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     " RTIII may quickly become your geek version of crack and suck up way more time than you'd ever anticipated. "

      Title: Railroad Tycoon III by Gathering of Developers

      Format: PC Strategy

      Reviewing Monkey: Mojo Jojo

      The Hype: One of the highlights in the myriad of world mastering simulators that started over a decade ago, Railroad Tycoon puts player in the role of, wait for it, a railroad tycoon trying to build a greater fortune by monopolizing the railways of the late 1800's. Boasting improved 3D graphics and a more dynamic economics model, Railroad III says it'll revitalize your old miniature train nostalgia.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: Not designed to win any awards, the graphics for RTIII are nice, and certainly an improvement over previous versions, but not particularly noteworthy. With environments that are palatable at best, the focus is really put on the various engines that you can get a panning 3D view of. Interfaces are bright and well lit, and though there are some readability issues on ledgers and menus, overall it's pleasant, if uninspired. 3 out of 5

      Playability: Essentially an economic simulator, RTIII forces you to build an empire by stretching rails across given lands based on various requirements and destinations. A bit simple in scope, the focus is on a combination of management and planning that gives players control of catering to passenger requirements, cargo, or a combination there of. Okay, granted, this doesn't sound particularly engaging and certainly doesn't make for the most interesting review copy, but trust me when I say it's both fun and addictive. Surprisingly so. You'll be shocked at how engrossed you become in making sure that passenger routes grow in the proper direction, that cargo arrives on schedule, and that you'll actually care about making your build deadlines by 1862. Enhancing this entertainment is a simple but in depth economic model that will have you micromanaging your ledger and, since you're the owner and not each individual employee, the random elements of fate that will either help or thwart your best efforts. 4 out of 5

      Story and Drama: There's this evil guy with a mustache, see, and he has this fair maiden that he's tied down onto the tracks. And then there's this hero, get it, and the hero's gotta rescue her before your train runs her over. Your job is to get her first! No? Then I guess there's no story at all.

      Multiplayer and Replayability: Having the same addictive quality as many of the better games in this genre, RTIII may quickly become your geek version of crack and suck up way more time than you'd ever anticipated. Even if you don't fall in love with it, there'll probably be plenty to keep you going until you get at least your money's worth out of it. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       In the end I've got to say that Railroad Tycoon III actually moved me. It sat me down, kept me going, and make me lose many a night's worth of sleep while I plotted to extend my hobo-movin' empire. Granted, that's not the most amazing concept in gaming history, but when all's said and done it kept me playing and happy and that's what matters.

      The Good: Great economic simulator with newly improved business models and options.

      The Bad: May not be everyone's cup of tea and still is a bit lackluster on the visuals side.

      The Overall Ugly: I'm having fun with it.

      What it's Worth: Market

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