There are two ways to play the game: Instant Action and Full Simulation. In the first mode you don’t have to worry about things like finances, but you’re also limited to the number of items you get to place in the park. In Full Sim mode, your tasks include researching rides and ride upgrades, setting the ticket price (for the whole park only – rides are free to paying customers) and concession prices, and managing a staff of janitors, mechanics, security people, researchers, and entertainers.
Your staff needs direction in order to function with anything resembling efficiency. This means that every time you add to your park, you must hire new staff and set their patrols to cover the new area. Don’t even think about letting these palookas operate autonomously. In my first game, I didn’t set any patrol areas for my workers, and within minutes the park was filled with garbage, fouled bathrooms, and rampant criminal activity. Having to perform this ritual each time you expand the park makes the gameplay very formulaic and tedious.