Game Review/Rant: Rollercoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile

Here’s the game/review to make me SNAP! I didn’t think it was possible, but Amazing Spider-Man 2 broke MovieBob after all. So, enjoy my drunken angry rant!

RCT4 Mobile Image

Well, let it be known that I do not turn down requests… and ya know what? After I posted my comment, people still wanted me to do it anyway. To those who follow me via Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, and beyond; I love you guys! I do this for you! But, I dunno… this is a test for me. Well, after I drink a sufficient amount of alcohol, let’s check out the 4th numbered installment of the world building franchise of Rollercoaster Tycoon!!

Lemme first babble about the series I loved! Way back in 1998, Chris Sawyer (the dude who made Railroad Tycoon) wanted to branch out his brand and nabbed a deal with Hasbro to make a Theme Park version of his successful classic Tycoon series! As such, a wonderful empire building series was born! After the third game, which resulting in a metric fuckton of legal shit, Sawyer vanished somewhere into the aether! Some time later, we were treated to the sadly sub-par 3D remake on the 3DS, which tried to add an awkward story element to the series. Luckily, the RCT2 Community already did this and did it much better! It was called the UCES! For those out of the loop, it was a fan-based expansion pack for the second Rollercoaster Tycoon game and it was glorious! The story was kinda existent, but who cares? You’re here to make cool theme parks! But, after RCT 3D came and went, what then? There was nothing! The 3DS remake bombed and we would likely never see another game again. Fast forward early this year, I hear about a 4th game! “Imagine that”, I thought! Whelp, I finally got the chance to dive deeper! MORE AFTER THE JUMP!!!

First off, you’re probably asking me a simple question; “Hey Doc! You don’t have a smart mobile based device! How are you playing this game?” Well, I’m glad you asked! Thanks to a wonderful innovation called friendship, I was able to borrow a pal’s smart tablet-phone-thing to discover what exactly I was in for! With such, I booted up the app, fully aware of my dreadful fate. And I know what you’re also thinking, “Hey Doc! You’re writing this review funny!” Well you see, a mixture of scotch and misery is what caused this review… as well as wanting to serve the public any way I can! So, why am I filled with infinite sorrow? LET’S FIND OUT!

First off, the aesthetic of this game is pure, unfiltered facebook app vomit! Now, it isn’t too hard to compare the game to, say Farmville, but that’s par for another discussion. Let’s just say the weird use of color goes beyond Thomas Kinkade levels of over-the-top! Sure, the series was always kinda cartoony, but it didn’t cause blood to ooze from your eye sockets! The attempts at mashing classic and 3d styles results in an awkward and choppy style that just fails to grab the eye like the classic view of RCT 1 + 2 and the updated 3d view of 3 and 3D did. Sure, the old games look REALLY DATED by today’s standards, but they’re from the late ’90s/early ’00s. This game is from the late “new ’10s”, so I ask what its excuse is? Even “retro remakes” with Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition and Shadowrun Returns look better than this.

Not to mention, it looks impossibly worse than the 3rd numbered installment… and RCT3 came out 10 years ago! And even then, the fan community has made an effort to give RCT3 a graphical upgrade over the years too. But hey, at only 3 dollars, I guess it doesn’t need an excuse to LOOK mediocre. Plus, as you build up more and more, the game’s lag becomes worse and worse. Rendering takes forever as you complete your masterpiece. And with no way to rotate the screen or make objects/terrain transparent, it’s all the more easy to screw up placement with the wrong touch of the screen. (And for my stubby bear paw hands, it’s even worse.)

If you wanna talk challenge, you either deal with frustration at the hand of the insidious “Free to Play” method (even though you have to cough up 3 bucks to start this trash) or literally pay your way to victory. If you’re willing to shovel 5+ dollars (up to 200 dollars) on this game, you can easily win a scenario in a snap. Plus, the actual RCT games were about balancing all sorts of factors for your ride; Excitement, Thrill, and Intensity. If the latter were to high, your excitement will automatically suck. However, it’s possible to have REALLY high excitement while keeping the thrill and intensity at low! Plus, one must be careful with rides and paths, otherwise guests will get lost or find themselves overwhelmed by crowds. When 3 improved the dimwitted AI of the originals, it was still possible to confuse guests with poor planning! Plus, if you fuck up a roller coaster by not comprehending physics, guests might even get stuck! Or worse, the ride might derail/explode!

That said, 4 responds to that by saying, “To hell with that! You don’t care about puzzles, so here’s some goals like; place tries, build a facility, and make a wooden roller coaster! Whose a special snow flake? YOU ARE!” It’s all about coddling you, while giving you orders. You aren’t in charge or capable of making grand mistakes. No, you’re merely a lackey rather than a tycoon. As such, Rollercoaster Minion feels like a more apt title for this game! You can build the pretzel store on a fucking lake and the game will be like, “Yeah, you BUILD that pretzel shop! GOLD STAR!” Now, remember how paths were the fine line between happy guests and a clotted up clusterfuck? Well, now they’re just scenery to make your park look nice! Yeah, they have no point at all.

Speaking of challenge and mechanics, RCT gave you a freedom to tinker with all sorts of things! You can speed things up, slow them down, play with a variety of cars, and even swap out parts of rides for better parts! This game takes that away! Instead, we can rename things and change color (at least there’s that) as well as do some cutesy mini-games which don’t effect the rest of the game at all. And instead of staff, the game gives you bonuses for friends. This way, you get more tickets and more potential help. Want more, sink endless micro transactions to access everything and anything, which adds up to over 100 fucking dollars! (Remember my Farmville comment?)

Now, remember when I said that shoveling extra cash out makes you win the game? Well with it, construction has MMO style cooldown timers. So, when you build something, you deal with a cooldown time depending on what it is (which is a weird and forced way at “realism”.) Stands and shops take about a minute, but rides can be 10 minutes to actual hours! But, if you’re willing to cough up the faux-currency that is “tickets”, it speeds up. Luckily, winning enough objectives give you tickets and other junk. With all this stuff, you make things go a little bit faster. So, after you’ve suffered through enough of the game’s flaws, you can make it painfully easy without shoveling the extra cash.

So there you have it, this is merely an overly sanitized pile of dreck not meant for fans of the originals. Sure, it grants *some* creative freedom, but the game has more fun grabbing your hand and making decisions for you. Sandbox mode in the previous games gave you more freedom than this subtle dystopia! To put it plain and simple, this feels like a clone game with the franchise name slapped on at last second. But then again, this isn’t the first time something like that has popped up in the video game industry. It is a guaranteed method of success from the “QUICK BUCK” ™ school of thought in the great American capitalist system. It might serve as a neat little diversion for the casual market buyer and mobile gamer on the go, but for the RCT audience it’s a no-go. So, if you really want to purchase this, don’t expect to be entertained for too long.

So, without further ado, I happily announce the first reviewed product to receive a 2 out of 10 from Necrotic Reviews! And 2 is being nice! It’s still playable by all means, but that still doesn’t leave it too much higher than mediocre. This cash grab isn’t just an insult to Roller Coaster Tycoon, this is an insult to mobile games! I implore you not to buy this piece of shit, buy the original games on GOG here ,here, or here! Please avoid Rollercoaster Tycoon 4! And even if it’s coming to PC, I doubt it will be an improvement over the blasphemous rubbish we were given here! So let me say one more thing, WORST GAME OF THE YEAR! I was a fan of all things RCT back in the day, but this buried the nostalgia for me. I might pick up one of the first three some day, but I’m done with Rollercoaster Tycoon for a long time. I’m done! I was right, it’s just like with MovieBob and the piece of shit cinema like Amazing Spiderman 2! I don’t want to blame the fans, but I have to say one thing… WHY DID YOU WANT ME TO REVIEW THIS TRAIN WRECK! YOU KNEW THIS WAS SHIT! I LOVE YOU GUYS, BUT THIS IS TOO MUCH! Calming down, hopefully I’ll have the desire to do a review next week. I’m okay with reviewing horrible things, and a guarantee that they won’t have the same angry reaction that this game got from me!

This has been a Doctor Necrotic review. Stay tuned for more bizarre reviews from a bizarre doctor!

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