★★★☆☆Railroad Tycoon 3
is a management strategy and railroad building simulator. As an enterprising tycoon (yes, an ACTUAL tycoon) of the 19th century or 20th century, build a railroad empire across a multitude of landscape, laying or acquiring tracks and locomotives, ferrying people and cargo, investing in your (or your competitor's) stock and industries, while the cities around grow and more advanced steam, diesel and electrical engines are invented.Pros
: As a train company, you have a large amount of decisions you can make, although the game has a faily enough simplified interface to avoid over-complication. A variety of options are available for the tracks you lay, the stations you build, the train engines you purchase and the cargo you haul. As time goes by, new technology and world modernization adds additional options, anywhere from new bridge types to new engine technologies (coal, diesel, electrical). Cities and industries are dynamic and take shape based on how much your company help them: cities will grow as you ferry passengers, new industries are build as cities grow, new cargo are available for import or export as new industries are built. You also get to manage stocks, whether issuing or buying it back, buyingt competitor's stocks for hostile takeover, and even influance how much power the shareholders have over your decisions from your own stash of stocks you can buy from your hard-earned salary as president of the company. The game also offers a large list of geographical locations to base your games, and game types such as goal-achieving scenarios, randomized games or straight sandbox.Cons
: The graphics are showing their age a lot. You have limited randomization options and the land masses are pre-generated. You are limited to a single, continuous or branching railroad, unable to plant additional stretches if it doesn't connect to your existing track. Depending on the difficulty, competing tycoons are both extremely agressive and extremely dumb in their track laying stretegy.Verdict
: Even today, Railroad Tycoon 3
remains fun and is still the best incarnation of its genre: neither too realistic nor too gamy/dumbed-down. If you like this sort of game and don't mind the aging look, you'll find plenty of options in this game, well worth the price!