RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic, available for Android through the Google Play store, is a mobile version of the first two RollerCoaster games that is almost as perfect as fans of the franchise would want it to be. The Roller Coaster Tycoon games have been a mainstay of the virtual theme park genre for what seems like forever.
There have been attempts at bringing the series to mobile before, with the free to play RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch currently available. If your only experience with RCT up until now is with the ‘Touch’ game, then this will initially feel a lot more difficult to play, with the slick 3D interface from Touch replaced by a more traditional isometric viewpoint, and menus that are far more difficult to navigate.
However, dig a little deeper and you will find that this is by far the better, more accomplished game with genuine depth and layers of strategy than just don’t exist in RCT Touch.
RollerCoaster Tycoon has always been about creating a theme park from scratch, managing your guests and of course, designing custom roller coasters. That is all present and correct here, and you get 95 scenarios to play through, some of which will take you hours to pass. There are hundreds of rides to discover and build, and it is great to hear your guests scream as they whizz around one of your latest creations.
RCT is a sim, which means that there is a lot to learn and plenty of menus to navigate. This leads me to one of the problems with this version of the game, which is that it is incredibly fiddly to create complex coasters and to go deep into the menus, due to the nature of the small screened, touch based format. I think the developer has down fairly well just getting the game playable at all on a small screen, but I believe a bit more work could have gone into the interface to get it to a more fluid and natural place.
The only other gripe I have is that there are extra scenarios to buy, which I don’t agree with in a premium game; if you are paying for the game up front then everything should be included.
Aside from that, this really is a joy to play. The little isometric rides are gorgeous, especially the way the coaster trains chug around the crazy tracks you can create, and the look of the game is a real treat, and goes to show that you don’t need fancy flybys and camera angles to create a good-looking theme park game.
If you were a fan of these games in the past, then I highly suggest giving this a look, especially if you don’t mind dealing with a fiddly interface. If you have never played a RollerCoaster Tycoon game before, but want something a bit meatier than what other theme park games can offer on mobile, then this is one to watch and is worth every penny of the asking price.