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RollerCoaster Tycoon is a game where you create and build your own theme park. You have a variety of rides to choose from. You also have to build food stands for visiting tourists.
In RollerCoaster Tycoon, you run a campaign-themed mode in which you basically run a park until it reaches set objectives by a deadline, at which point you may quit or continue work on the park. Sometimes you start a park out from scratch, such as Forest Frontiers or Leafy Lake. Other times you may have to expand on an already existing park, like with Diamond Heights. Sometimes you must attract a certain number of guests while maintaining your park rating above 700, otherwise your park is closed down. And at other times you must either build 10 different types of roller coasters or finish building 5 started roller coasters. Occasionally, guest count doesn't matter; park value does. In all park value scenarios, you must achieve a set park value by a given date. Should one complete all the objectives in the original RollerCoaster Tycoon, Mega Park would become unlocked, a large scenario to develop into a gigantic theme park, such an example being Megaworld Park.
Like most Tycoon games there are guests that have needs that have to be there for them. In RollerCoaster Tycoon, there are several food stands, drink stands, restrooms, souvenir stands, and information kiosks.
RollerCoaster Tycoon has staff to help run the park. There are 4 different people you can hire: handymen, mechanics, entertainers, and security guards.
Handymen ensure the park's cleanliness by sweeping up litter and vomit left behind by guests. The also help beautify the park by watering flower planters and mowing weeds on grass tiles.
Mechanics have the important job of maintaining rides. They inspect rides occasionally and fix them when they break down.
Entertainers play the important role of entertaining guests to keep them happy. This prevents guests from complaining about long waiting lines.
Security guards patrol the paths to prevent vandalism in your park. In general, guest happiness and park approval rating go down if there is too much vandalism in the park.
The original RollerCoaster Tycoon gained such popularity that two expansion packs were released: Corkscrew Follies and Loopy Landscapes. Later RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 was made, providing more rides and scenarios. Afterwards, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was released, introducing 3-D elements.