RollerCoaster Tycoon fans freshly equipped with a Nintendo 3DS might have once thought that this year would bring unto them a portable entry in an amazing series.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D promised such a thing. Too bad it fails on almost every level.

This is just plain lazy.

n-Space, the developers behind RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D with a terrible track record, have gone and stripped this game of everything that makes it wonderful. I grew up with this series, and I remember spending all day tweaking the subtleties within my meticulously designed theme parks. Here? Forget it.

You can’t tap on single park guests in order to inspect them. You can’t customize signs. You can’t alter the terrain in your park. That’s right, if you pick a plot of land with a bump in the landscape, you can forget about spending some bucks to level the joint and lay down some track or a pathway. It just won’t happen, because n-Space decided that feature should be ditched.

Name a feature from the RollerCoaster Tycoon series that you considered a nice touch or flourish, and I’m willing to bet that it’s been removed. Weather is gone, fireworks are gone and the process of building is downright terrible.

I’ve seen better efforts from half-baked mobile games.

 

Name a feature from the RollerCoaster Tycoon series that you considered a nice touch or flourish, and I’m willing to bet that it’s been removed.

The complete deal-breaker is the UI.

Back in elementary school, I took a hilarious little introduction to web design class. A lot of you readers probably don’t remember the time when GIFs of letters flying into mailboxes that hyperlinked to actual email clients were all the rage, but I do. I was in a class specifically meant to tech me how to make these things work in HTML.

I was eight years old, and I loved the internet. You know what I remember most about that era of web design? How awful everything looked. Flashing GIFs, awkward color choices, big buttons and terribly made interfaces. How does this connect to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D? I’m pretty sure n-Space recruited a class of eight year-olds from 1993 to design their user-interface.

Holy crap is it bad. Man. There’s bulky buttons, the menus don’t make sense, you’ll switch between stylus and button presses without any warning and you won’t know how to get from point A to point B during item selection. If you buy this game, you’ll be tasked with building full theme parks around this thing.

That’s the big snag here. RollerCoaster Tycoon is a product that requires constant user-interface navigation. In fact, you’ll spend more time in the UI with games like these than you will in the virtual world. That’s why RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D‘s UI is such a menace. It’s constant, and it bogs down the experience in a massive way.

Navigation, building, menu inspection and actually playing the game are all made terrible because of the UI.

From top to bottom, this game feels cheap.

I wanted to love this game. In fact, I fell in love with it when I first saw news of its coming more than a year ago. “A RollerCoaster Tycoon title for the Nintendo 3DS,” I remember gasping back then. “The stylus controls coupled with addictive theme park building on the go? Yes!”

Except, no. It’s awful. Really. The only thing that saves this game from a 1 or a 0 on our scoring scale is that you can actually play it.

Rating

2.0

We purchased RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D for the Nintendo 3DS with company funds. Before starting this review, I played the game for roughly six hours. Honestly, I couldn’t take anymore.

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