(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
One of things that really shines about this game, is the little touches, and options. You don't want the temperature in farenheit? Make it Celcius. Don't like the color of that rollar coaster repaint it. This game gives you so many options and choices. You build your park the way you want it. My mind goes back to the game Theme Park from Bullfrog a while back. In that game you could make some rides custoom, but it didn't really make much difference. In RollerCoaster Tycoon, many of the rides you build your own designs, and everything matters. The scenary can make your ride more or less exciting. If you build over a walk way people walking near by will see it and get excited. This game does basically all you could want for a theme park simulator, without getting too complex like making you order the stock of french fries.
I really only notice three problems with this game. The interface is a little heavy on windows. Every button or item you click opens a new window, much like Chris Sawyer's other game Transport Tycoon. Although these window allow you to monitor different things at once, they can make the screen very cluttered. Time is another problem. There are two speeds, paused and moving. This really can get to be a pain because when you are trying to build up some cash real quick speeding things us would be good, but more importantly because there are times whe n so much is going on that you really want to slow things down. The last problem is the fact that in a game that offers so many options there is no way to just start with a blank park and build. You can only play with the premade scenarios.
The Bottom Line
This game is a fun, cute game that has a lot of gameplay. Think of it as a mix of the best elements of Bullfrog's Theme Park, and Disney's Coaster with the interface from Transport Tycoon, but updated for the 1999. The graphics although not fantastic are cute and filled with little touches (such as everyone letting go of their balloons when you beat the scenario). The sound is really good. It is 3-d positional audio which you would think for this genre wouldn't add much, but it turns out really makes the park seem more alive. As you scroll away from the Merry-go-round the music fades off in that direction. The game has a delightful character that pulsates through it. The game is a lot of fun for all ages for the same reason theme parks are appeal to many people. A highly reccommended game.