Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe by devs Graphite Lab & Nvizzio Creations is the latest release from Atari. Available on PlayStation, Xbox & Nintendo Switch. It is a reimagining and upgrade to the 2018 Tycoon release that was only available on PC & Nintendo Switch.
Don’t Run With Scissors
Based on the nostalgic mid-90s Theme Park game by Bullfrog, I was excited to go back to my gaming roots and relive my childhood.
There are 3 game modes to tantalise your creativity and skills of running a theme park. Adventure, Scenarios and Sandbox. Adventure has you building your park along with a back story; Scenarios are time-based objective games and Sandbox is of course free reign to do whatever you fancy, The deluxe version adds another 80 rides to the original 2018 version, giving you 200 rides to play with.
Creating your theme park is a simple affair whereby you are given a flat square-gridded area to deploy various rides, eateries, shops and facilities. You can easily see what you are doing by rotating the camera with the thumbstick while also rotating the building in question with the controller buttons. Extra areas are available to purchase to later expand your park.
Gravel, Block or Paving?
Paths must be installed for your adrenalin-seeking guests to wander around your park. Once more I found this easy to achieve by simply selecting the style of path and placing it on the grid square of your choice. Having been a fan of the original Theme Park game, I was a little disappointed that you did not have to create a ride queue or exit path.
Shops, rides, facilities and styles are unlocked gradually throughout the game by levelling up your park by hitting milestones such as popularity and gaining permits. You can also research items using your in-game currency, the pace of the research depends on how much you wish to spend.
While the guests are walking around the park, icons do appear above their heads. These can be interacted with in order to gauge how they feel about your park. Sadly no function allows you to randomly click on a guest whenever you like and follow them around the park while looking at their stats.
Facility Maintenance Services
When building facilities such as cleaning services, you do not allocate a cleaner to certain paths around the park, nor can you pick staff up. Each facility instead has a catchment area that, so long as you fulfil, appears to satisfy your responsibilities. Again, this has simplified the process in comparison to the original Theme Park game.
When deploying places for your guests to eat and drink, you are looking to ensure that all areas of the park are covered. There is no ability to alter how much sugar is in a drink or how much salt is on the fries. It really doesn’t take that much thought and takes some of the fun away from the Tycoon element.
Being creative with the park layouts has always been a huge pull for me. Organising pathways, theming areas with space or wild west items, changing path types, structure and ride colours. You can really make the park your own. All is easy to achieve and the further you get into the game, the more items you have at your disposal.
Need for Speed
There are 7 types of rollercoasters to wow your visitors. From rattly wooden tracks, to fast inverted and hyper styles. You can choose a pre-built design or take your creativity to new heights by building one from scratch.
At certain times an event will appear on the screen, usually being a dilemma of some kind. I had somebody hurt themselves, and while the scenario was not my fault, I chose to be sympathetic and give them some free tickets. Instead of being told that I had performed good customer service, I instead had my reputation hit for a duration as the parent saw my response as a way of sweeping the problem under the carpet. You therefore need to be careful with your 50/50 chances!
Show Me The Money!
The main crux of Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe is to of course make money. This seemed relatively easy to achieve overall. Monitoring ticket prices and then reflecting on prices for food and drink as well as rides seems to be the key to doing well. When moving the slider along to set a price you are even told if it is too cheap or too expensive. I had my 6-year-old take the controls and the gameplay was simple enough for him to keep the park going and he had great fun unlocking and building new rides.
Although through playing the game I was reliving some nostalgic moments, I couldn’t help but feel as if this iteration was a dumbed-down version of the classic. It certainly felt more like a mobile game with a lot of aspects missing that, for me, made the Theme Park-style games what they were.
Graphics & Audio
While some of the iconic Theme Park rides are present, the models look basic and similar. Everything is clean and precise, lacking in interesting theme park flair and artistry. The visitors in your park all look very alike and unproportionate in size. The children, for example, look like tiny thin stick figures in comparison to adults. They all lack any character or expression. While the entertainers plod around the paths, walking through the guests and occasionally stopping for a second to dance, the interaction feels lacking. This game could have looked and felt spectacular but instead, it just doesn’t wow me.
The day and night cycle is a good feature, with path lights illuminating along the routes and rides and shops bursting into life. The theme park never seems to close though and is a perpetual place of fun.
The music that plays alongside the theme park has a true accordion-fun feeling to it that varies as you manoeuvre the camera around the park. It is uplifting and jolly, just as it should be. The chatter of the guests is an immersive accompaniment that serves to immerse you as you unlock your creativity. I never heard any chundering from them though.
Through the 3 available modes, Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe has hours and hours of gameplay to be had. There are so many items to unlock and they do take quite a long time to progress through research and being awarded permits. Is its charm still there though?
If you are looking for a Theme Park game to play on your console that feels more or less a lot like the original 90s classic then this is sort of it. Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe plays very similarly, however, it does feel like it was made for a mobile device. I feel gutted that it is not a true clone of Theme Park and some of the features are not present. To do well you do not need to think that hard about it. I watched my 6-year-old continue to make money and build without even looking at finances. While it was great to see him enjoying the game, I did feel a bit niggled with the simplicity and non-interaction. Nice try but it could be a lot better.
Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe gets a Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.