Tested on an AMD Powercolor R9 290 4GB
We absolutely love rollercoasters and Rollercoaster Tycoon 2 is one of our all time favourite games. Sadly it was also the last really addictive, polished theme park simulator, with RCT3 losing much of its charm in the move to 3D and the less said about the recent free to play games the better. NoLimits 2 might not be a full theme park simulator but if you have a passion for designing rollercoasters then look no further, this is by far the most comprehensive editor created and now it’s available on Steam for £27.99.
It’s worth noting that NoLimits is much more of a tool than a game, it’s barely a game at all really. Instead you can download other peoples’ creations and ride on them, even operating them if that’s what you fancy, or you can enter into the intimidating-looking editor and create your own. The editor itself looks like any 3d modelling tool. There’s a variety of menus, views and a system that focuses around placing nodes to alter the properties of the track or environment. Many real-world coaster types are included in the game and while the scenery options are fairly limited (unless you love trees) you can create and import your own or download some from fan sites.
The editor definitely isn’t easy to use but that’s because it’s trying to give you the ability to alter every little part of the design. At any point along the track you can choose the supports, the roll angle, the elevation, the direction, the colour, the materials and even how worn that track is. Of course you can also specify sections for lift hills, stations or boosts and the game will work out many of the difficult parts for you. As an example if you add roll points along the track you can click on each one and let the game work out the right angle to remove uncomfortable lateral-gs. If you have enough of these roll points you’ll end up with a smooth curve that looks just like a real rollercoaster. Similarly with the supports you can place them all individually if you wish, with a wide variety available, or you can let the software work out the optimal positions in a range of different styles and it will set up your rollercoaster to make it look like the real thing.
Graphically the modelling on the coasters is amazing but the scenery still leaves something to be desired. The game has no detection for clipping and many of the models and textures are poor, so unless you’re willing to spend hours to get everything to look just right or you can make your own models, you’re going to struggle to make anything look really impressive. There’s also the issue that your parks and coasters are frighteningly empty. If you’ve ever been to a theme park off-season you’ll know how disturbing the atmosphere can be when there’s few people around, now No Limits 2 has zero people. Sadly that’s reflected in the online community too, with some excellent designs out there, but you could easily see every good design within an hour or too, there’s just so few people using this as a tool.
If you’re at all interested in rollercoaster design, No Limits 2 is your only sensible option. For the money is is a powerful and fully featured software package that will allow you to design basically whatever you want as long as you have the time and patience to learn how to use it. For a casual sim-gaming fan, please be aware that this really isn’t a game. We hope that someone will pick up No Limits and use it as a tool to design rollercoasters within a proper simulation game, but for now we’ll keep playing with this!