Reviews

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition Switch Review: This Old Rollercoaster Is Still Going Strong

Frontier has secured the rights to its classic theme park simulator Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 from publishers Atari, and is now re-releasing the much-loved title under its Frontier Foundry publishing arm. This complete edition includes expansions Soaked! and Wild! and will be available for Windows PC, MacOS, and Nintendo Switch.

The big question is does it still hold up 15 years later? With Planet Coaster taking theme park management games to a new level of complexity since 2016, does Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 still have a place in our hearts and on our hard drives? Luckily the answer is yes and even better, the Switch version means you can now take your coasters on the move.

A Rollercoaster History

Since then, there have been spin-offs and adaptations in the franchise, but nothing has come close to Rollercoaster Tycoon 3. Atari tried to release a new installment, Nvizzio Creations developed Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures, but the response was lackluster at best. Meanwhile, original Rollercoaster Tycoon developer Frontier was celebrating the positive response to its “spiritual successor” Planet Coaster, a game that took in-depth simulation to new heights.

Planet Coaster Vs. Rollercoaster Tycoon

With both of these titles being developed by Frontier, they actually sit alongside each other very well. With the complexity that Planet Coaster brings to the genre, you’d expect Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 to feel lacking and outdated, but it doesn’t. It offers a slightly different experience that instead compliments Planet Coaster and offers a more user-friendly set of options that, while more limited, still feel expansive enough to be both engaging and enjoyable.

One of the biggest complaints about Planet Coaster is the steep learning curve. Its complexity comes at a cost and the build mode, in particular, can be very fiddly to control. Rollercoaster Tycoon 3’s back-to-basics approach strips back the options yet still offers enough variety to keep players engaged.

The game is 16 years old, but it’s built on a solid foundation, and it’s one which sees it still thrive, even against newer titles. Its graphics are simple, but solid and, the details you expect in Frontier games are all present and correct. While you can still customize your coasters and buildings, the process is simpler and easier to navigate, something especially useful when playing on the Switch.

Soaked And Wild

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is enjoyable alone, but what makes it even better are the expansions, both of which are included in this edition. They allow players to experiment with different ideas and create new types of theme parks.

Soaked! came first and brought with it swimming pools and water slides. If you’ve ever wanted to make your own water park, this expansion has you covered. Pools can be different shapes and sizes and even varying heights. There are slopes and stairs to allow navigation over multiple levels and you’ll also find extras like showers, wave machines, loungers, and more.

The DLC also offers new water rides of differing types that all end in pools, allowing you to add some excitement to the experience. You’ll also find pools are incredibly popular, breakdown rarely, and are a nice consistent earner. Even the most basic setup can bring in a lot of guests.

Wild! also adds a lot to the game with the introduction of animal enclosures and safari options. The expansion plays a little like a very basic version of Zoo Tycoon, meshed with the original Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 game. Players can add animal enclosures alongside their rides and use viewing platforms and safari rides to allow guests to explore the area. The mechanics may be simple, but the combination is addictive.

Switching To Mobile

The Switch version of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 also shows that simulators can work on handheld devices. This version is the complete game plus the two expansions and plays just as smoothly as it does on a PC. Regardless of if you have a Switch or Switch Lite, the experience is enjoyable and surprisingly easy to control.

The addition of radial menus brings the UI into a more manageable format. The left UI holds the main options with more specific customization showing up on the right. The menu positions are intuitive and it’s quick to work out where the basics are located.

On the regular Switch, the combinations can be a little easier to navigate, since pressing two buttons at once is physically slightly easier, especially if the console is docked or in tabletop mode. However, it’s still comfortable to navigate on the Switch Lite, meaning the full Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 experience with both expansions is now fully mobile.

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is often considered a genre-defining title and it’s an accolade that’s well-deserved. Even after 16 years and several successors, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 is still fun, engaging, and addictive. If you want a theme park simulator that’s diverse without being too overwhelming or intricate, then this title is sure to fill that coaster shaped hole in your soul. Showcasing Frontier’s development team at its best, there was no need to remake this title simply because it was built to last, unlike some of the coasters you’re sure to build along the way.

An early access copy of Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition for Nintendo Switch was provided to TheGamer for this review. Rollercoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition is available now for Windows Pc, MacOS, and Nintendo Switch.

Source: Read Full Article