One of my favorite childhood video games was Roller Coaster Tycoon. It’s basically a theme park simulation game, where you get to build a bunch of rides, design your own roller coasters, and manage the park.
Not only was the game itself addicting, but it also helped me appreciate roller coasters that much more. I learned how to build the most exciting designs, the names of the different track pieces (left corkscrew going into a half loop followed by a quick bank to the right going into a couple small helixes), and all the different types of roller coasters.
Plus, it was just fun building and running a theme park – every kid’s dream, right? You had to plan out the pathways, strategically place food stalls and bathrooms even, maintain the rides, and keep the place clean. The concept of creating and destroying – that was the appeal that made the game such a good one.
I really loved the simple, 2-D graphics and interface, which were sadly lost after Chris Sawyer sold the game to Atari. One of the most endearing memories from the game is the music – I’ll never forget the different carousel songs that the game played. Those tunes always made me happy and reminded me of the times spent with family and friends at theme parks.