In the "RollerCoaster Tycoon" series of video games, the player takes on the role of a business entrepreneur who constructs and manages the operations of a theme park. Most game modes require the player to build a theme park from scratch by taking out a loan to finance the initial rides. Players can choose pre-designed rides or build their own. The overall goal is to keep the visitors to the park happy so that they continue to frequent the park.
The player must balance the intensity and types of rides to match the varying preferences of visitors. Some visitors have high nausea-tolerance levels and prefer high-intensity rides. Other visitors prefer slower, gentler rides.
The player hires handymen, mechanics, security guards and entertainers to perform maintenance and upkeep on the park and to entertain guests and prevent vandalism. Players must strategically place food stalls, concession stands, bathrooms and information kiosks for visitors to use. Efficient planning of pathways is important so that visitors do not get lost. Garbage cans, benches, lights and architecture add to the aesthetics of the park.
As of December 2015, there are six games in the "RollerCoaster Tycoon" series. The games and expansions contain several scenarios for the player to complete. For most scenarios, the end goal is to have a minimum number of guests or to build the park up to a certain value.