Roller Coaster (video game)

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Roller Coaster
Developer(s) S. Brocklehurst
Publisher(s) Elite Systems
Platform(s) ZX Spectrum
Amstrad CPC
Commodore 64
Release 1985
Genre(s) Action / Platform game / Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player

Roller Coaster is a platform-based game which contains some strategy and puzzle elements. Uniquely it holds the claim of being the first video game to ever simulate amusement rides.

Roller Coaster was released in 1985 by British video game developer Elite Systems, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. It was, for a time, one of the most popular games for the ZX Spectrum.[1]


The game takes place in and around an amusement park after closing-time.

The player takes control of the park's owner, Colonel G. Bogey. A disgruntled employee has scattered the takings all over the fairground in the form of money bags. The goal is to collect the money.[2]


First screenshot of the game

In order to complete the game, the player must collect every money bag which is strewn around the city-sized amusement park; even the money bags placed on precarious perches and in the middle of rides. In order to do this, gambles and risks will have to be taken. The player can also be killed instantaneously by some dangers. This can be caused by numerous careless acts such as jumping from a great height, getting skewered by an erratic turnstile. The player has ten lives. Once the protagonist has died ten times, the player loses and the game is over.

Critical response[edit]

The following excerpt is taken from the ZX Spectrum magazine CRASH (issue 66, page 43) which was published in July 1987. The review coincided with the Encore UK re-release of the game; however most reviews were positive in criticising the game and this particular review is an example of that.

'A crash smash!' Encore inform us. And indeed it was, at 94% no less. [...] The emphasis in Roller Coaster is to have vast amounts of fun, and, boy, do you! Each screen is deviously devised, but not difficult to master once you get to grips with the gameplay. And the gameplay - it's so addictive! Don't hesitate to buy Roller Coaster!

Dragon's Lair: The Legend[edit]

First screenshot of Dragon's Lair: The Legend - note the placing of the centre platforms suggest this was originally the Ferris Wheel scene

In 1990, Roller Coaster was ported to the Nintendo Game Boy as Dragon's Lair: The Legend, with the game's plot and graphics amended in order to closer resemble those of the original Dragon's Lair coin-op.[3] As less of the playing area was visible in the Game Boy port than in the Spectrum version, the display was effectively a window on each of the original version's screens, scrolling within each one and flicking to the next when the edge of the screen was reached.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "All Time Greats". CRASH. Newsfield. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 
  2. ^ "Roller Coaster review". CRASH (issue 24). p. 32. Retrieved 2008-07-02. 
  3. ^ "Total Makeover: How some publishers drastically rework games for different audiences". Ziff Davis. Retrieved 2008-07-01. 

External links[edit]