Ah, the year 2004. As Christmas day arrived, my nine-year-old self woke at 4:30 AM to open presents, poking through the pile for anything that felt like it might have a disc in it. Then I opened it, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 for PC, and for a full year afterwards, I could think of nothing else.
All this time later and I still love the RollerCoaster Tycoon series, though admittedly, after all this time, there’s never been another series entry to provide the thrill of providing thrills like RCT3 and the games that came before, and there’s a good reason for that. So strap yourself in, hold on tight to the restraints, and allow me to take you on the wild ride that is the history of RollerCoaster Tycoon, from the dizzying heights of the early noughties to the mobile malaise the series finds itself in today.
Like many iconic early gaming titles, RCT had some humble beginnings. The brainchild of lead developer Chris Sawyer, the original RollerCoaster Tycoon came about from the success of 1994’s Travel Tycoon, also from Sawyer, and the finances from that title providing the developer with the cash to tour Europe and the U.S.A, taking in some of the most elaborate theme parks around in the process.