This compilation from Atari boasts two all-time favourites from the world of strategy-management games: Civilization III and Rollercoaster Tycoon 2.
Civilization III is an empire building game where you build and command a given race through history. You are essentially their leader and God, deciding on exploration routes, harvesting natural materials, developing technologies, and interacting with the other races that inhabit your planet. Practically every aspect of human civilisation is touched upon in this game.
The most important new features for Civilization III have to be the new ways to win. The Civilization series has always adopted an open-ended approach to gameplay, leaving it up to the players how they choose to complete the game. New ways to win include diplomatic finesse, cultural domination and economic might. There are new combat options to increase the ways in which you deal with the war scenarios, if your diplomacy breaks down of course.
The trade system has been given an overhaul with new systems and commodities, and more options have been added to the diplomatic procedures with the inclusion of a conversational interface and a bargaining table. Another great touch is the new strategically located resources that are scattered around the playing map. Only by using these rare resources can specific new technologies be developed.
Chris Sawyer's Rollercoaster Tycoon served as a great simulation, both as a management sim and as a fun coaster design programme, and its successor ensures players of the original get their annual dosage of virtual adrenaline in Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 for PC.
With coaster design progressing on a day-to-day basis, Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 (RCT2) comes with the latest state-of-the-art coaster designs and elements from the past couple of years. These include Intamin's infamous giga-coaster, Arrow Dynamics' 4D coasters, the best coasters from industry innovators, B & M (manufacturers of Alton Towers' Nemesis, Oblivion and AIR) and the financially-troubled Vekoma.
Creating a monstrous network of steel, your role as park manager is to create something extreme and fun, but also to ensure potential customers aren't intimidated and too frightened to ride any of your designs. If you're not too comfortable designing a coaster yourself, you are free to choose from dozens of default designs.
But all of the above is only possible if you have the funds. A good, sustainable cashflow can only be achieved through keeping existing customers happy and enticing new ones through advertising. This is a management game after all, and keeping the punters content isn't as easy as it might sound. Accommodating their every need, you must provide food and drink outlets, toilets, souvenir shops, umbrella stalls for those rainy days, litter bins, and even benches for those that can't handle the park's twists and turns. You even have to recruit cleaning, security, maintenance and engineering staff to keep your park in working order. The last thing you need is a fatal coaster accident.