Based on the popular Roller Coaster Tycoon games that we have all played so much on the PC, and maybe even the consoles in our younger years, this instalment of the franchise makes its way to our phones and tablets making sure we can construct the craziest of rides even when we are on the rides themselves! Ok so people may not be gaming on roller coasters, but my point is that you now can.
Unfortunately, Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 is a free mobile game in the bad sort of way. When it comes to bringing PC franchises to the mobile market, there are two ways to do it: option one – make the game play the same as it has always been, while throwing in some easy menu systems to help with the new screen and controls. These games normally cost money to buy, but you can always guarantee that you will have a fun time playing them and that you will be able to play them all the time. Option two- these are normally free to play games that force you to pay money to progress at a pace that is actually enjoyable. Now it is with a heavy heart to say that Roller Coaster Tycoon 4 is in the latter category.
When I started playing Roller Coaster Tycoon 4, it was great. The tutorials are intuitive, and it felt like I really did have the freedom to create my own park. Not only was the money coming in at a steady pace, but the additional currency—tickets—weren’t exactly being used up either, and the goals that I completed supplied more of them as I played. As tickets are not only used for buying some rides, but are also used to speed up the building process, my future with this game looked promising. Indeed, for the first few hours it remained entertaining; building roller coasters is, as it should be, a lot of fun. Not only do you have a variety of materials to build your rides with, but you can make it turn, twist, make it go higher or lower as well as add special features such as splash pools and cameras. However, the coasters aren’t the only things that can be improved: most of the rides can be upgraded to increase their attraction and get more people to your park.
I mentioned that the tutorial was intuitive, and this is only helped by giving the player goals that will, at first, aim to get your park up and running, but will then provide interesting challenges to get you more money, tickets, and experience. You can have 3 goals at any time, so if you can’t do one then it’s no problem as you can just move on to the next one. Unfortunately, here is where the game starts to take a sad turn.
The more you play Roller Coaster Tycoon, the more money you need to complete the quests, but here is the kicker: without completing quests, the amount of money coming into the park is very slow. Now, at about 5 hours in, I just leave my iPad sit for a few hours, and then come back, collect the money, and then maybe I can do something with it. However, most of the time I will have to wait a good few hours; constantly coming back to collect the cash before I can finally buy something. You can of course speed this up by purchasing in-game currency with cold hard cash, but I shouldn’t have to do that! Haven’t the developers realized that yet?! Let me play my game, and if I like it after a couple of days I will want to put money into it. Don’t block me off after a couple of hours.
If you like games such as Farmville, and you like the theme parks of the Roller Coaster Tycoon franchise then this game is a nice addition to your iPad: if you don’t mind getting onto it every so often; slowly by surely building up your park. But if you want a tycoon experience that is similar to the old games that you can lose hours at a time playing, then we will have to keep looking.