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Dennis's mention elsewhere of Marklin related board game, Ticket To Ride
reminded me of what I consider to be among the absolute elite of utterly best PC games ever devised -
Railroad Tycoon II.

For me, RR II ranks right up there with Age Of Empires, Civilization, Command & Conquer/Red Alert, and Wizardry. ALL are masterpieces and I'd be extremely hard pressed to choose an absolute favourite - or even to calculate how many years of my life I have wasted (but THOROUGHLY enjoyed!) in almost living in such addictive alternative worlds - often 18 straight hours at a time! But for the purpose of this board, I can hardly lavish enough praise on Railroad Tycoon II.

Be warned - it can take over your life, if you let it, with options ranging from just 'playing with trains' in "The Sand Box", ranging right through to the construction and management of MASSIVE transcontinental railroads anywhere on the planet, all in cut-throat competition with either your PC's Artificial Intelligence or one of the thousand of human addicts across the internet world, or perhaps like golf, completely alone and just trying to improve your last performance, without killing anyone else in the process! All maps are based on the topography of real Planet Earth, with additional special scenarios such as "What if the Mediterranean dried up?" to stretch the imagination a little. Or you can terraform your own planet from The Earth provided. If nothing else, the potential for improving your understanding of geography is hugely gratifying in itself!

I bought its successor, RR III about a couple of years or more ago, but have not yet actually installed it - sheer lack of time! I have a sneaky feeling that, like many so-called 'updates' this one might be a case of overly-flashy graphics at the expense of immersive, realistic game play, which is another reason for no rush on my part. Maybe one day I will find out - I just don't know where my time goes these days.

Do take a look at the Poptop Site and have a good poke around their articles and screenshots. I seriously doubt that anyone who uses a PC and also has a genuine love of trains and travel could experience anything but complete enjoyment with this incredible work, once they open their minds to its depths and bother to learn the ropes. Completely ignore the fact that the game is now quite a few years old - it is a truly timeless classic that will probably always remain so.

A quote from the producers, Poptop.
QUOTE It can take you from New York to South Africa.
It can take you from the year 1804 to the year 2000.
It can take you from penniless manual laborer to powerful multi-millionaire.
It can take you from a normal, well-adjusted, well-rounded person to an obsessed, singled-minded, one-tracked train head.
This is a real railroad game, not just a strategy game that happens to involve railroads.
If you want to hop on a plane, car or ship, hop on another game!

This game is about trains, for people who love trains.
Everything about the game is centered around an authentic look and feeling of the railways.
Period video and pictures are interlaced with the game.
The design and interface are true to the character of the fabled late 1800's railroads.
A.I. opponents are based on real people.
And all maps are real (based on satellite photography from US Geological Service and other sources).
 

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I tried the demo for Railroad Tycoon 2 and never got to grips with laying the track. It never went where I wanted it to go. Having played the original Sid Meiers game to death, I was underwhelmed by it and didn't follow up with a purchase. I was also put off by the lack of a full British scenario.

David.
 

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I love Railroad Tycoon as well. I've always felt it would be better with better quality British scenarios. I also felt the maps could be to a larger scale.
 

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RRII was not that good in terms of ease of play. RRIII is a *vast* improvement if you don't like reading manuals etc. It is incredibly addictive, taking many hours of your life...
 

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The orginal DOS version of RR tycoon was by far the best. The best RR game of all was the board version of 1829 which included a working stock market "take me back a few years".
 

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By chance I came across some screenshots today of the Railroad game we may all be waiting for - "Sid Meier's Railroads". Yes, Sid the man who brought so many of us endless hours of enjoyment and for some the mystery of 15 bit signed arithmetic rollover into negative numbers as they became /too/ success, has put his Firaxis team to work bringing the original concept up to date. Let's hope the game play is as good as before and that the game is not just "drop dead gorgeous" graphics wrapped around an empty shell.

You can find the "preview" site here at publisher Take 2 Interactive:-

Sid Meier's Railroads - expected October 06

David
 

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On RR tycoon II the easiest was to get rich FAST was to play the east coast America map in the 1950s start in new york and build a line up to new haven Ship oil to new Haven turn it to diesil return it to new york to the power station this makes you loads to spend on other lines and stuff I once controlled the whole of the East of America by Liquidating every opponent railroad

In Britain I always ended up building the east coats mainline in 1870 only getting it finished by 1930 and was bankrupt by the 1990s! It was too hard a map to play and in total they were around 5 British engines
the Trevithick No 1
Rocket
GWR Iron Duke
B12
Mallard
Deltic
There were no more not even a HST!

I think it was really designed for Americans as the majority of maps were american and most locos were american
But still highly addictive gameplay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I must confess, it's a good while since I actually played it - I had a PC melt-down and not everything got reinstalled. It's easy to get a little confused looking back, but I also had the 21st Century Add-on and perhaps it was this that included a whole slew of very modern locos including Eurostar and Japanese Bullet Trains - even a MagLev of some sort!

Addictive it most certainly was and I managed to conquer every original scenario, though perhaps not quite all of the 21st Century. NOW the problem is, do I reinstall it and redo it all again - I am certain to enjoy it every bit as much, or finally get around to trying out RRT III, which I think I have owned for two years and never yet played - decisions, decisions!


PS
Thanks for the tip on East Coast USA - that was one I recall having some difficulty with and I really don't like 'cheat hacks' - completely ruins the intellectual sense of achievement.
 

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Think I'll stick to train sim thank you. At least it gives clues on how to start a class 08!!!
 

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Picked up a secondhand copy of Railroad Tycoon 3 today as I spotted it going cheap on the shelf at one of the local software stores.

Like others I gave up a long time ago on RRT 2 as the track laying function had a mind of its own with track constantly heading off in a random direction.

RRT 1 was better.

It will be interesting to see if RRT 3 is as addictive as the original which was last played many years ago in the days of the the PC286 and Dos.

Happy modelling
Gary
 

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>without all the bells and whistles
An unfortunate choice of phrase
; bells and whistles were the one thing RRT1 had in abundance - especially the time I managed to build TGV lines that criss-crossed Europe; the bell never stopped ringing. I still get the nostalgia pangs each time an update event happens on a PC somewhere in the house.

David
 

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If everything is on schedule, Sid Meier's Railroads will hit the shelves in the next four to six weeks. The Gamespot website appears to have the most recent report (August 24th) from seeing the game at Leipzig. They have a few short "game" movies uploaded. One of them shows the inside of a roundhouse with UK outline locomotives (all tenderless) waiting for action. The nice thing about this movie (apart from the two LNER pacifics) is the muted tones of the liveries; there was a worrying number of Kermit green locos in many of the screenshots I've seen (over 70 on ign.com).

The descriptions of the game play sound exactly like the original Railroad Tycoon. Deliver raw materials, manufactured goods, passengers and mail and avoid being taken over by the "Robber barons". One of the "game" movie clips has a newspaper announcement of a new Baldwin locomotive in what appears to be the original RRT 1 style.

You can check it out for yourselves by visiting Gamespot's preview page.

David
 

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There is now an "official" Sid Meier's Railroads website here

There is a press release on the Take 2 interactive website from 12th October which says the game has gone "gold". US sales start in October 17th with sales in Europe following on October 27th.

David
 

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I found a long review on Sid Meier's Railroads on Gamespot. You can find it here.

Given the advice on having more than a minimum spec PC to run it satisfactorily, it will be a while before I get to try it out.

David
 
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