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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Rollercoaster Tycoon for the 3DS is a revival of a classic game franchise that was popular for years on the PC. It allows players to design and build their own amusement park. Players manage every aspect of the park, from the price of soda and snacks to the landscape of the park. There is also a robust tool that lets players construct rollercoasters from the ground up; and good tutorials that help players learn the complexities of the building process. Rollercoaster Tycoon is very user-friendly and offers great replayability.
What's it about?
ROLLERCOASTER TYCOON gives players the power to build their very own amusement park, complete with concession stands, rollercoasters, water rides, and more. Players start out with a modest amount of in-game money to start their park, and over time, after attracting more and more customers, they can expand to the point where Disneyland looks quaint by comparison. There is a story mode that provides direction as players are given specific tasks and goals along the way; but the heart of the game is in the \"Sandbox\" mode, which gives players a block of land and lets them to start building.
Is it any good?
Rollercoaster Tycoon is a great game because it mixes very cerebral concepts like money management, changing economic conditions, and basic physics, with the incredibly fun environment of an amusement park. The result is a game that challenges players but keeps them excited and engaged at the same time. Players may fail at times, by either creating a ride that none of the guests like, or realizing that their high prices are turning customers away, but this just results in players altering their strategy to create a better park. Players cannot "lose"; they can only keep moving forward and that is why there is such longevity to the game. There are some limitations with this sim being played on a handheld system, such as a finite number of different rides and rollercoaster types, and graphics that are probably not as polished and perfected as they could be. But anyone who has entrepreneurial dreams -- or just loves rollercoasters -- will find a lot to enjoy in this game.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it takes to build an amusement park in real life. Have you ever thought about all the work that goes into creating and maintaining your favorite theme park?
Do you think you can learn anything by playing a simulation game such as Rollercoaster Tycoon?
Has this game taught you anything about how to manage your money?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Subjects: Math: algebra, measurement, money
Social Studies: the economy
Science: momentum, motion, physics
- Skills: Creativity: imagination, innovation, making new creations
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Atari
- Release date: October 16, 2012
- Genre: Simulation
- ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
For kids who love simulations and learning games
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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.