RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures by Nvizzio Creations
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures brings the legendary RollerCoaster Tycoon series into the next generation, mashing the classic title with the more contemporary touch-based mobile port RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch, while ideally offering the natural feeling accessibility of the Nintendo Switch controls.
The Great in the Small?
Here is the blessing and the curse about the so-called console that is the Nintendo Switch: on the one hand (the blessed one) you have a wonderfully portable and flexible form factor, convertible to a set-top box that you jack into a plastic stand that emanates cables like stubbornly awkward tentacles.
On the other, the developer or porting studio has to optimize for both a smaller handheld device – the size of a Samsung Note or phablet – and for a large TV set.
The problem begins, though, with onscreen UIs, particularly with sims. With many things to manage, some very careful menu levels optimization must be thought out. Switch port designers have to accommodate for both D-pad-style controls and also at very different scales.
When they get it right, it can take a PC game and breathe new life and facility into its play. In other cases, figuring out all the controls, combinations and interfaces can become tediously novel, fidgety or unintuitive, at best.
I have always been a big fan of the theme park sim blade. Ever since I went to Epcot Center before I was a teen and got to build my own 3D roller coaster and then ride it in first-person view, I was obsessed with this idea of building virtual worlds I could experience firsthand.
Unfortunately, not a lot of that visceral joy is on offer here, without a bunch of twiddling about and grinding administrative work. The idea should be to have fun with the dollhouse, but I found it too granular for flow. Granted the various themes are fetching, and inspire, but they are but a veneer over the game loop.
But more egregious is the difficulty I had in reading the text. Admittedly, I am old now – well, I’m no spring chicken, let put it that way – but even with my glasses I found it hard to read in both handheld and big screen mode.
Perhaps the UI could be chunked-down and zoom up when hovered-over, or break out into modules or something modern to intelligently adapt the play mode.
I also found load times to be exceedingly long. Even the very first beginner tutorial, when I returned to it, took over a minute to load. That’s just too long for a console for which every title should be optimized.
I am not sure as it stands that I could recommend this port but to the most stalwart fans of the franchise. Because of Nintendo’s pricey monthly cloud storage and online socialized play (Switch Online), which is closed to any other platforms, the incentive to unlock achievements is limited. So I am not sure who this one is really for.
I do want to add that they have added a so-called “Choose Your Own Adventure” mode wherein every park will have its own unique history due to an event system that will change up the sequence of a variety of scenarios. This may introduce some replayability and intrigue to veterans of the franchise.
Besides this, there are over 200 different attractions to choose from you can deploy to thrill your peeps, and lots of colors and customization, but, as Will Wright said, if you don’t get the five-second loop down, the five-minute loop won’t matter.
Other than that, it is the good old RollerCoaster Tycoon you love in the palm of your hand – or on the big screen – as portable as your soft-serve-topped funnel cake.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is available via the Nintendo Game Store.
Watch the official trailer for RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures below: