Game of Phones: Every week I’ll pick a new game for iOS or Android that’s perfect for long journeys, the commute or just when you want to switch off from the outside world.
RollerCoaster Tycoon is one of the best video games ever made and you can actually play it on your iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone.
Released in 1999 for Windows PCs, this game was an integral part of my life growing up and even just seeing the game again is a nostalgic throwback to the days when video games were installed using Floppy Discs or CD-ROMs.
In what must be one of the most faithful ports of all-time, the games’ developers have changed almost nothing about the original, choosing instead to make some subtle changes to the controls so that you can actually build your theme park while you’re pushed up against 15 other people on a bus.
As such everything that was wonderful about the original is still here from its glorious pixellated design to the sound effects of confused guests staggering around trying to find the exit that you’d forgotten to build.
In a master-stroke the game’s graphics may not have been updated but they have upped the resolution so everything looks bright and crystal clear.
Then there’s the mechanics itself. RollerCoaster Tycoon is actually a really challenging game, so while you can choose to just blow all your money on some screaming metal monstrosity there are in fact a library of levels with objectives for you to meet.
It is within these challenges that the true genius of the game becomes apparent. RollerCoaster Tycoon perfectly walks the line by giving you just enough financial information that you feel like you’re making some shrewd business decisions and yet contains all the fun stuff that makes it such a joy to play such as rollercoaster design and landscaping.
If I’m being honest, the game is ultimately best played on an iPad as I discovered after entering a rollercoaster black hole for three days over last Christmas.
That being said, I’ve been playing it on an iPhone X on the commute and it’s equally as playable and just as entertaining.