In the German gaming magazine GameStar (issue 03/2000) RollerCoaster Tycoon received a special award as "Most Surprising Hit in 1999".
RCT'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. Equally interesting, and running completely counter to prevailing marketing wisdom in the computer game industry, RCT doesn't come with a scenario editor. This has prompted the fans of the game to make up for these perceived deficiencies, and there are 3rd-party, fan-created programs available on the Internet that will let you play any scenario, or let you play in unrestricted sandbox mode, or let you create your own scenarios.
Chris Sawyer did all (or almost all) of the actual game programming himself, without assistance.
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.
Rollercoaster Tycoon was voted #31 overall in PCGamer Magazine's Readers All-Time Top 50 Games Poll (April 2000 issue).
The background of the game is slightly interactive. In scenarios that have lakes, click on the ducks that wade in the ponds.
Just for fun, try naming your guests any of these names and they will do a little something extra now and then.
For those of you who want to know around the top Gees a rollercoaster can get in the game, its about 6 gees. I know cause I created one with that many (amazingly) that was under 10 intesity!