Rollercoaster Tycoon

Common Sense Media says

Revived version of classic amusement park sim is still fun.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In the game's story mode, players work to build the best amusement park in the world. The game constantly encourages the player and provides positive reinforcement when a specific goal is reached. It also provides players with a sense of empowerment, as they build the park of their dreams from the ground up and see their hard work and efforts pay off.

Positive role models

This game focuses on the player and uses the story to help provide direction on how to build a park. As such, the player becomes the main character, and the game acts as a support system to empower and encourage the player.

Ease of play

Rollercoaster Tycoon has a bit of learning curve as players learn the mechanics of building roller coasters and understand all the different customization options, such as charging different prices for each ride. That being said, it isn't difficult to figure out how to construct the various rides and buildings, and there are tutorials to guide players as they figure out the controls. The game requires both creative and cerebral skills in order to successfully create a masterful theme park, but it encourages players to learn and enhance these skills rather than assume they already have them.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety
Not applicable

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • money
  • algebra
  • measurement

Science

  • physics
  • momentum
  • motion

Social Studies

  • the economy

Hobbies

  • building

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • innovation
  • making new creations

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This great game mixes cerebral concepts with the fun environment of an amusement park. It challenges players but keeps them excited and engaged at the same time. It is also user-friendly and offers great replayability.

Learning Approach

The game empowers and encourages the player and provides positive reinforcement when goals are reached. 

Support

After a number of tutorials walk players through the basic mechanics of the game, it's up to the players to use their creativity and learn by trial-and-error. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • money
  • algebra
  • measurement

Science

  • physics
  • momentum
  • motion

Social Studies

  • the economy

Hobbies

  • building

Skills

Creativity

  • imagination
  • innovation
  • making new creations

Kids can learn about science, math, and economics by playing Rollercoaster Tycoon. When kids build rollercoasters, they must use basic geometric and physics skills to ensure the coaster can function safely and flawlessly. In addition, players watch how much money is being spent compared to how much is coming in via customer spending. They need to decide whether to wait until they can buy a very expensive ride, or quickly build a bunch of smaller rides to generate revenue more quickly. Rollercoaster Tycoon engages kids in learning about science, math, and economics all under the guise of building the best amusement park possible.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mark Raby

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Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Atari
Release date:October 16, 2012
Genre:Simulation
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Rollercoaster Tycoon was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old September 29, 2013
AGE
10
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Cool!

Yay!!!!!!!! Fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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