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An outstanding and exciting finale to the RCT3 series, what can we say about Wild! except that it was, well ... Wild! although mildly similar to Zoo Tycoon, in response to such comparisons we were informed by Frontier that that they were in fact inspired by Busch Gardens and Disney Safari Adventure. Atari believed that in addition to the animals, Zoo Tycoon players might want to expand their horizons with the wildest coasters ever designed and the new amusement park features presented in Wild!

Eight new coaster types, expansions to existing coasters, and several new flat ride types came with Wild! Safari and prehistoric orientated, the most startling addition were the more than twenty species of 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 all of which entered & exited, expedition-style, each animal enclosure they'd 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 healthy animals from which to 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 also dart cam for escaped animals and animal cam allowing us to see our park as our animals did.

Having said that, the Wild! expansion was not only about animals. Although Soaked! is considered the water expansion, Wild! brought us waterfalls and the Waterfall Designer. Also introduced were five new stalls that sold themed merchandise, and there was additional scenery - all associated with the two new themes that had been introduced. Packaged with the eight new track types were Seismic and Robotic coasters that were actually being developed in real life. Accompanying the improvements that had previously come with tunnelling underground, while building our coasters in Wild! they could be tunnelled into terrain that was at any angle rather than only into flat terrain.

Billboard scenery had been added onto which we could place our own images. At the time we could brand our billboards over the internet with real, family-friendly advertisements through Atari. Wild! included the hugely requested Fries stall, the Donut stall (Atari's answer to the community's wish for a stall that offered funnel cakes), and four custom stalls that could not only be enhanced with the new billboards expansion but could also be set up to offer our guests anything available at the other stalls. The entertainers had four new uniforms to wear. Scenery items, tracks & rides, and stalls & facilities 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. Wild! even beat out one of the Sims expansions as Expansion Pack of the Year.

The First Ten Years

RCT3 fans care more deeply about this game than the average gamer fan. Forums and fan sites abounded with opportunities to share custom content, observations, critique, and appraisals. Both expansion packs were very innovative in their own ways and each offered new levels of fun and excitement. Because Atari kept the essential gameplay true to our RCT experience loyal RCT3 players embraced the new ideas that came along with RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and it's expansions. Few other games have had such steadfast supporters holding this level of interest. And for good reason ...

In the ensuing decade RCT3 racked up the following review accolades:


Computer Gaming World

four stars

Game Informer

8.75 out of 10





Imagine Games Network


PC Zone



four stars

Interestingly, Game Rankings has given RCT3 an aggregate score of 84.5 while MetaCritic has aggregate scored it at 81%.

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


Frontier Developments released RollerCoaster Tycoon Complete Edition in September of 2020 through its Publishing Division, Frontier Foundry. It was a re-release of RCT3 Platinum/Deluxe with enchancements for modern PC hardware along with widescreen support.

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. At the start, RCT3 and its expansions scaled quite nicely between high-end and low-end systems. With computers and graphics cards now much more advanced 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 & painting 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.

Although in the past few years a few RCT4-esque arrivals have been released they've been fraught with problems and, plainly, won't enjoy the same sort of track record as RollerCoaster Tycoon 3.