windows Main menu
RollerCoaster Tycoon Windows Why did I get on this thing ? !
RollerCoaster Tycoon Windows A new park.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Windows Go carts !

Alternate Titles

  • "过山车大亨" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "White Knuckle" -- Working title
  • "RCT" -- Common abbreviation
  • "Guoshanche Daheng" -- Chinese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Simple, elegant, and (most importantly) fun! Windows Afterburner (477)
Please someone pull me away from this game. I cant stop playing! Windows William Shawn McDonie (1092)
If it were up to me, it would be game of the year for at *least* three years! Windows Meg C (7)
(One part Bullfrog's Theme Park + One part Disney's Coaster ) over Micrpose's Transport Tycoon's Interface = Rollar Coaster Tycoon and a lot of fun Windows Andrew Grasmeder (205)
Everything one could want in a theme-park simulation Windows Null McNull (29)
Greatness takes time. Windows Horny-Bullant (56)
A great way to kill time Windows Jennifer Johnson (15)
A terrific, classic game any gamer will be addicted to Windows Rick Jones (108)
One of the best games ever!! Windows Wolfang (133)
A Sim game for those who don't like a ton of micro-management. Windows Chris Martin (1097)

Critic Reviews

FiringSquad Windows Apr 30, 1999 90 out of 100 90
Computer Games Magazine Windows Apr 26, 1999 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
GameSpot Windows Apr 13, 1999 8.6 out of 10 86
IGN Windows Apr 02, 1999 8.5 out of 10 85
Absolute Games (AG.ru) Windows Apr 05, 1999 80 out of 100 80
PC Games (Germany) Windows Mar, 1999 78 out of 100 78
PC Joker Windows Mar, 1999 74 out of 100 74
All Game Guide Windows 1999 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Jeuxvideo.com Xbox Jun 24, 2003 9 out of 20 45
WomenGamers.com Windows Jun 02, 2000 3 out of 10 30


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"It's 99% written in x86 assembler/machine code (yes, really!), with a small amount of C code used to interface to MS Windows and DirectX." - Chris Sawyer.


The top g-force a roller coaster can get in the game is about 6 gees.


The background of the game is slightly interactive. In scenarios that have lakes, click on the ducks that wade in the ponds. In any scenario, try clicking on the balloons that float away. If a guest is freely rowing around a lake, lower the land where the person is rowing and they will appear to be rowing in midair.


Chris Sawyer did all (or almost all) of the actual game programming himself, without assistance.

Sandbox mode

RollerCoaster Tycoon's format is to give you five possible scenarios to play. Each time you successfully complete a scenario, a new scenario becomes available. Interestingly, there is no "sandbox mode" (i.e a blank landscape where you can simply build an amusement park without having to worry about meeting scenario requirements) until you complete all the scenarios. Once you complete all the scenarios, a "Megapark" scenario becomes available.


  • GameStar
    • Issue 03/2000 - received a special award as "Most Surprising Hit in 1999"
  • PCGamer Magazine
    • April 2000 issue - voted #31 overall in a Readers All-Time Top 50 Games Poll
Information also contributed by Afterburner, Chris Martin, Patrick Bregger, PCGamer77, Rambutaan, and William Shawn McDonie

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Contributed to by Brian Hirt (10005) and Kartanym (10766)