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RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

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RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (boxart).jpg
Developer(s) Chris Sawyer Productions
Publisher(s) Infogrames
Designer(s) Chris Sawyer
Programmer(s) Chris Sawyer
Artist(s) Simon Foster
Composer(s) Allister Brimble
Series RollerCoaster Tycoon
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
  • NA: October 15, 2002
  • EU: October 18, 2002
  • AU: October 25, 2002
Genre(s) Construction and management simulation
Mode(s) Single-player

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 is a construction and management simulation computer game that simulates amusement park management. Developed by Chris Sawyer Productions and published by Infogrames, the game was released in October 2002 as the sequel to RollerCoaster Tycoon and the second game in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series. The features and expansions were later ported to RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic in 2017.[1]


An in-game screenshot of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 showing the user interface and some rides

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 tasks players with managing amusement parks in different scenarios with the goal of having them succeed in different ways. The game returns to isometric projection which debuted with the predecessor, allowing for a large degree of compatibility. Various attractions, including transport rides, gentle rides, thrill rides, roller coasters, water rides, and shops or stalls, can be added to the parks as well as landscaping and decorations. The player satisfies the needs of the visitors by building food stalls, bathrooms, and souvenir shops as well as facilities and services, such as ATMs and information kiosks. Players must balance their budget in their expenses and income while doing this.

One notable difference from RollerCoaster Tycoon is a more robust system for building structures, in which one can lay each piece of wall and roof individually. The game provides greater flexibility by allowing pieces of scenery, rides, and other structures to be placed at varying heights above and below ground. The mechanics in the predecessor made custom building construction less efficient, and rides and shops were previously unable to be built at varying elevations; in that game, only rides that had tracks could be built underground, since the first section of any ride had to be placed above ground. Many of the rides from the original RollerCoaster Tycoon have been modified and/or renamed. Some old ride designs have been merged with others.

User-created scenery items make a debut in this title. The 'bulldozer' allows the player to remove multiple pieces of scenery instead of only one piece at a time. A scenario editor is introduced, which allows players to create their own scenarios, creating the landscape, setting objectives, and selecting available rides and scenery. Players can make and test their own roller coasters to save them for use in other levels with the Roller Coaster Designer, and the game includes a licensed promotion by Six Flags to include their own content and scenarios based on five of their amusement park branches, including Magic Mountain, Great Adventure, and Over Texas. Walibi Holland and Walibi Belgium were also under the Six Flags brands during development, and were also included. Many popular rides in Six Flags amusement parks can be used in other scenarios, but are locked from editing. The game also contains a variety of new themes and music for attractions. Guests' AI was improved from the original game, allowing for the creation of more complex paved areas.

All of the scenarios in RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 are available at first launch (which contrasts RollerCoaster Tycoon's unlocking system), and they are divided into five folder tabs: Beginner, Challenging, Expert, Real, and Other parks. The 'Real' tab contains the Six Flags parks preconstructed, while the 'Other' tab contains their empty versions. When creating a scenario, the player can save to any of the tabs. As with the previous game, players could upload their saved track designs onto the now-defunct 'Ride Exchange.' Track designs from both games can later be imported into RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 where they are no longer locked to the isometric views.


Screenshot of the OpenRCT2 open-source reimplementation, showing the user interface

RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 was developed by Chris Sawyer who designed and programmed the game entirely by himself in assembly language.[2][3] Some parts of the game were based on efforts to develop a new version of Transport Tycoon, which Sawyer had been working on as early as 1996.[4] The game was then published by Infogrames and first released on October 15, 2002. The most current software patch was released in 2011.[5]

In April 2014, an open-source project, known as OpenRCT2, was launched to enhance the gameplay of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, including fixing bugs and allowing the game to run natively on macOS and Linux.[6] In order to create an accurate clone, the game was incrementally reverse engineered and re-written in the C programming language.[6][7] OpenRCT2 features reduced limitations compared to the original, which allows players to more easily create bigger and more complex parks.[8]


Much like with the first game, two expansion packs were released for Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, which included new rides, facilities, and scenarios. The first pack, Wacky Worlds, was released in May 2003, the second pack, Time Twister, was released in November 2003. Each packs were based around themes and didn't have any involvement from the series' creator Chris Sawyer. Instead both expansions were developed by Frontier Developments, who developed the Xbox port of the original game, and would go on to develop the entirety of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.

Around the time of Time Twister's release; Atari released RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Combo Park Pack, which was a compilation of the base game and Wacky Worlds on separate discs. This was followed in 2004 with the release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack, which was a compilation of the base game and both expansions on a single disc. Triple Thrill Pack was later released on digital distribution platforms such as and Steam. In July 2014, these versions were updated to include European language localizations, which were previously available as separate retail versions.[9]


RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
Aggregate score
Review scores
CGM4/5 stars[11]
CGW3.5/5 stars[12]
Game Informer8.5/10[14]
Game Revolution7.5/10[15]
PC Format78%[18]
PC Gamer (US)80%[19]
X-Play3/5 stars[20]

Dan Adams of IGN gave Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 an 8/10, praising the game for the addition of the scenario and ride editor, as well as worth in value.[17] Brett Todd of GameSpot gave it a 7/10, praising the game's for the "more depth" audio and its new editors, but criticized the game for not addressing many of the issues of the first game.[16] Greg Bemis of TechTV's X-Play praised the game for its improvements in customization but criticized the game for a lack of a sandbox mode.[20] Martin Taylor of Eurogamer praised the game for its inclusion of scenarios based on actual Six Flags parks but criticized the game's outdated graphics, contrasting it to SimCity 4. Taylor also criticized the scenario editor for its outdated tools, preferring that it would have been given away for free for the first game.[13]

A major criticism for RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 at the time of its release was that the game engine and interface were almost identical to the first game, with minor improvements in graphics, such as more images for coaster cars, allowing for smoother animations.[13][20][16][17] Dana Jongewaard of Computer Gaming World suggested that the game needed "consistent back buttons for the interface" that would "save a lot of time that's spent closing and reopening windows" and stated that "a shift from 2D to 3D would have been a great way to showcase these new coasters."[12]


Before the release of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, global sales of the RollerCoaster Tycoon series had surpassed 6 million units,[21] including more than 4 million units in North America.[22] This success led Dan Adams of IGN to call the sequel "basically a foregone conclusion".[21] The series' combined sales—including those of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, Wacky Worlds and Time Twister—rose to 7 million copies by April 2004.[23] The NPD Group declared Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 the 10th-best-selling computer game of 2002,[24] and the 12th-best-selling of 2003.[25]

In the United States, RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 sold 940,000 copies and earned $21.6 million by August 2006. Edge ranked it as the country's eighth best-selling computer game released between January 2000 and August 2006, and as the country's best-selling RollerCoaster Tycoon game released in that period.[26] RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 also received a "Gold" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA),[27] indicating sales of at least 200,000 copies in the United Kingdom.[28]


  1. ^ Sarkar, Samit (December 22, 2016). "First two RollerCoaster Tycoon games arrive on Android, iOS". Polygon. Retrieved December 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "Rollercoaster Tycoon 4: Entwickler Chris Sawyer wünscht sich eine Fortsetzung" [RollerCoaster Tycoon 4: Developer Chris Sawyer wants to continue]. PC Games (in German). June 27, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2016. Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 basiert nahezu komplett auf dem Code des original Rollercoaster Tycoon.
  3. ^ Sawyer, Chris (2003). "What language was RollerCoaster Tycoon programmed in?". Retrieved September 5, 2016. It's 99% written in x86 assembler/machine code (yes, really!), with a small amount of C code used to interface to MS Windows and DirectX.
  4. ^ Gamespot Staff (April 2, 2004). "RollerCoaster Tycoon designer offers first details on new title". GameSpot. Retrieved November 15, 2015.
  5. ^ RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 Patch on by Joseph Paolinelli on 13 October 2011
  6. ^ a b Scheltens, Gijs (12 June 2015). "Open source-project moderniseert RollerCoaster Tycoon 2" [Open source project modernizes RollerCoaster Tycoon 2]. (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2017-04-05. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
  7. ^ Koczwara, Michael (May 30, 2017). "After a decade of construction, this RollerCoaster Tycoon megapark is finally finished". pcgamer. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  8. ^ Gach, Ethan (May 7, 2017). "Player Spends A Decade Polishing Epic Theme Park In Rollercoaster Tycoon 2". Kotaku. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  9. ^ The RCT Team (July 17, 2014). "Additional European Languages Now Available!". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  10. ^ "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved December 6, 2016.
  11. ^ Cross, Jason (January 2003). "Reviews>; Rollercoaster Tycoon 2". Computer Games Magazine (146): 76.
  12. ^ a b Jongewaard, Dana (January 2003). "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2". Computer Gaming World (222): 108. Archived from the original on May 7, 2004.
  13. ^ a b c Taylor, Martin (November 15, 2002). "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2". Eurogamer. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  14. ^ Brogger, Kristian; Reiner, Andrew. "High Roller". Game Informer. Archived from the original on September 9, 2004.
  15. ^ Silverman, Ben (November 11, 2002). "Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 Review". Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c Todd, Brett (October 14, 2002). "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 Review". Retrieved September 5, 2016. Newcomers will likely find RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 enjoyable, but if you were a fan of the original, you'll probably have a hard time believing that you waited so long for what the sequel has to offer.
  17. ^ a b c "Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 - IGN". Retrieved November 23, 2013.
  18. ^ Stone, Tim (Christmas 2002). "Rollercoaster Tycoon 2". PC Format (143). Archived from the original on March 28, 2008.
  19. ^ Osborn, Chuck. "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2". PC Gamer US. Archived from the original on October 18, 2006.
  20. ^ a b c Bemis, Greg (November 11, 2002). "RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 (PC) Review". X-Play. Archived from the original on June 25, 2003.
  21. ^ a b Adams, Dan (May 23, 2002). "E3 2002: Roller Coaster Tycoon II: Six Flags Edition". IGN. Archived from the original on June 4, 2002.
  22. ^ Sulic, Ivan (April 25, 2002). "Roller Coaster Tycoon II". IGN. Archived from the original on September 4, 2002.
  23. ^ Staff (April 2, 2004). "RollerCoaster Tycoon designer offers first details on new title". GameSpot. Archived from the original on December 7, 2004.
  24. ^ Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry; 2003 Sales, Demographics and Usage Data (PDF) (Report). Interactive Digital Software Association. May 14, 2003. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 11, 2003.
  25. ^ Essential Facts about the Computer and Video Game Industry: 2004 Sales, Demographics and Usage Data (PDF) (Report). Entertainment Software Association. May 12, 2004. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 5, 2004.
  26. ^ Edge Staff (August 25, 2006). "The Top 100 PC Games of the 21st Century". Edge. Archived from the original on October 17, 2012.
  27. ^ "ELSPA Sales Awards: Gold". Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association. Archived from the original on March 19, 2009.
  28. ^ Caoili, Eric (November 26, 2008). "ELSPA: Wii Fit, Mario Kart Reach Diamond Status In UK". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on September 18, 2017.

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