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Review: RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition – Nintendo Switch

I had high hopes for this game, but in the end, I would rather just play it with a keyboard and mouse.

rollercoaster tycoon 3 switch
Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie
The Good
Packed with all the latest rides and updates
Roller coasters for days.
Excellent for killing time
Sandbox mode is extremely clutch
The Bad
Controls make the game a little difficult to play
7
Overall

Back when I was 12, and I got my first PC, the original RollerCoaster Tycoon was my jam. I literally played it all the time. Armed with a couple of cheat codes, I would create some of the meanest roller coasters on the planet.

When the newer ones came out, my love for the game fizzled out as I was drawn towards other games. But my love for the game never went away. I would pick it up every once in a while and tinker around with it, then leave it alone for long stretches of time. 

Now, I don’t really game on PC anymore, and my attention is mainly focused on console games. So when I saw that the RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition was finally made available for the Nintendo Switch, I’m not going to lie, the excitement I had has a child about the game started to stir up, so I figured I would try it out and see if I got the same thrills I did when I was a kid.

Unfortunately, I didn’t

rollercoaster tycoon 3 switch review knowtechie

Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

Now, this isn’t to say that RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 is bad. The game in itself on the Switch is everything I expected it to be. It’s the same game you would get on a PC. But it wasn’t that. For me, it’s the controls. After playing with the game for about an hour, I found myself accomplishing nothing. And when I did, I kept second-guessing the controls. This game is truly meant to be played with a mouse and a keyboard.

But I figured I would give it another chance. Maybe I was too impatient. Rollercoaster Tycoon isn’t a game that you can play for short spurts of time. It’s the kind of game where you have to invest time in heavily—sort of like Minecraft or any other games where you build stuff. So, I gave it another chance and found the same result. 

Everything takes longer. What would normally take you a couple of clicks of the mouse involves about 20 button presses to accomplish. And swiping through all the game’s sub-menus really does a number to your hand’s grip. If the game had mouse support, I wouldn’t spend most of this piece on the controls. But here we are. Also, you may be able to use a workaround for mouse and keyboard on the Nintendo Switch, but no promises.

rollercoaster tycoon 3 switch review knowtechie

Image: Kevin Raposo / KnowTechie

The game itself is excellent. It’s everything I expected it to be. If you need a refresher on what this game is all about, you’re basically in charge of an amusement park. You get to build rollercoasters, create wild environments for your guests, assign janitors to go clean up puke, and a whole lot more. Not to mention, you get to ride the coasters you create too.

If you have time on your side and don’t mind cumbersome controls, then this might be for you. The good thing about the Switch is that you can take the game anywhere with you, which makes it pretty worthwhile. For me, this is the type of game I would play on a long flight or road trip. Whenever you get frustrated with the controls, turn it off, and pick it up right where you left off. 

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t get past the controls. If you’re someone who has never played any of the games in the RollerCoaster Tycoon series and don’t own a PC, I would totally recommend trying it out. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth, and the controls may not even be an issue for you, so yea, give it a try.

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 Complete Edition costs $29.99 and is now available for the Nintendo Switch via Amazon or the Nintendo Store.

Editors’ Recommendations:

Just a heads up, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the sale. It’s one of the ways we keep the lights on here. Click here for more. A sample unit was provided for the purpose of this review.

The Good
Packed with all the latest rides and updates
Roller coasters for days.
Excellent for killing time
Sandbox mode is extremely clutch
The Bad
Controls make the game a little difficult to play
7
Overall
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