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What can we say about Wild! except that it was, well ... Wild! An outstanding and exciting finale to the RCT3 series, although mildly similar to Zoo Tycoon, in response to such comparisons we were informed by Frontier that it was not interested in stepping on anyone’s toes and that with Wild! we were adding to an amusement park and not building a zoo.

Jungle and prehistoric orientated, the most startling addition that came along with Wild! were the animals. Guests could view capricious, stunningly rendered creatures that moved, congregated, and interacted ultra-realistically. They cavorted, they got frisky, they clipped about, and could be admired by park guests either from purpose-built galleries alongside enclosures, or seen in the animal shows which could be organized to our liking with a mix master-type interface. This expansion introduced a tiger/leopard/puma entertainer and all-female animal keepers for our enclosures. There were breeding animals, herbivore-eating carnivores, and escaping animals, while the day-to-day of our animals’ lives could be enhanced by animal enrichment items. Six very different types of animal house, each accompanied by a keepers’ hut, were presented by Wild! for us to place in our exhibits.

Wild! combined rides and enclosures together in a meaningful way with an elephant transport ride, a safari train track, and Jurassic Park-type SUV's that, expedition-style, entered and exited each animal enclosure they had been built through. In the unfortunate event we got caught up with managing other areas of our park and one of our animals became neglected, after ample warning an Animal Protection Society helicopter flew into view, crated the animal, and carried it away. Conversely, animals kept in the peak of condition would breed, with the baby animals on display increasing our park’s rating.

This expansion also brought us the ability to sell animals and gain park income. Additionally we could rescue animals for later release to earn huge publicity boosts which usually drew more crowds into our parks than advertising campaigns.

There was dart cam for escaped animals, animal cam allowing us to see our park as they did, two new themes & additional scenery associated with those themes, two radical new track types (that were actually being developed in real life), and additional track parts we could add to our RCT3 tracks. While building our coasters in Wild! they could be tunnelled into terrain that was at any angle rather than built only into flat terrain.

Wild! included stalls we could customize and billboards on which we could put our own images or which could be branded over the internet with real advertisements through Atari. Scenery items, rides, and shops could now be placed underground with SHIFT key support.



Hugely discussed on the internet before the demo arrived, it did seem slightly beyond the realm of possibility that Frontier could ultimately develop a game including all the features being talked about. With the release of Vanilla, Soaked!, Gold, Wild! and then Platinum, on each of the release dates promised we discovered that it was possible to hold the package containing each installation CD in our hands and, with forecast having become reality, experience for ourselves the possibilities as assured by Atari.

Publications such as Game Spot and Computer Gaming World judged RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 as the true sequel to the original game, stating that RCT3 offered a substantial graphics overhaul while breaking new ground.


The First Decade

In June 2015 Frontier CEO David Braben reported that the game had sold "more than 10 million copies.”


Today .....

With all the tools, utilities, and custom content now available for our game, except for wishing ourselves unrealistically powerful computers enabling gargantuan parks, and secretly wondering what it would be like to have the few missing features that never quite made it into the game, there’s not much more we could want with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 – after all, with average yearly sales of a million copies in the decade since its release, 10 million people can’t be wrong.

The Microsoft Windows release, created for installation on Windows XP, has almost seamlessly carried over into Windows Vista, Windows 7, and onto later platforms. Computers and graphics cards are much more advanced now than they were in 2004 and along with the optimizations built into each expansion none of us have any serious problem playing RCT3 these days. Outstanding in the field of PC games RCT3 is one of the few games available that’s entirely creative. In our parks, the guests have a charm all their own, while duplicating the appearance of the game itself is simply not possible in spite of the advances made in PC game graphic design since 2004 .

RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 brought new meaning to the word "expansion." When we compare the features that were blueprinted into the game to those that were actually published with it and take into account the time limits as forecast for its release in various stages, RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 was the highest in game development excellence and achievement. It offered us the opportunity to be management, guests, and staff in a theme park we ourselves had built to our very own specifications, and enabled us to do this with a supremely equipped park building toolbox. RCT3 allowed us to bring our dream parks to life and to take park building into a seemingly limitless number of directions while we explored and achieved that.

Whether it’s building that dream park, forming terrain that looks like it’s been photographed, carefully crafting that death defying coaster, creating custom scenery that makes our mouths water, or thrilling forum members with our screenshots, although for pretty much the same reasons most of us looked forward to the release of RCT3 in its various stages, with so much on offer in this beautifully aged PC game each of us gets something different out of playing it.

It is improbable that any of the newer RCT4-esque arrivals will enjoy this same sort of track record.