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YMMV: RollerCoaster Tycoon
  • Awesome Music: Music from the expansions in the first game and overall in the second game as well as the third game.
    • Just listening to the Merry-Go-Round is fun enough. Especially since there are ten songs (eleven in the second game), which are remixes of folk and classical music.
    • Rock 1 Style.
    • Savannah and Witch Doctor from Wild!.
    • Bermuda Shorts and Surf Shack in Soaked!.
  • Best Level Ever: Oh so many. Where to begin?
    • Loopy Landscapes introduced parks that gave you infinite money, such as Arid Heights, letting you exercise the custom roller coaster designer to its fullest and generally build an enormous park with no financial worries. Although, they do have a caveat where if your park rating falls low enough and you can't raise back up, your park gets closed down. Still, once they're done, they're basically entire sandboxes.
    • Vertigo Views introduces the "Make X amount of ride income" scenario, by giving you a bunch of land and a huge Hypercoaster.
    • Mega Park. Two words, "Have fun!"
    • Extreme Heights in the second game is another infinite money level, but here you get a gigantic piece of land to work with (nearly 150 x 150) and a mountainous region, allowing for plenty of creativity in how your rides are laid out, making it among the best of the infinite money scenarios. However, the guests will prefer intense roller coasters.
    • Funtopia in Corkscrew Follies is a readily accessible example. The park comes with two decent pre-built roller coasters, and has access to every single ride and attraction in the game, when research is all maxed out. (Being one of only 5 parks in the entire list of 80+ scenarios that gives you the Steel Twister roller coaster, one of the best coaster types in the game, right from the start doesn't hurt either.)
  • Breather Level: Each of the three level packs in the first game has at least one:
    • The original has Thunder Rock, the final scenario, where you must have 900 guests in your park in 4 years. Many of the earlier parks gave you less time for the same guest count or required more guests in the same time (including one of the starting scenarios), and the scenario immediately before it was That One Level. The location takes a little getting used to, but there were far more limiting ones previously (Mothball Mountain, for instance), and being able to build underneath the rock essentially almost doubles your available space.
    • Corkscrew Follies/Added Attractions has Mineral Park, the fourth-to-last park, where you must gain a park value of $10,000 in 2 years. The objective is not hard to achieve in the given time, there are no gimmicks or handicaps, the terrain is not that much of an impediment, and the ride selection is pretty reasonable for the job. The following park, Coaster Crazy, isn't that hard either, especially if you've been doing the Loopy Landscapes scenarios at the same time: Coaster Crazy is actually the first park to have the "build 10 roller coasters" objective (it did not, in fact, debut in Loopy Landscapes). This also makes it the only Corkscrew Follies scenario not to have a time limit, so despite the downplayed Unexpected Gameplay Change, the fact that this one is impossible to actually lose makes it not much of a threat, especially for the third-to-last park.
    • Loopy Landscapes has Terror Town, also the fourth-to-last scenario, where you must have at least 10 different types of roller coaster that each have an excitement rating of at least 6.00. Well, there are no minimum length requirements and the location is not terribly difficult (two things that were pointedly not the case in some of the earlier parks with the same or a similar objective), so this should be no problem if you completed the earlier similar parks.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: If the player can design a relatively cheap, compact, high excitement roller coaster it is very tempting to build it in every scenario where the coaster type is available. The steel corkscrew, stand-up and wild mouse coasters are especially good for this, as is the 'shuttle-loop' type design mentioned on the main page.
    • Until you hit some of the more restrictive scenarios like Rainbow Valley, or unusual objectives like "achieve a monthly profit of £n from food & drink sales", which force you to think out of the box a bit.
    • Some of the pre-built rides that were developed specifically for certain levels are usually saved as reusable tracks, and then rebuilt in other levels; a prime example being "Runaway Plumber" from Katie's World.
  • Contested Sequel: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3. The 3D leap caused a few issues with some people, mainly how the coaster designing was still very stiff and restricted despite having no limits with the nature of sprite graphics. What really makes this game contested is its performance issues, as it really loves bringing even modern gaming rigs to their knees as opposed to the previous two games, which ran at full speed when you had full-blown parks containing thousands of guests. Also, there were those who disliked how much the scenarios were dumbed down, as they usually had very basic goals with very uninspired parks, and were usually completable in only a few minutes. The thing that stops most people from swearing the game off altogether is the addition of the full sandbox mode.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • The trees, themselves become these in scenarios such as Rainbow Valley, where scenery can not be removed. Due to their placement, rides and even pathways can be a pain to properly construct. The trees are even worse in the Corkscrew Follies scenario Harmonic Hills, because you can't build rides over the tree height.
    • Loan interest in RollerCoaster Tycoon is very low. You can have a loan of £40.000 and you will pay £20-£40. Because of that they will sap your money in parks such as Sprightly park and the real life parks (Heide Park, Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach). The reason is that their loans are way higher than normal. Sprightly park has a loan of £250.000 but it isn't compared to the real life parks such as Alton Towers, with a loan of FOUR MILLION POUNDS!
  • Disappointing Last Level:
    • The final levels in RCT 3 and RCT 3 Soaked!, (the levels that appear after completing all others) are a bit... dull. And not all that difficult either. The penultimate level of Soaked is pretty tough and RCT 3's penultimate level "The Money Pit" is an enormous abandoned park that needs a massive overhaul, whereas the last level is just a large mountain island that can be leveled off with the landscape tool to create a relatively easy scenario.
    • Rainbow Valley is the penultimate scenario of the vanilla first game, and is easily the cruelest, disallowing the removal of scenery and banning landscape editing. Thunder Rock is just a giant rock in the middle of a desert with no gimmicks or handicaps. It can be troublesome with space management, but it can't hold a candle to Rainbow Valley.
    • RollerCoaster Tycoon 1's expansion Loopy Landscapes has Micro Park. Most of Loopy Landscapes scenarios are unique, fun and/or challenging in a good way. Micro Park is none of these. It's a 15x15 park that's completely flat, it isn't fun trying to micromanage your rides (Worse when it's a roller coaster) and it's unfairly challenging because the goal is to have a park value of £/$10,000 at the end of Year 2. There's a reason why Dinky Park has a land on the other side of the road available to buy.
  • Ear Worm: From the first game, Egyptian Music
    • There are so many examples, but none can top the Merry-Go-Round music.
  • First Installment Wins: Not to say the second and third games don't have their fans, but the first one is generally the most liked and most remembered.
  • Game Breaker:
    • You can charge your guests obscene amounts of money proportional to the excitement rating of the ride for rides if the entrance fee was free. Knowing this, it can be a very helpful factor in Ride Ticket scenarios. Also, guess how many scenarios - barring the free ones - have "free entrance/ride costs"?. Be careful with this, because as the rides get older, the guests will want the price to be lower.
    • Umbrellas. No matter how much it costs, guests will ALWAYS buy it when it's raining. Put the price on 20$ and then...
    • Demolishing a fountain by replacing it with a coaster segment will give you more than the fountain cost.
    • Some people consider the Marketing Campaign mechanic to be this once the player gets the gist of how it works, and consider it to be a cheap cop-out if a player is struggling to get that last batch of guests in their park before the time is up. At the cost of a maximum of $4200 every six weeks to set up park marketing/coupons to spawn more guests to come to your park, the player can effectively make any level that requires "X amount of guests to be in the park by the end of year X" to be an absolute joke, because your guest numbers have suddenly doubled from 500 to 1000 in just six weeks. As for paying, $4200 may sound like a lot at first, but if you have an established park, you will make that all back easily within a week.
    • You can make a LIM Launched Roller Coaster in the second game with an excitement rating of OVER 600.00. As shown in this link and proven true by other players, one must build a straight LIM Launched Coaster and make sure it goes at its maximum speed. Then fill every part of the coaster with in-line twists and at one part of the ride, make it go through a Quarter Loop and go up to the second half, but make sure it goes at a speed above 10 MPH. After a few more in-line twists, make a steep drop and finish it with a vertical slope. The train will then go reverse, but make sure the train can reach back to the station. The intensity and nausea ratings will be dreadfully high, but that's an ultra high excitement rating.
    • A similar situation can be done with a Heartline Twister Roller Coaster by filling it with Reverser Sections and Heartline Rolls.
    • You can beat the Six Flags Magic Mountain scenario in RCT2 in less than a minute by deleting a few roller coasters, then quickly repaying your loan with the earned money before your park value goes down (the effects aren't instant).
  • Good Bad Bugs: Peeps getting stuck on supports is quite amusing.
  • Internet Backdraft: Over RCT 4 Mobile being an Allegedly Free iOS Game.
    • Atari tried to pacify this by saying that a PC version is due for release in Fall 2014, but the terminology of "PC experience" did not do enough to cool down the flames. Their next attempt to Win Back the Crowd was to claim that the mobile version will be a social game, while the PC version will have more features and functionality. It was later announced in August 2014 that the next game, now called RollerCoaster Tycoon World, will be released in early 2015 for PC with both single-player and a new co-operative multiplayer mode, and more importantly, without any microtransactions.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: What most negative reviews for RCT 2 usually result as when compared to the original game.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The sound of successfully passing a scenario.
    • In RCT 3, the sounds the peeps make when they get hit by a coaster.
  • Nausea Fuel: In-game, if you build a coaster with too many curves and loops, they'll vomit all over your park.
  • Porting Disaster: The Xbox port. It's the same game, only with bad controls. Not as bad as other disasters, but somewhat notable.
  • Schizophrenic Difficulty: In all scenario lists (especially those of the first game), the parks are roughly arranged in order of difficulty. However, we want to emphasize "roughly"; every level pack has at least a few scenarios that seem unusually easy or difficult for their position in the list. (Also see the entries for That One Level and Breather Level.)
  • The Scrappy:
    • The Stand-Up Steel Roller Coaster. Many people familiar with the game will refuse to design a roller coaster that is this because the Intensity and Nausea ratings are abnormally high compared to the Excitement rating. Unless you are making a simulated theme park, you know how to design one well, or you are playing Adrenaline Heights, you should stay away from this one, especially seeing that there are better options such as the Steel Roller Coaster. Even the Stand-Up Twister Roller Coaster (although more expensive) is significantly better.
    • The Heartline Twister Roller Coaster. It may look rather interesting, but it is nigh impossible to make a good one...a decent roller coaster of most types might have an excitement rating of 7.00 or so, with the lower bound of practicality around 6.00 and the potential of getting into the 8.xx or 9.xx range. The Heartline Twister might give you an excitement rating of 4.00 if you do a good job on one. And it's one of only two types of roller coaster that do not allow turning. Yes, you cannot build turns, which means the entire track has to be in a straight line, underneath or above existing parts of track if need be. Might also border on Cool, but Inefficient because of its unique design.
    • Any roller coaster where the cars/trains can fly off the track and crash. The Bobsled, Wooden Side-Friction, and Wooden Reverser coasters are notorious for this.
    • The Ferris Wheel. Near universally disliked because the guests wait too long to even get on the ride and they'll complain that they want to get off even if you have it set for one full rotation.
    • The "Runaway Plumber" underground roller coaster in Katie's World is perhaps one of the most disliked pre-built rides from the original game. It is EXTREMELY prone to crashing, and because it's completely underground, underneath an area of land you technically don't even own, it's almost impossible to rebuild after the crash. But there is some good news regarding this case. It ''does'' make for a decent roller-coaster that can be rebuilt in other levels.
    • Guests that don't pay in "Pay for ride ticket" scenarios.
    • Good luck trying to build an effective Steel Mini Roller Coaster if you're playing with the original Roller Coaster Tycoon (without the expansion packs). The ride doesn't allow banked curves at all, making the ride unforgiving and forcing you to use very wide turns. Thankfully Loopy Landscapes allows the ride to have banked curves.
    • Boat Hire sometimes gets this reaction for several reasons. For one, it suffers from a Game-Breaking Bug that sometimes causes boats to get stuck as they try to re-enter the station which would, in turn, get every other boat trying to get into the station stucknote , and causes players to restructure the ride until it works properly. Another reason is because of guests who occasionally go out too far in a vast water area, and can't return to the station which leads to many complaints about not being able to get off the ride.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • The (Station) Brake Failures. It's a type of roller coaster failure where the station brakes don't work, and if your cars are coming in at high speeds, a crash will very likely occur due to this. If you hadn't designed a coaster with this failure in mind, you would generally get interrupted sometime later on in the scenario with a sudden message showing your coaster crashing. There are multiple workarounds, but of course that didn't stop the developers from failing to design several coasters without this in mind (Agrophobia and Runaway Plumber are perfect examples of this). Considering how frustrating it is to see a coaster you built, which you were sure was working just fine, crash out of complete nowhere, it's no wonder this type of failure was eradicated altogether in the third installment (although the second installment added the failproof "block brakes" to certain roller coasters).
    • Having to continuously uncheck Mowing Grass in a Handyman's to-do list comes off as a major annoyance in RCT 1. Your park can function just fine without having to keep the lawn fresh compared to keeping the paths clear of trash and vomit, yet the Handymen will always walk off the path to forever mow the grass squares if the Mowing Grass function is active, even if the long grass hasn't appeared yet. RCT 2 changes it around so the Mowing Grass function is unchecked in the Handyman's game checklist from the start.
      • The unchecked Mowing Grass function becomes a Scrappy Mechanic in itself, especially for players with a lot of grass that needs tending. Sure, it's possible to remove weeds by covering the area up with grass again, but it's tedious when there are more important theme park matters to tend to. It's easier to hire a bunch of handymen to clean it for you while you're doing other tasks, but you'll need to check all of their "mowing grass" boxes, and maybe uncheck a few more to ensure that they won't try to wander back to the park.
    • For no apparent reason, the Handymen will wander queue lines which virtually never have to be swept. You're often forced to pick them up with the pincers to divert them to a mess that needs cleaning.
    • A well known problem with many "Log Flume" rides (particularly, the original pre-built choice you're given to build) in RCT is that the logs are set up on a five-second departure timer for each log that leaves the station. The problem is that because of the length of the ride, the logs run out too quickly and you end up with an empty station for a good 2 minutes before the first log finally returns to the station; causing the people waiting in line to get angry, and even leave the line, out of anger for waiting too long in line. This can be fixed by lengthening the departure timer to 20-25 seconds, but just having to change it every... single... time... you build a Log Flume ride can come off as a major annoyance.
    • Not being able to charge guests for both ride and park tickets in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. Parks that charge for rides often result in having plenty of guests that don't pay a cent when they leave.
    • Land-For-Sale wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for one really annoying mishap; the problem being that within a large area of buy-able land, one or two of the terrain tiles would NOT have a for-sale flag. You would end up buying large areas of new land to extend your park...only to realize that there is a hole punched in the middle of the park that you still technically can't build on. And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it!
  • Simple Yet Awesome:
    • The regular Steel Roller Coaster might not be very fancy, but it is probably one of the most practical ones in the game because it has a pretty decent variety of features (loops, helices, a powered launch option...), doesn't cost too much, usually has pretty reasonable intensity and nausea ratings in relation to its excitement ratings, is not terribly difficult to build to decent standards, and is relatively widely available even in the original scenarios (some of the others like the Steel Twister and Flying coasters didn't show up until the expansion packs).
    • Introduced in Corkscrew Follies, the River Ride is basically nothing more than a Log Flume ride on a grander scale. Only... the fact that it is on a grander scale is what makes it such a great ride to have for your park. Make a River Ride long enough, with a station big enough to obtain maximum guest riders, and you can have a ride that supports over 100 guests just on this one ride alone which helps immensely if you're struggling with your parks becoming too crowded. In RCT 2, you can have up to 31 boats, so if your ride is long, guests can still get on it. Even better is that a well designed one that goes through tunnels can have an excitement rating in the 8.00-9.00 scale. The kicker that seals the deal is that the River Ride can support astonishing levels of height, so you could theoretically build this ride over everything in your park; even roller coasters.note 
  • Song Association: The fairground organ music from the merry-go-round can become this if not a classical music enthusiast.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guys: Chris Sawyer, creator of the Roller Coaster Tycoon games, has gone on the record as saying that the "entire point" of Roller Coaster Tycoon is the scenarios, is only the scenarios, and that the casual sandbox-players (that is, those who just wanted to build a simulated theme park and who didn't really care about playing the scenarios) are "doing it wrong, and need to get serious and do it right", especially when they used a fan-produced "key" program to open the game up for sandbox play. He disliked sandbox play so much that when he wrote the expansions and the sequel, he continually added code that would wreck the game if the player attempted to use any sort of "sandbox key". Not only did sales plummet appropriately, the attempts never worked. He finally gave up and included an open sandbox option in the third game, though the fact that he was one of two executive producers instead of the only one probably had something to do with that.
    • To a lesser extent, Chris Sawyer calls you out in a subtle manner whenever you automatically demolish something in the second game. A program code causes scenery objects demolished manually (i.e. right-click) to cost much less than it would if it was automatically demolished (e.g. building a Spiral Slide on it). However, this feature doesn't always work properly and will reduce the cost of rides that are built into scenery objects that give you back some money when right-clicking on them. This leads to the greatest Game Breaker in the entire game: By building ride tracks into fountains, you will get money for doing so, allowing one to amass a sizable fortune from ride construction. Hoist by His Own Petard much?
  • That One Level / That One Achievement: The "La La Land" level in RCT 3 involves having to impress the VIPs by building fireworks displays and then to get the Gold level two separate themed zones (Adventure and Sci-Fi) to "impress" them. Although the scenario dumps lots of money into the park account this is a quite difficult and monotonous trial and error task if done the conventional way, i.e.; creating large zones of open space, researching themed rides and scenery. Even after building what looks to be an acceptable themed area the VIPs are stupidly difficult to impress. Needless to say a quick web search shows up threads of screenshots showing how to build a themed area that will work: Simply drop down one of the themed rides on it's own, isolated from the rest of the park and surround it with a themed path and a thick forest of themed trees. Then drop the VIP into the isolated area and let them ride the themed ride over and over in a loop and they will be 100% impressed. When they are impressed, pick them up and put them back in the rest of the park.
    • Harmonic Hills gives you a tree covered area with restrictions on landscaping, scenery removal and building above tree height. Your ride selection is abysmal. Have fun fitting 1,300 guests in there.
      • The original game's Rainbow Valley, as mentioned above, is basically the father of this map. However, it's a little more forgiving due to being allowed to build above trees and being given a few areas of cliffs to allow for underground construction.
    • Octagon Park hammers in the reality that some open ended scenarios are open ended for a reason. Doesn't help that amassing the funds for a qualifying roller coaster is frustrating, let alone ten.
    • Pleasure Island, the park shortly after Octagon Park, is just as bad. It has the "Ten Roller Coasters" goal, but the Excitement Rating is 6.00 and there is no length goal. The difficulty? The island is a very long strip of land, and fitting in a lot of roller coasters at the end can be very painful.
    • Sprightly Park. What's wrong with it? You're in debt! How much? TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND BUCKS! Which means you will lose 2000$ every month due to its huge loan. And there's more: The rides are very old. How old? This old:around 30 to 70 years old which is a lot in RCT. The only thing that will save you from the horrendous debt is the entry fee of the park, since the rides are old enough to not charge any fee at all. Good thing that this isn't in Loopy Landscapes (which PREVENTS you to charge the park entry).
    • The original game's Corkscrew Follies expansion has a rather nasty objective in Fiasco Forest; having to fix up a park that is pre-built to be an absolute disaster. The catch that makes this a difficult set-up is that you only get ONE YEAR to get all the flaws fixed in addition to getting 900 people in your park. There is an easy work around to just remake the park entirely from scratch, but even then, you're still racing against the clock to get 900 people in your park within just one year.
    • Woodworm Park in the second expansion pack, Loopy Landscapes, is no slouch. In this park, you are allowed to build only the older-style rides. That means no steel, steel twister, or vertical roller coasters; no "shuttle" roller coasters; only three thrill rides even after all research is done...and you must have 1,600 guests in your park in 3 years. Unless you've had a lot of practice making older-style rides, this one will be troublesome. It's not even that far into the scenario list, yet it is more difficult than most of the ones following it (the aforementioned Micro Park aside).
    • Micro Park is the last stage in the Loopy Landscapes set and is just like Dinky Park, but with 13x13 for land. The goal is focused around park value, where you build things. See where this is going?
  • They Just Didn't Care:
    • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3D, which was very blatantly pumped out as a quick cash grab by making a very bare bones theme park sim and slapping a brand name on it. The roller coaster physics are very unrealistic, the designer is even more stiff and restricted, the graphics are abysmal, and there are practically no features present from the original, which precedes this game by thirteen years. They couldn't even bother to include so much as a terraforming tool.
    • RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile has received a similar reaction, especially for its micro transactions and reducing the game into a barebones village simulator ala The Smurfs Village, The Simpsons Tapped Out, and My Little Pony.
    • Far longer ago, the second game got two expansion packs that were produced entirely without any input from Chris Sawyer. It shows. The so-called "new" rides included were nothing more than existing rides with new cars, and the new scenery generally did not blend very well with the old scenery. Unlike the first game's expansions, which had scenarios that made very substantial changes to the formula (Corkscrew Follies added ones that locked excitement ratings to low or high numbers and Loopy Landscapes added infinite money scenarios, just to name one in each), RCT 2's expansions may just as well have been DLC-worthy material.
  • They Wasted A Perfectly Good Game Mechanic:
    • Having no height-build mechanic where the player doesn't have the option to build any pre-built given rides any higher or lower than ground level which limits how creative a player can get when they're creating rides/coasters and developing their parks. However, a Genre Savvy player does have a few workarounds to get this to work.
      • For pre-built rides, a player can purposefully lift up one terrain square to a certain height so that the pre-built ride works off it, and uses that heightened square to build the pre-built ride high up in the air; possibly even above other coasters/rides.
      • The other workaround, if using the Shift key to raise/lower where the Station Platform is positioned is not an option, is to start building a ride/coaster normally from the ground level, but building the station high up in the air and work from there instead. This applies for setting up stations deep underground as well.
    • Buying land can come off as this sometimes as a vast majority of the levels can be completed easily without ever touching the land-for-sale mechanic, and is usually only ever played with after completing the mission.
      • One notable example is Bumbly Beach which has a neat idea to build coasters outside the park-zone after buying the beachhead for above ground-level construction, but is often overlooked as you can complete the level easily by just building in the land that's been given already.
      • Another notable example is Mothball Mountain which gives you a small mountainous land-area that is just begging for area extension. However, the available land costs the player $90 PER SQUARE TILE; most players after realizing this hardly find the price worth it except for perhaps buying about a dozen tiles to fit in one final ride/coaster.

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