It's not too difficult to understand why people like to ride rollercoasters. An illusion of danger is always addictive, as is the thrill of being thrown from axis to axis, brain sloshing as it bats away fight/flight conundrums from a spitting adrenal gland. Indeed, blurrily glimpsing your own high-speed death with nothing but a taut plastic harness and the promise of a flimsy hotdog bought from a man in a chicken suit on the ground for comfort, helps sharpen life's focus.
Likewise, it's not too difficult to understand why people like to design rollercoasters. We've all known the sadistic glee of burning ants with a magnifying glass and hot sun. Rollercoaster designers must be the same - albeit adults with architectural degrees and now the ants are holidaying children and the hot sun is steel girders, physics and fearsome 125kph maths.
But understanding people who design games that allow people to design rollercoasters for virtual people to ride on is getting beyond us. As, it turns out, are their games. Despite the easy-going origins in Bullfrog's Theme Park, the genre has lately become bound up in microscopic management of dry business stats, the balancing of virtual profit margins and keen demographic profiling rather than the innocent fun of burning children. Er... Ants. It's become a niche within a niche and so, it's a pleasant surprise to find this game from Frontier, the developer behind Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, is more concerned with the funfair candyfloss and mini-games than making you do an approximation of your real life job at home.