RollerCoaster Tycoon (series)

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This article is about the video game series and its associated spin-offs. For the first video game of the series, see RollerCoaster Tycoon.
RollerCoaster Tycoon
Rollercoaster Tycoon logo.png
Logo from the first game. Other games use a similar logo.
Genres Construction and management simulation
Creators Chris Sawyer
Platform of origin Microsoft Windows

RollerCoaster Tycoon (RCT) is a series of video games that simulate amusement park management. Each game in the series challenges players with open-ended amusement park management and development, and allowing players to construct and customize their own unique roller coasters.

RollerCoaster Tycoon was developed by Scottish designer and programmer Chris Sawyer, artist Simon Foster and composer Allister Brimble, with assistance from various leading figures from the real-world roller coaster and theme park industry. It was published by Hasbro Interactive (which was sold to Infogrames, and is now known as Atari). The game was a sleeper hit.

The series currently contains three PC installments (plus expansion packs), a Nintendo 3DS installment, and a mobile installment. The fourth PC installment, RollerCoaster Tycoon World, is currently in early access.


This is a list of all game titles in order of release date:

RollerCoaster Tycoon[edit]

Main article: RollerCoaster Tycoon

RollerCoaster Tycoon was released for Microsoft Windows on 31 March 1999 and was later ported to the Xbox game console. The game was developed by MicroProse and Chris Sawyer and published by Hasbro Interactive.

RollerCoaster Tycoon received two expansion packs: Added Attractions (released in the US as Corkscrew Follies) in 1999, and Loopy Landscapes in 2000. Two special editions were released: RollerCoaster Tycoon Gold/Totally RollerCoaster in 2002, which contained the original game, Corkscrew Follies, and Loopy Landscapes; and RollerCoaster Tycoon Deluxe in 2003, which contained the content in Gold plus more designs for the different customizable rides.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2[edit]

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 was released on 15 October 2002. The game was developed by Chris Sawyer and published by Infogrames.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 has two official expansion packs: Wacky Worlds and Time Twister, both released in 2003. The Combo Park Pack edition contains the original game and the Wacky Worlds expansion. The Triple Thrill Pack contains the original game and both expansions.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3[edit]

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was released on 26 October 2004 in North America. Although the core features of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 are based on the previous games, Chris Sawyer, the developer of the first two games, acted only as a consultant. The game was developed by Frontier Developments instead, and published and advertised by Atari featuring a completely different structure.

Two expansion packs for RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 were released - Soaked! and Wild!. A bundle, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Gold, was also released, including the original game and the Soaked! expansion pack; this was followed by RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum (Deluxe for the EU version of the game), including both expansion packs and the original game. RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum is available for Windows and Mac OS X. In August 2015, an IOS version was released by Frontier that cost $4.99 and is almost an exact clone of the original game (tutorial mode, original 18 scenarios for career, and a sandbox). It has no in-app transactions.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D[edit]

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D was released on 16 October 2012. It was developed by n-Space for the Nintendo 3DS. This game reverted to an isometric view and removed features such as adding scenery and pools.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile[edit]

RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile was released on 10 April 2014. The game was initially only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices. The game was later released for Android devices (OS 4.0.3 and higher) on 18 October 2014. The game was developed by On5 Games without Chris Sawyer's input (other than licensing).[1][2] The game returns to the isometric view used in the first two games. The game is built on the freemium model with social media integration.

This installment was universally panned and was criticized due to Chris Sawyer's absence in the making of the game, the heavy use of microtransactions and wait times, which fans state "has ruined the RCT experience."[3][4]

RollerCoaster Tycoon World[edit]

RollerCoaster Tycoon World is being developed by Nvizzio Creations for Atari, with a predicted release date of early 2016 for Microsoft Windows, and planned ports for MacOSX and SteamOS. This installment will be "a completely different game" from the mobile title and will be microtransaction free. Rides can be built out completely before they are purchased, and use a pull-based interface to build out track-based rides. The game will have traditional offline modes and online multiplayer modes, including the ability to visit others' parks, and co-operative management of a theme park for up to 4 players.[5][6]


The isometric viewpoint, as seen in the first two games, specifically RCT2. Shown is X and Viper at Six Flags Magic Mountain

The player is given control over an amusement park and is tasked with reaching particular goals, such as improving the park's value, attracting more guests, or getting a higher park rating. Some scenarios in the game provide an empty plot of land and allow the player to build a park from scratch, while others provide a ready-built park which usually suffers from deterioration, bad planning, or underdevelopment. The player must wisely invest the limited amount of money provided.

Most scenarios require that the goals be achieved for a specific in-game date, otherwise the scenario is not 'complete'. Completion of scenarios is a prerequisite for unlocking further scenarios in the first RollerCoaster Tycoon game. In RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, all the scenarios are available for play and the player can complete them in random order.

The player is responsible for building out the park such as raising or lowering terrain, laying out footpaths, adding decorative elements, installing food, restroom, and trash facilities, and building out the rides and attractions. Many of the rides that can be built are roller coasters or variations on that, such as log flumes, water slides and go-kart tracks. The player can build these out with hills, drops, curves, and other features (such as loop-the-loops for steel roller coasters), limited only by cost and the geography of the park and other nearby attractions. Stationary rides, such as Ferris wheels, merry-go-rounds, and bumper cars can also be placed. Rides are ranked on scales of excitement, intensity, and nausea, all which influence which park guests will ride those attractions and how they will behave afterward. The player can set the prices for park admission rides and guest amenities. The player is also responsible for hiring park staff to maintain the rides, keep the park clean, and entertain the guests. Players may also invest in 'research', which unlocks new rides and improvements as time goes on, though it costs money to continue research. Research in a particular area is disabled when all attractions in that category are researched.

The guests, who are integral to the gameplay, are treated as separate entities which can each have particular characteristics and be tracked by the player around the park. The game keeps track of how much money they have, what they are carrying, their thoughts, and what their current needs are (thirst, hunger, etc.). Each guest also has some unique features such as preferring gentle rides over roller coasters, and their nausea tolerance. Some scenarios are even biased towards a specific guest demographic and require the player to take this into account in designing the park. In RollerCoaster Tycoon 3, the player can create their own guest groups to visit their parks.

Sequels have continually upgraded the number of rides and amount of customization available to the player.

Other media[edit]

The franchise has also spawned a board game and a pinball machine both released in 2002,[7][8] and a series of gamebooks released in 2002 and 2003.[9]


On 13 May 2010, it was reported that Sony Pictures Animation is developing a live-action/CGI adaptation of the video games.[7][10] Harold Zwart will be directing the film as well as being an executive producer.


  1. ^ Faraday, Owen (19 March 2014). "Chris Sawyer: "No involvement" in RollerCoaster Tycoon 4". Pocket Tactics. Retrieved 15 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (3 March 2016). "A big interview with Chris Sawyer, the creator of RollerCoaster Tycoon". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2 July 2016. The world of games moved on and I didn't. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Reynolds, Matthew (24 March 2014). "RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 on PC will be a "completely different game"". Digital Spy. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  6. ^ Mahardy, Mike (8 August 2014). "RollerCoaster Tycoon World Announced for Early 2015 Release". IGN. Retrieved 12 August 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Roller Coaster Tycoon". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "RollerCoaster Tycoon". The Internet Pinball Database. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "RollerCoaster Tycoon". Demian's Gamebook Web Page. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  10. ^ Kit, Borys (13 May 2010). ""Rollercoaster Tycoon" riding to the screen". Reuters. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 

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