Developed By: Graphite Lab, Nvizzio Creations Published By: Atari Category: Simulation Release Date: 11.01.23 Price: $39.99 *Game Download Code graciously provided for the purpose of review.
I’m a huge fan of simulation and Tycoon games, especially ones that deal with cities and theme parks. Two of the games that I played the most when I was a kid were Sim City 2000 and Sim Theme Park and I have so many great memories of the latter even though it hasn’t aged all that well. So when I found out that Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures Deluxe was coming to the Switch, I was really excited.
I had previously played the Switch version of RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and thought it was cool so I believed that the newest version would be significantly better in many ways. Just reading the description was enough to interest me or any big tycoon fan because of all the features that the game claimed to have.
The description says that this game adds 80 new rides and attractions that bring the total up to more than 200. In the older theme park games having just 80 different things to build would have been insane but 200 is ludacris. There are so many different types of standard rides for all ages that you can choose from. On top of that there’s a ton of other buildings to place from food and drink to arcades and other exciting choices.
You can create a standard theme park with just a few rides or you can create the park of your dreams with literally millions of different combinations between rides, attractions, pathways, and scenery. Then you have the flagship rollercoasters which add so much more to the game. There are many different types of rollercoasters like wooden ones and for each type you get a few pre-built options or you can build your own from scratch.
Building your own is basically the main selling point of this game because as long as you have the funds, you can customize your coaster any way you like. You also get full customization of things like prices and staff as well as the ability to see details and stats if everything. The game claims to have a lot of content, which it does but that’s really the only big thing about the game.
After only playing for around 20 minutes, I encountermany issues that almost made the game unplayable. Many of the issues aren’t with the game itself and have to do specifically with the Switch version. This means that it’s possible they can be fixed later on and in the worst case scenario, you can play it on another device.
The first issue that I encountered was that building custom rollercoasters is a nightmare on the switch. It appears as if the Joycons or Pro controller just don’t have enough buttons to really make building worthwhile. When you have to be precise with how you’re mapping out tracks, the joysticks are very finicky with direction and distance. If you put too much force you’ll put too much track and if you tilt it slightly, the track could go in a completely different direction than what you wanted.
Not only that, but depending on how long you hold the joystick in a given direction dictates how far apart nodes are placed. If you’re gently tapping to move forward, then nodes will be placed very close to each other and can mess up your design. If nodes are too far apart then you might not be able to make turns or drops that you want. It’s a battle of precision but you aren’t truly given the tools to be precise with the button mapping on the Switch.
There also doesn’t seem to be a way to undo tracks that you’ve placed. So if you make a big enough mistake, you’ll have to completely delete your track and start over again. This will be a pain if you managed to be precise and were close to finishing your design. Building your own very cool custom rollercoaster will be a hassle without a keyboard and you might find yourself exclusively using prebuilt coasters as a result.
The second main issue is far more prevalent and that’s the insane amount of lag. The game barely runs on the Switch. It will look okay if you’re just looking at stuff normally but the moment you try to build something, the Switch version will try its hardest to crash. After placing a dozen or so buildings, I began to face the worst lag that I ever experienced in my life as a gamer. Just placing the a tiny food stall would cause the game to freeze for two or three seconds. Placing down path tiles would cause a big lag spike because It takes a while for things along the paths like flags or trees to spawn in.
The game returns to normal a few seconds after placing something but it will happen after every build instance. Every single ride, food stall, pathway, or decoration will cause the game to freeze or lag. This isn’t great if you’re trying to build a massive park with lots of stuff.
The game has enough content and gameplay mechanics to be a lot of fun and keep you busy for hours but it simply can’t run on the Switch. I’m sure there could be a few patches in the future that hammer out those issues and if those never come, you could just play the non deluxe PC version. For now, the Switch version has a lot of cool things going on but is nearly unplayable.