Let’s be frank: rollercoasters are freaky. They squeak and squeal, they sputter and clatter, all the while making the fear of untimely demise fun. Some of us try to avoid them at all costs.
Luckily, 3D Rollercoaster Rush gives even the most neurotic gamer a chance to loop-the-loop. But due to its high price and limited longevity, we’re still not quite ready to climb aboard.
A vast network of rollercoaster tracks across the American Southwest needs you to give patrons the ride of their lives. You’ll have to tilt the device for speed and braking, harnessing gravity to keep your passengers safely rolling along.
Next stop: Ludicrous speed!
You can win points for extreme air, super Gs, hyper speed and more. It is important to push the envelope, but if you go too fast you’re likely to crash, sending your passengers parachuting to safety.
Despite over 40 tracks, there’s little variation in the challenge. The first 20 tracks or so are very easy, but even as the difficulty ramps up you’ll zoom through the game in around an hour. The primary test for players is to be wary of hilly sections and to avoid landing face-first against the slopes. Simply slowing down traverses the hazards, and with a horn that signals when a rough track is ahead, it’s easy to avoid derailing.
As the upcoming track is generally obstructed from view, the horn serves to give you fair warning. There are times, though, when the horn doesn’t sound off, and you’ll come speeding around a turn and smack right into a dip in the track.
When you know that a hazard is on the way, it’s easy to avoid it. But if the horn fails, you’re largely at a loss for what to do. In these instances, you’ll have to replay the track to make it through, knowing what to expect only on the second run. This awkward dilemma actually removes the player from the experience of the ride, and limits the game’s challenges to mostly simple cues and forced replays.
For some reason, Six Flags: Middle of Nowhere didn’t meet expectations.
The original Rollercoaster Rush featured 2D graphics in a side-scroller with similar objectives. The updated 3D perspective improves the visuals, granting depth and elevation to the rides’ twists and turns. As the camera swivels and pans to the tilts of your gameplay, it’s quite thrilling to whip through a tunnel with arms raised, do a loop-the-loop, and then climb a near-vertical stretch of track, all before plummeting back to the bottom.
The cartoonish desert setting is fun to roll through, and Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote would be right at home. That said, with the camera’s movement it can be difficult to prepare for obstacles down the line.
Despite its shortcomings, 3D Rollercoaster Rush provides some good fun and unique experiences. There are a couple of incentives to replay levels, like topping high scores with carriages unlocked throughout the game, and racing against the ghosts of the developer’s best times, but neither will keep players engaged for long. An online option to challenge your friends’ ghost records would have been more fun, and it’s unfortunate that there are no leaderboads to be found.
Where 3D Rollercoaster Rush succeeds, it can be quite enjoyable, but it doesn’t warrant a high price. This is a simple game that would fare very well in one of our Cheap Shot reviews if it cost less. But since it’s currently masquerading as a moderately expensive title, this ride falls just short of our recommendation.