Editors' reviewAlthough riding the rails seems antiquated these days, railroads were a huge factor in the rise of industrial civilization. Railroad Tycoon 3 brings back those heady days of rail construction and development with a simulation game designed to replicate some of the most impressive transportation achievements throughout history.
Although much of the gameplay involves laying track, building stations, buying trains, and scheduling routes, the tycoon aspects of the game also are important. Issuing bonds and stocks, improving trade efficiency, and expanding company holdings all are important in building your empire. The game's interface is intuitive and flexible. Several options for controlling the camera and navigating the playing field are easy to learn, and a detailed tutorial leads you through the basic and advanced features of the game. Graphics are impressive, from satellite images to close-ups of individual towns, but the demo suffers from some slight program hangs and interminable loading times. The full game may appeal mostly to railroad aficionados and hard-core sim fans, but the demo provides a great taste of the action. One full scenario and unlimited gameplay should be enough to help any gamers on the fence make up their minds.
The third game in this multimillion-selling series is building a full head of steam. PopTop raises the bar once again with a fully realized 3D gaming world scaling from eye-in-the-sky views of entire continents down to incredibly detailed close-ups of beautifully modelled locomotives, buildings, and landscapes. Play 25 challenging scenarios to recreate magnificent feats of railroading history. Use the 40-plus locomotives, 35-plus cargoes, and more than 150 buildings to build your railroad empire. Railroad Tycoon 3 defines the essence of tycoon simulations with attention to detail in a living, breathing world built around a truly amazing game.