When RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 launched in 2004, it allowed players to hop on their creations as passengers for the first time. Unfortunately, the feature was limited, as the processing power required for the first-person mode was greater than the simulation aspect of the game, and players were simply watching it from the monitor rather than actually feeling like they’re inside the world. Nvizzio Creations hopes to deliver the full realization of that feature with the upcoming PlayStation VR title RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride.
At its base, RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride allows you to hop on-board a number of pre-made coasters or build your own. Using basic track customization tools, you can design your ride pretty easily. If you get to a point and want to wrap up the process, you can click a button and the game will close the circuit for you. You can set your creations in a number of different environments, but my favorite is the city setting that let me spiral the tracks down skyscrapers and in between structures.
Barreling down drops and around tight curves tricks your brain, giving you a similar sensation as riding a real coaster. On top of simply riding along the tracks, you also participate in a target-shooting competition using the motion controls of the standard PlayStation 4 controller to aim. In order to score big, you can shoot different value targets and earn one of several power-ups to your gun. It’s a fun diversion and can be quite the challenge, but the main attraction for me is being able to ride the coasters; if you don’t want to shoot the targets, you can just ignore them.
In addition to being able to build whatever coaster pops into your head, you can also share and download creations using PlayStation Network, giving you an even deeper pool of rides. You can also use the leaderboards to see how you rank in your shooting skills, or pass the PSVR headset around the room and compete with up to three other players.
It’s clear that the concept behind RollerCoaster Tycoon 3’s CoasterCam has come a long way. Being able to actually feel like you’re riding the coasters you dream up is a strong selling point for longtime fans of the series, and the target-shooting game adds an extra layer into the mix. PSVR owners who have been disappointed by the roller coaster offerings on the platform could get rewarded for their patience with RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride when it launches this spring.