I did ask Santa for some Switch games this year, but under the tree was a surprise. My wife got me Rollercoaster Tycoon Adventures which had released under the radar in December, and I was thrilled. I love relaxing sim type games that allow me to play a sort of virtual zen garden. In the past I've lost many many hours to games like Cities Skylines for example. So yeah, even though I had asked for some specific games, Rollercoaster Tycoon was the one that I popped into my Switch as soon as family holiday visiting was over.
My first impression was that it looks fantastic. And it's cool to see so many little animations happening on the Switch's little screen. Of course the hardware will show its limitations once you've unlocked a lot of the park and frame rates start to drop. But that was to be expected - at least to me. The Switch is an amazing game-player, but it's not a powerhouse. I'm just glad that games like this exist on it. I love seeing so much third party publisher support.
I have good things and bad things to say about this game. And the bad things aren't even really bad things. Basically, there's just not enough content here. The game isn't super deep. Which is to say, I'd love to see Planet Coaster ported to the Switch for instance. This just isn't quite Planet Coaster. The 'adventure mode' is the main campaign, and I'm not sure exactly how long it lasted me (too lazy to go look it up) but I'd guess under six hours. In fairness, there are a few different parks you can use as templates for the adventure mode so that might extend things, but ultimately it's the same game: try to get your park to be worth enough to unlock the tenth permit. That's it.
And that's where the lack of depth really shows up. There's a ton of rides and restaurants and so on to unlock, but outside of making sure that each section of the park is well stocked with janitors, bathrooms and maintenance and a good mix of the different things you can plunk down, you can be pretty mindless. It doesn't feel like it quite matters how well designed your park is. It doesn't seem to matter if you put all of your kiddie rides together or if the restaurants you choose make sense for each part of the park. The goal seems to just be to deck out every inch of the park in STUFF no matter what it is. That makes a challenge pretty non-existent and early on I was flooded with more income than I knew what to do with.
You can tweak things like ride prices but they tend to have more of an effect on monthly income than park worth so meh. You can design coasters, but I'm more into the management side of things than design. And I'd kill to import my own music. "Love Rollercoaster" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers needs to be in this game.
Now that I've aired my grievances I'll say that I did have a hell of a lot of fun with this game. Sure it's sort of busy work, but zen garden busy work. Which is good. I can't see replaying the adventure mode but I'm more likely to play around in the sandbox mode in the future than I am to revisit Minecraft again any time soon. So yeah, it's not super deep but there's definitely something to be said about peacefully zoning out. I'd still kill for a port of Planet Coaster, but this will do for now.