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Developer PopTop delivers gamers to the age of steam, steel, commodities, and capitalism in this sequel to its 1999 hit Railroad Tycoon II. As did that game (and also the classic original, Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon), Railroad Tycoon 3 casts players as the captains of an up-and-coming railroad system, in competition with other, like-minded entrepreneurs to claim as much of the lucrative 19th and 20th century rail trade as they can. Beginning with a modest amount of start-up capital, players found a company, purchase cars and locomotives, lay down track, and choose the kinds of cargo their fledgling rail systems will move and trade.
Track-building tools include bridges, overpasses, and the return of tunnels from the original version of the game. Players can choose from over 35 different commodities, the value of each tied to a dynamic in-game economy. More than 40 locomotives, from the earliest steam-powered machines to the latest electricity-driven "bullet" trains, are available to haul these goods from town to town. This third edition of Railroad Tycoon challenges would-be captains of industry to prove their capitalist savvy in 25 scenarios set in locations around the world. A sandbox mode is also available, for those who would rather build their rail empires on their own terms. Online multiplayer support includes a matchmaking service.
While Railroad Tycoon 3 is designed to retain and improve upon favorite gameplay features found in the earlier titles, it also makes some changes — the biggest of which may be the switch to full 3D, thanks to a game engine PopTop developed itself for this project. Players can now view any part their developing empires from nearly any angle, with a camera angle that spins, pans, and zooms smoothly on most contemporary computers. To ease recognition and make management easier, the trains, stations, towns, and other landscape features are not completely accurate in scale to their surroundings, but they now appear much more realistically across the game world countryside. ~ T.J. Deci, All Game Guide