Tuesday, 26 December, 2000

Computer Games / Railroad Tycoon

Even though I've worked in the computer games industry, I've never been a huge fan of games.  When I was in that business, I made it a point to evaluate a lot of different games, but very few really grabbed my interest.  I have several bookshelves full of games now, most of which I've only played long enough to see their major features.  A few, though, have retained my interest for years.

The original Colossal Cave Adventure was the first game to keep my interest for any length of time.  I played that for most of my first semester in college before I finally figured out the secret of the last room.  I played Zork for a while, but many of the puzzles were too obscure for my taste.  After that, it wasn't until 1994 that I found another game to really interest me.  That game, of course, was DOOM, which I played all the way through on my 386 with no sound.  I still play that game from time to time, and am still impressed with it.  Of course, it plays much nicer on my P3 700.  Of the other first person shooter type games, only Descent was as much fun, and that only in multi-player mode. 

The game that's had my attention for the last couple of years (I don't get to play much) is Railroad Tycoon II and the The Second Century expansion pack.  The game played reasonably well on my P200, and it's a real joy on my new system.   I much prefer RRT2 over any of the other real-time strategy games, which all seem to be war based.  RRT2 has much of the same attraction as Civilization II, but with a much more varied experience.  Even so, it could still use a better AI.  It's not uncommon to have 30 or more trains running at the end of a scenario, and having to micro-manage them all gets tiresome.