If you've ever ridden a roller coaster and secretly wished you could build your own, now you can... at least online. You don't have to be a child to enjoy designing and creating a roller coaster online either; there are options for grown up kids too.
RollerCoaster Tycoon World
RollerCoaster Tycoon World is the newest game for the RCT brand. This edition includes old time fan favorites from earlier editions as well as new advancements like 3D environments filled with thrills, flat rides, user-generated content, new social features, and more.
Some of the best features include:
- 3D coaster editor
- Huge selection of in-game objects
- Freedom to place objects everywhere and anywhere on the map
- Unique paths that include curves at nearly every angle
- Piece-by-piece builder that allows you to create custom buildings, including four themes (generic, western, adventure, and sci-fi)
- User-generated content, which you can share with other players, available through the 3D editing program
- Choose from different map environments and themes like desert, forest, and tropical island
- Excellent management tools and trackers
- Ability to ride all your creations
- Manage all park services like medical, janitorial, mechanical, and more
- Social sharing from within the game, and the ability to see friends' streams and games from within your own
- Support for multiple languages
Standard and Deluxe Edition Prices
The RollerCoaster Tycoon World standard edition for the PC is $14.99, while the Deluxe Edition is $19.99. The deluxe version includes additional maps, a zipper ride, exclusive scenery, another mascot, and a digital art book.
RCT World Reviews
Lifewire ranks RollerCoaster Tycoon World as the best roller coaster game for your PC. It's good for a variety of ages, and probably best for adults given the level of detail involved. It's a really a special program given that people who are interested in 3D animation and mechanics can literally build their own designs and incorporate them in their theme park.
Other sites like Slant have more cons regarding the program, with reviewers noting even small parks run poorly on max settings, graphics settings cannot be changed in games, and there is no music when zoomed in, along with other program glitches and performance issues.
User-generated "ranking" site Ranker features the RCT franchise prominently among its top picks for roller coaster simulation games.
Other RollerCoaster Tycoon Games
There are also older games available within the RCT brand. These include RollerCoaster Tycoon 2, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Platinum, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile.
Planet Coaster is another 2016 release, which was developed for Microsoft Windows. Planet Coaster prides itself in its customization where you can build coasters from the ground up, design scenery, and customize your own rides. You can even build islands in the sky if you choose. Build your own creations or choose some other community creations in the Steam Workshop.
Some of the features of Planet Coaster include:
- Sculpt your own landscape to make lakes, caverns, islands, and mountains.
- Recreate your favorite rides or create your own realistic masterpiece.
- Control all aspects of your guests' experience, and guests will even tell you how well your park is run.
- Enjoy total park management control.
- Take advantage of social sharing, plus the ability to upload your own creations for other Planet Coaster community members or to download their special creations to add to your theme park.
Reviews for Planet Coaster
Slant users rank Planet Coaster as their top "must play" choice for roller coaster building games. Users like how powerful the building creator is and that every theme has a back story that gets you more immersed in the game.
Like RollerCoaster Tycoon World, this is a more advanced simulator game better suited for adults or really advanced younger players who can benefit from all the advanced features.
Planet Coaster typically runs £29.99 (around $40 US), but goes on sale occasionally for about £13.50 (about $18 US).
No Limits 2
If you're looking for a virtual reality (VR) roller coaster simulator, No Limits 2 is a great option according to VR Source. They recommend it for the ability to edit nearly every aspect of your simulation, including terrain, the look of coaster, and even the seats. Ride existing coasters or build your own. No Limits 2 is also a PC-based game made for Windows computers.
Major Features and Highlights
Features in No Limits 2 include:
- Realistic physics
- Supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive
- 40 different coaster styles, including dueling coasters
- Next-gen graphics
- Weather effects and day-night cycle
Pricing for No Limits 2
There are two versions of No Limits 2: standard and professional. Most users are only going to want the standard unless you are doing more professional work with it. The standard version retails for $39.99, while the professional edition is $89.99.
With the professional version, you are allowed to use screenshots for commercial use, take advantage of a larger maximum recording size, utilize a variety of other special effects, and include password protection for tracks.
Roller Coaster Simulators for Kids
The above roller coaster builder games are based on realism and an understanding of 3D mechanics. If you're looking for more simplistic and less expensive options for your kids, consider one of these free options.
Rollercoaster Creator is an online game for kids and teens, and you still get to build your own roller coaster track. Add steep inclines, drops, and loops. Users will earn "thrill coins" from passengers. It's fun, but it's also a learning game as it helps kids understand physics and how the laws of gravity, force, and motion work. If your track is not designed to build up enough momentum for twists and loops, the coaster might get stuck, or worse, crash!
Play multiple levels that have different features, like:
- Level One: Use the "freehand pencil" to draw upward and downward curves.
- Level Two: The Up the Track tool allows you to climb a slope without rolling backwards.
- Levels Three to Six: You have access to Down the Track, Loop, Steep Incline, and Steep Drop features.
Science of Disney Imagineering
The Science of Disney Imagineering has a roller coaster ride builder program. While designed for kids and students, Disney fans of all ages will probably enjoy this basic roller coaster builder. Choose from jungle or space themes and piece your track together to create an animated roller coaster. Add themed props, special effects, and a couple of special tools, including hydraulic lift.
Amusement Park Physics
While it is not a game per se, Learner.org has a great step-by-step free guide to help kids learn the physics of roller coasters so they can move on to the more advanced simulation games. You choose the height of your hill, shape, exit path, height of second hill, and the loop. Once you're done, the program rates your coaster design for safety and fun. If you fail, it will tell you the solutions to make your coaster safer and more fun.
Choosing a Roller Coaster Builder Game
If you're serious about roller coaster simulation and builder games, you'll want to spend the money on getting a quality program. Otherwise, the free and less expensive browser type options will be a complete disappointment. Some of the best programs can run close to $40, but the options are limitless and allow for community interaction and social sharing, launching your roller coaster adventures to new heights.