Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe isn’t like the older titles in the franchise. As a past Rollercoaster Tycoon fan myself, I was disappointed with the modernized changes as the amusement park simulator just feels empty and shallow now. Every moment I should’ve been micromanaging my park determining what rides would be the most profitable, what staff members should I sadly let go to save a quick buck, or even simply wondering how I’m gonna get out of debt after some intrusive purchases. The problem is, it never came, any of it. It was my theme park but it felt like a sandbox more than anything.
Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe is a revamped title that was released for the Nintendo Switch a few years back. The version that Xbox received, has a few new rides and enhanced features including the UI. This improvement doesn’t make up for the fact that the game provides little to no challenge with its simplistic and dumbed-down gameplay. There are 4 different park themes to choose from when starting a park; Space, Beach, Classical, and Western. When starting a playthrough the choice in theme at first appears like it makes a difference, but in reality, it doesn’t change much. If I were to start a Western theme park the only thing that would change is the landscape which can be changed at any time, and the starting attractions and decor which again can be changed at any time (Once a new theme has been unlocked)
Even with the illusion of choice aside, Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe just gets worse from here. The micromanaging aspect that made the older RCT titles so iconic has been scrapped for a simple click-and-place system. All park staff can be located in their stalls once purchased and have a fixed area to which they are assigned. Park attendants called Peeps” are solely numbers as there are no interactions with them whatsoever. I understand the game’s called “Roller Coaster” Tycoon but how can anyone have a simulation game when you can’t interact with the characters? The most that ever happened was from time to time the “Peeps” would say ” I like this ride” or “This is too expensive”.
Let’s move on to building the park itself. First things first, it’s super hard to even go bankrupt in a playthrough unless doing it intentionally. There are moments in the game where your partner Brenard gets into some financial hijacks where decisions need to be made. They can range from starting a Kickstarter Campaign for the park to simply giving out VIP Passes. There are a fair amount of scenarios before repeat decisions begin appearing. With there being a 50/50 chance for success every time, a large sum of money can be earned. That money will help build half the park when little to no work has been put into it. Even on failing decisions, the worst thing that usually happens is park attendance declines for a few days but you’ll always turn a profit no matter what. Players can neglect their park guests’ hunger and entertainment but for some reason still have a park appeal rating of 60%.
With the amusement park management being a bust, it would be nice to at least make an astonishing or at the least a good-looking park. A amount of décor options were present which allowed me to craft my ideal park, one with fountains and an array of flowers and other greenery to liven things up. When all was said and done I did in fact have a gorgeous park. The annoying parts however were that on placed paths, benches and lights were automatically installed and there would be this orange square that all attractions and all rides had to be placed on which just didn’t look like it belonged.
Although the day at the amusement park wasn’t a good experience I did leave with some nice prizes. The layout and tabs for Xbox was actually beneficial from having a simple layout. Everything was easy to find and navigate through. Even when creating custom rollercoasters, the controls never fought with me in any way. Adventure Mode has players building their park alongside Bernard and his schemes are actually interesting. While the choices made are 50/50 as I mentioned before, they do have different outcomes, one of which can shut the park down and have you jailed. Another choice can give One million dollars. Again as I mentioned, its hard to go bankrupt.
Roller Coaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe is like a county fair. Sure they have some rides and the fairground is decent, but its nothing compared to the official amusement parks and hotspots that were its predecessors. The game comes off empty and shallow, more like a walkthrough for somebody’s first tycoon sim. The game shows little to no consequence while spoon feeding players which in turn gives it no self accomplishment or overall purpose.Become a Patron!
This game was reviewed based on Xbox One review code, using an Xbox Series S|X console. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.