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Part of the appeal is that Railroad Tycoon 3 really has three games going on simultaneously, each more engrossing than the last:. The Railroad Game: Simply connecting up cities and building a rail empire can be a profitable business. You'll spend time buying new trains, plotting out new routes, and building links to new cities. Finding a way around a tricky mountain range and opening up a whole new market can be pretty satisfying.
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The Industry Game: You can also buy up businesses, such as farms or steel mills. You can even build your own, or add a little spice to your bottom line by building hotels and restaurants near your stations. The economic model is very detailed see below , so while mastering this part of the game isn't easy, it's very gratifying. The Stock Market: An entire stock market simulation is built into the game -- the lawless, unregulated stock market that made or broke the fortunes of industry captains.
You can invest in other rail companies and manipulate the market with insider trading. Particularly in multiplayer games, playing the market can be cutthroat and brutal. There's a whole strategy here to master.
The richness of the game comes from the fact that different players can play the game differently. A casual armchair tycoon who wants a light, easy game to play can have plenty of fun just building railroads and letting the computer figure out the best cargo.
The industry part of the game can be head-bangingly frustrating, but ultimately it can be manipulated by skilled strategists to create a huge bottom line and to win most scenarios with the most cash. Then you have the stock market, which can almost be ignored, or it can be wielded as a weapon once you take time to learn its machinations. Part of the fun is watching the different mix of strategies that players will use when presented with a challenge, or when thrown together head-to-head in multiplayer.
The economic model is new and interesting enough to warrant its own explanation. In previous Railroad Tycoon games, cargo would simply pile up where it was created until you "rescued" it with your trains. It made for an elegant, but predictable game.
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In RRT3, the invisible factors of supply and demand exert pull all over the map. More importantly, merchants will move cargo via their own means, supposedly using road networks or canals, in order to get goods to a place where they can be sold for a profit. You can click on map overlays and see the invisible merchants in action, moving cargo down into valleys or along rivers to sell at a destination where demand is high. Often it makes you want to howl in rage when sheep farmers are moving wool away from your rail head because there's a much more lucrative market down the river at a competitor's textile mill.
Cargo won't load into your trains if it won't be sold at a profit. No longer is it simply a game of moving raw materials to factories and cashing checks -- you really have to examine where the demand is and secure supplies. You might want to build a textile mill that's closer.
Or connect your rail head to an even more lucrative market elsewhere on the map. The economy will eventually respond, fluctuating accordingly. The simulation is deep enough that it's possible to just start running the map, crank up the speed, and watch as needs fluctuate and goods find their way to factories and ultimately to consumers.
Micromanagers will hate the new economics: But many strategy gamers will enjoy mastering this new challenge, and the emergent behaviors that it causes. Laying track can be quite an engineering challenge: Costs will increase if you must grade your track through hilly or mountainous terrain or build bridges over rivers.
You also have to match the engine to the track. If you make a simple mistake while laying your track, you can undo it pretty easily. But be sure to pause the game first. Just building a railroad network would be enough to challenge many players. Building a rail line between points A and B is one step in the process—but what if no one cares? To help you understand the market, Railroad Tycoon 3 offers map overlays that show you which areas offer particular goods and supplies, and which areas need them.
Passengers may want to travel from Boston to New York, while a spurt of new population growth may require the transport of more lumber from Manchester, New Hampshire, to Worcester, Massachusetts.
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Nacogdoches, Texas, has oil, and Fort Worth has oil refineries. In this game, the devil is in the details. As a railroad tycoon, you have interests that extend well beyond track and engines. The financial world is your oyster. Or use the crosstie with the Crossover application. Game description: Railroad Tycoon 3 features 25 scenarios challenging players to recreate magnificent feats of railroading history from around the world.
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Players can lay track including tunnels and overpasses , pick from over 40 locomotives from early steams to modern bullets, choose to haul over 35 types of cargo in a dynamic economy, and participate in an advanced stock market. Additional Port Information: Graphical Cards Tested: Yes Whats tested: