For better or worse, Infogrames’ recently released Rollercoaster Tycoon for Xbox is a direct port of the PC title from 1999. The good news is that fans of the series are going to get all they want and a bit more, as the Xbox version also includes the two expansions, Loopy Landscapes and Corkscrew Follies. The bad news is that the title has not been improved or enhanced in any way, and only adds more fuel to the “Xbox is simply a mini PC and will be a haven for mediocre PC ports” argument—just when you thought that one had died like the dodo.
As the name suggests (and the Tycoon series is famous for), would-be billionaires are thrust into the middle of a giant undertaking in the form of
owning and maintaining their own theme parks. From pre-made landscapes to those cobbled from scratch, it’s up to the player to reach down into his deepest Disney instincts and create fun for the whole family while attempting to rake in as much cash as humanly possible. Players can start small and graduate to huge parks by designing vast arenas filled with roller coasters, merry-go-rounds, and food outlets. Those with a sadistic streak can even sabotage said rides and watch their patrons go sailing right out there, should they so desire.
Above all, Rollercoaster Tycoon is a mediocre-looking strategy game with amazing depth and gameplay value— a decent enough ride to be sure, and maybe even worth the $30 price of admission.
Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Xbox Nation.