Written by  :  James Isaac (286)
Written on  :  Jul 02, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
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A great follow up to a great series of games

The Good

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 upgrades to a 3D engine, while still managing to keep nearly everything that was good in the first 2 game, whilst adding a load of great new features, such as day/night time and the ability to ride your own coasters.

The graphics look great, and even though the game has to handle hundreds or even thousands of peeps (guests) in the park at a time, it still manages to keep a decent frame rate and stunning graphics. At night time all of the path lights and ride lights turn on, creating a very nice atmosphere.

The gameplay is very similar to RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and 2. The same control system is still used, and a similar system of buttons and panels is used. If you've played any of the first games, then you'll pick this one up very quickly. The major advantage of the 3D engine is now you can move the camera round to any angle, so you won't get stuck trying to add or remove an item in the isometric view like you would in the previous games.

There are loads of rides to add to your park of many different types (rollercoaster, thrill, gentle, water etc.). There are also 7 different scenery themes (Spooky, Western etc.), which allows for a huge variety of scenery decoration throughout your park.

Another new feature to the game is the MixMaster, which lets you create your own fireworks shows along with in-game music or custom music (custom music can also be used on rides).

There is also good support by the creators of this game. Patches are frequently released, to constantly improve the gameplay experience.

The Bad

There are however a few bad points about RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. Firstly, now giant 'mega parks' are practically impossible to make on an average computer. Mega parks downloaded from the Internet will take about 20 minutes to load, and then only run at about 1 or 2 frames per second.

The peeps do look slightly low quality close up, and the animations not perfect, but this can be understood seeing as there can be hundreds of peeps on screen at a time.

The sounds can become quite irritating. The screams from rollercoasters don't seem to be as realistic as in RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and 2.

The Bottom Line

If you've played and liked RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 or 2, then you'll almost definitely like this. It keeps everything that was good about the first 2 games, and enhances the whole experience with a 3D engine, which allows for several great new features such as night time mode. There are very few bad points about the game, and it's packed with tonnes of rides, scenery and features which will keep you occupied for hours and hours.