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Railroad Tycoon 2 Platinum Edition - PC
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- Become a railroad mogul by working your way up the ranks of the railroad industry
- Build the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, or the Orient Express
- Run steam trains through African jungles
- Includes Railroad Tycoon II, RT Second Century, RT Gold, plus 50 new scenarios
- 2 - 8 players
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Railroad Tycoon 2 is based upon PopTop's proprietary S3D engine, which allows for highly detailed 3-D graphics and renderings. The game was developed exclusively for 1024 x 768 resolution in either 16-bit or 8-bit color.
Railroad Tycoon II by PopTop Software puts you in charge of a vast railroad empire in the persona of one of the legendary tycoons or government figures of the day. The train and station limits from Railroad Tycoon are gone. You can build stations and buy trains to your heart's content without bumping into an artificial limit. To the best of my knowledge, no one has exceeded the train/station limit, if there is one, relieving one of the most frustrating features of the original Railroad Tycoon when playing on large maps.
The graphics are wonderful. At high levels of zoom the trains look photo-realistic. As time passes, the various cars (passenger, mail, coal, etc.) change their appearance to match the era. Stations have architectural styles to match the geographic area. Smoke belches from the engines, trails from homes, shoots out of steel mills. Visually, trains remain straight and level instead of following the track uphill or around a tight curve, which takes some getting used to, but watching a 4-8-8-4 Big Boy running at full steam is a glorious experience.
The sound effects are equally stunning. Each structure has its own sound set. Zoom in to hear the cattle lowing at a ranch; zoom out and the sounds blend together from different buildings giving each region a distinctive personality. Train crashes sound appropriately apocalyptic. Sell some stock and a chorus of voices echoes your actions.
The manual does an adequate job of explaining most of the details and concepts of the game, but there are annoying lapses. Gone are the train descriptions of Railroad Tycoon II's ancestor. Instead we get a bare list of trains according to their availability. On the other hand, a large foldout full-color cardboard playing aid shows all the cars, with full details on their weights in different periods, an industry flowchart with all the interrelationships depicted, and lists of buildings, station improvements, and hotkeys.
The train model has been simplified to some extent. There are no signal towers, though you can set the priority of a train (express, normal, slow, and stop) and tell it to go, wait until half full, or wait until full of cargo. You cannot drop off cargo at one station to be picked up by another train; one of the few steps back from Railroad Tycoon.
The business model is much more complex than Railroad Tycoon. When playing in expert mode you can buy on margin or sell short, giving you and the computer players all the tools to be all the ruthless robber baron you can be.
If business bores you, you can turn off some or all of the economic model. In addition to three canned difficulty levels, you can mix and match to create your own custom difficulty settings. Or chuck the whole thing, load a map, and play in "sandbox" mode where the only restriction is your imagination.
While Railroad Tycoon II is a real-time game, as was the original, you can pause the game at any time and continue to work in the game. This is especially recommended when manipulating stock; the computer players are ruthless and will gut you if given the chance. It is as easy to gain or lose a fortune in Railroad Tycoon II as it was in the golden age of robber barons.
Competing with other railroads is more indirect than in Railroad Tycoon. There are no rate wars. Instead, you can run trains on other railroads' tracks and use their stations, and they can use yours. For this privilege you pay a hefty price that can exceed the actual return, if your stay on their lines is long enough. The computer players manage their rail lines adequately though not on par with a good human player.
The various displays for trains, cargo, stations, and your company make setting up and managing a railroad much easier than before. The map supports multiple levels of zoom, and you can toggle on and off different cargoes' supply/demand, train grades, station displays (having these available on the map makes setting up new routes much easier), and other features that are legible at all zoom levels.
Real life also intrudes more than it used to. Wars, international borders, and economic events have to be dealt with and aren't the pro forma nuisance notices they were in Railroad Tycoon. To run trains through several countries requires obtaining the rights (read: mucho dinero).
There are more than 60 trains and 31 different cargoes as well as a dining car and caboose. There are three station sizes, and the station orientation can be hard-set to one of eight choices or left to the computer. Track layouts can be contorted to ridiculous extremes so that expanding an established rail network is no longer the headache it was in Railroad Tycoon.
There are complex cargo relationships. Iron and coal must both be taken to steel mills to get steel. Rubber goes to tire plants, but both steel and tires must be provided for automobile plants to produce their precious load.
Playing Railroad Tycoon II with all options on is an immersive experience. You can get lost in the details of stocks, bonds, and mergers or setting up routes and consists. Railroad Tycoon II never becomes a click fest. Sometimes considerable periods can pass without the need for intervention so you can watch your creation at work.
There are a few flaws. The most glaring is that there is no undo option when laying track. Laying track on large maps with lots of trains even when paused can be tricky. The program doesn't always keep up with your mouse movements, so saving before track work becomes a necessity.
There are also no long bridges or tunnels. They have been "incorporated" into the track-laying process without any visual representation. Instead, when laying track there is a certain self-leveling process that takes place to reduce grades. Some sort of additional grade reduction mechanism would be a good addition. On the upside, there is a greater appreciation for long-haul trains like the Mikado or the Big Boys.
Trains crash and breakdown more often than one might like, even when all maintenance options are used. If a crash occurs when you are short of funds there is no way to save the route for a later time when coffers are full nor to directly replace a named train that has crashed. However, Phil Steinmeyer, the developer, is an active participant in the comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.strategic newsgroup, and one patch has already been issued. So this point isn't moot yet.
PopTop has made the difficult look easy. It produced a sequel that eclipses the original in nearly all aspects. Playing Railroad Tycoon II is an emotional experience bringing back memories of Lionel trains and Christmas mornings long past and staring at Lionel catalogs and dreaming. No more arguments with Mom or your spouse over how much of the house has been taken over by your dream layout or how much money you've wasted. With Railroad Tycoon II, all those dreams of childhood can be realized at last. --Samuel Brown Baker
--Copyright ©1998 GameSpot Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of GameSpot is prohibited. -- GameSpot Review
Top Customer Reviews
If you like economic type games, one that tests your skills in owning your own business, then this is the game for you.
Also, the stock market effect in this game is awesome. Very good game and one that is addictive.
The graphics are excellent and the levels of difficulty are fairly easy to down right impossible.
If you do not have this game, I highly reccomend it!
This game is about almost all of the aspects of running a railroad empire, you build stations and lay track that connects them, then you buy a locomotive and decide(depending on circumstances) what cargo to haul. You have a LOT of locomotives to choose from(steam,diesel,electric) and about 28 cargo cars, a diner and a caboose. However, this game does not neglect the financial aspects of running a business. There is what we can call the second part of the game- the stock market. It can make or brake you and your company. You can buy out a company or be taken over, or you can earn cash from dividends. For those people who are not entirely excited about stock market, the game gives you an option to turn OFF most of the aspects of the stock market.
A definite plus for parents concerned about the violence in today's video games, I can say with confidence that YOU CANNOT KILL anyone in this game. Nobody can die or be killed, no cussing occurs and blood is ever spilled. For some people it is a plus. For me it is a great relaxant to see trains chugging from station to station. ...things.
I found this game to be addicting! Once you begin, you will fight to stay in control of your company. The games have levels that are really easy, and as you become more and more of a tycoon, there are more challenging levels ahead.
I also play Roller Coaster Tycoon, and this game is a MUCH better business simulation game, because you actually play the stock market! Lots of fun, you will play for hours and never bore...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I also own RRT3. This is a really good game with lots of maps. As for game play though, I think I prefer RRT3.Published 5 months ago by David Shedd
In addition to building and running railroads you also have to run the business. Cargoes can have greater or smaller values dependent on the demand. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Roianne Narita
I wouldn't be able to count the number of times I underestimated the difficulty of this game, only for it to brutally remind me that being a Railroad Baron isn't as simple as its... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Jacob Thien
My husband asked me to buy this item for him as a gift. He got lots and lots of use out of it, so he thinks it was worth every penny. He loves it.Published on January 19, 2014 by Katherine Lakes
Those of us who love history and geography, or who just love railroads find this game to be an all-time favorite. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by Kindle Customer
The replay value is almost unlimited. Graphically the game is starting to show it's age but real gamers don't care about the graphics, it is all about the gameplay and Railroad... Read morePublished on June 10, 2013 by DB
I bought this game to replace a very old beat up disc that I've had for many years. One of those games that I just keep playing and it never gets old. Read morePublished on December 12, 2012 by Amazon Customer