The popular theme park simulation game is now on Nintendo’s portable 3DS handheld! Manage an amusement park and keep the guests happy by building rides, shops, food stands, and giant roller coasters and roll in the dough. You can make your park any way you like. Give it a theme like horror or fantasy, then hop on your designed roller coasters and take them for a ride as you view the action in first person!
Like other simulation games, placement of attractions is important. You want to build paths so people can reach each ride, and to make the most money, put gift shops, food stands, and restrooms next to the most popular rides and attractions. Make sure to put queue line entrances and exits next to each ride, and hire janitors, mechanics, guards, and performers to keep the park clean and running smoothly. Just make sure that your park is making money so you don’t run out of funds. If you do, the park goes out of business and it’s Game Over.
The game has several different modes. In Story Mode, you’ll learn the ropes of building parks and rides, and complete missions where you must build certain coasters, make enough money, or attract enough guests. There’s also a mode just for building roller coasters, which you can save and then load to your park. Finally is the Sandbox mode, where you can build your park with attractions you’ve unlocked any way you like without having to worry about funds.
The 3DS allows for some new features to the Roller Coaster Tycoon series. Using StreetPass, you can share your roller coasters that you’ve built with friends. When you build a roller coaster, you can add one of those cameras that takes your picture as you ride, and the 3DS camera will really take a snapshot of your face when you go past that point when riding a coaster in first person view. You can also invite Mii guests to attend your theme park as well.
The game isn’t without problems, though. While the Story Mode does a decent job of showing you the basics, once you jump into building it can be a bit daunting and confusing, thanks to cumbersome and confusing menus and tiny pictures and letters that are hard to read. And some building aspects aren’t even shown at all. People who have already played a Roller Coaster Tycoon game should be able to get the hang of things quicker, though.
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D is probably best for older kid gamers. The game requires a high level of reading skill, as well as mastery of other important logic and thinking abilities. It could be considered educational, though, as the game teaches about money and time management, as well as physics lessons. For instance, when you build a roller coaster, you need to make sure you have an incline and a big enough drop off so that the coaster can continue going up and down the rest of the track. I could see kids just simply having fun building their own coasters and riding them in Sandbox mode. But the menus can be pretty non-intuitive, so keep that instruction booklet handy! Roller Coaster Tycoon 3D is rated E for Everyone.