Beta Test #16: Roller Coaster Tycoon 2

Beta Test

I was 16, he was 15. It was at the top of the building, outside the L, and S blocks. I had just put my visual diary into my locker,  to get out my ham cheese sandwich (which I had every intention of throwing in the bin so I could get a burger from the canteen instead). He sidled over, clutching it in his clammy hands. ‘Is this it?’ he croaked, acne laden face staring at me. It was. It was everything and more. It wasn’t my first. But somehow I knew this time would be worth more than anything else I’d had in my short life. ‘Yes’ I breathlessly whispered. He held it out and I grabbed it from him. Laughing with glee over my new prised possession. A Pristine copy of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2: Triple Thrill Pack!

…Three years later I lost the disk and downloaded it on steam instead.


Hello my Angry, Hungry Guests. I’m Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test. A game review platform where I, a mere hot dog merchant in the fungus woods, choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review.

First and foremost I have to apologise to an absolute legend of a friend of mine. Joel, you gave me a game that I loved, and I’m so sorry I lost the disk. Also you didn’t have bad acne. Also I made that sound like some sort of weird summer romance, which we both know wasn’t the case because I was very in love with *you know who* at the time. Anyway, thank you for the game, sorry I’m the person I am, and sorry you have to put up with me telling the world about our awkward shared High School experiences….Still friends yeah?

I’ll be honest. I put off writing this or a solid three ours because I got stuck in a time vortex, looking at all the memes. I don’t even want to write this any more, I just want to become an RTC2 meme generator. Would I get anything out of it? No; Would it fill the ever gnawing void in my soul that can only be filled with images of guests drowning? I THINK FUCK YES.

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2, Developed by Chris Sawyer Productions, and published by Atari, is a theme park based Tycoon game where you are given scenarios for parks around the world. The game boasts hundreds of roller coasters and side shows that you can customise, create, and build yourself. The parks vary from level to level, with some ranging from a span of 6 months (in game time) to 4 years (In game time. A solid 3 hours. I’m not a sadist).

This is an old game. This game was around before Facebook. This Game is old enough to get a job, and have sex in some states, and drink underage at a friend’s birthday party (with alcohol supplied by the cool older brother that maybe I had a thing for, shut up, god, what do you know).

This game is an early 2000’s creation, and it runs like one. It renders your screen to the bare minimum. If you leave it for a couple of hours and come back, it will have fucked up your computer. Sometimes it crashes if you haven’t saved it in a while. So why do I love it so much? Why is it one of the first games I go to if I’ve had a tough week? Why is this hunk of junk a gold star choice for my head brain?

The answers are simple. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 offers me great, reliable game play, with no hidden agendas, easy controls, and a straightforward difficulty system. The graphics look (OK, they look dated) great for their time, and even though they’ve aged, they hold up in their own right unlike some games. Early Mario kart, for example was a nightmare of 8 bit pixel hell, this is softer, more readable, I can play RTC2 drunk and not run right off the rails. It also offers me tangible, short term, realistic goals. I can complete a scenario in an afternoon, and leave it at that. I’m not suckered into the next chapter with infinite game play, and as someone who gets major tunnel vision, that’s something I really appreciate. There are also zero consequences for most of my actions. I have a park that needs 1,500 visitors? Better make the wildest coasters and delete the exit. I need a rating of 700? Better drown anyone that doesn’t have a good time. Slip and Slide broke? Delete it.

I adore this game. I will be 80, sitting in some provincial nursing home because my kids are scum that won’t take care of me, watching the nurse robots tut over Mrs.Griffiths playing her old fashioned computer games, and this will be the game I’m playing. It’s one of the quintessential ‘Bethany’ games. Playable at any age.

Because of the absolute mad lad aesthetics, and the nostalgia for early 2000’s computer game technology, I give this game:

2/5 Drowning Guests for style
0/5 Drowning Guests for plot
3/5 Drowning Guests for easiness
5/5 Drowning Guests for Drowning bitchy little guests that are too stupid to find the park exit. Sorry not sorry Susan G.

So, my dudes! I’ve been Bethany Griffiths, and this has been a Roller Coaster of a Beta Test. A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely unbiased review.  If you have a game that you want me to give my two cents on, Please let me know!

Until next time,


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