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Thursday, August 16, 2007


Summer fun on a PC

I'm a big fan of strategy games. I'm also a big fan of roller coasters and theme parks. So it should come as no surprise that I'm addicted to the Rollercoaster Tycoon series.
In it, designer Chris Sawyer has been able to take all of the day to day tedium of running a busy amusement park and make it fun. Of course, the real thrill is designing your own rides and crossing your fingers to see if people will like them.
I've had the current incarnation, Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 for a while, but never really had the chance to put it through its paces until recently. At first I was a bit frustrated as the visitors to the park refused to ride the rides, but manually installing an update has fixed that and now my parks are running smoothly. Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 has several changes over the first two versions, the most notable being that you can actually climb into the rides and experience them for yourself. If that wasn't enough, now the sun goes down and the lights flicker on and the park takes on that special quality after dark. And in addition to designing fun rides, you can now entertain your guests with your own fireworks extravaganza.
But let's say you've built your own version of the Haunted Mansion, complete with audioanimatronic monsters and ghosts. It's still missing something, isn't it? Fortunately, there's a folder where you can drop your MP3 and WMA files so your guests can listen to "Grim, Grinning Ghosts" while going through your ride.
Your milage may vary, but if you're a theme park and coaster nut like me, you'll want to give this a try.


I'm not a real coaster rider, but I used to love this old game where I could build coasters and "ride" them.

Maybe I gotta check this out...
I may get the updated version which would mean I'd have an original version lying around unused. Mind you, this thing needs a lot of processing power to do the job right. There's a free demo at the link I posted in my article. You might want to download it and see if it works for you.
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