A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile remakes the popular game franchise into a "build and click" app experience. Although it's visually fantastic, the app just doesn't offer the same level of fun and detail as its predecessors. Plus, many of the rides and attractions have long completion timers or require premium in-game currency to finish immediately. These premium tickets are plentiful early on, but kids may feel pressure to purchase more with real money as they progress.
What's it about?
ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON MOBILE 4 has the simple premise of building the best theme park possible. You build rides, hotels, restaurants, and kiosks and hope the people come. You can design your own roller coasters, but all the other park buildings and decorations are predesigned. Collect your income, and start again. Three game goals are available at any time and offer up rewards for things such as creating bigger roller coasters or building newer hotels. Expect to wait for the fanciest attractions to be completed. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Is it any good?
Fans of the original series likely will be excited to try RollerCoaster Tycoon Mobile 4. They're just as likely to be disappointed. Yes, the graphics look lovely, but gameplay consists almost entirely of building rides and buildings, then collecting income. There's a lot of waiting for rides to complete or money to be saved (unless you use premium "tickets" to speed things along). You can design your own coasters, which is fun, but none of the other rides and buildings has customization options. Unlike the RollerCoaster Tycoon games of the past, there is no staff to hire, no admission fees to set, no trash to worry about, and no budget to manage. There just isn't that much to do, and the game suffers for its lack of interactivity. You are given three goals to meet at any given time, such as "Build a steel rollercoaster" or "Build a lemonade stand," but they lack the engagement of a full-on mission. You can't always expect full-on gameplay from an app, but, with so many build-and-collect options out there, we can certainly expect more than this.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what rides would be in their ideal amusement parks.
Draw, build, or sculpt a family amusement park model. You can look at maps and plans of real amusement parks (Disneyland, Six Flags) online for inspiration.
Why are amusement parks so expensive? Where do you think the money goes? Could they find ways to cut costs?
For kids who love building sims
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.