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Caesar III

Is this a strategy game for today's technology or a relic from the past?
By Richard Harrison, Forum Manager

As you can probably tell from the title, this game puts you in the shoes, or sandals, of an ancient Roman leader. You have to convert a stretch of barren land into a fully functional, fully profitable, Roman city. Once you have the hang of the idea, you must attract the attention of those with power and climb the ladder of promotion to eventually become Caesar of Rome.

To attract residents to your city you need food (wheat, fruit, veggies and wine), entertainment (plays and gladiator fights) a nice, healthy environment (schools, doctors, library’s, gardens, furniture, etc.) and jobs. In the early stages, many things (fruit, furniture, wine) can be imported form other cities, but as time goes by you must learn to produce
these things yourself and sell them on for money, thus becoming richer and more successful.

Although battles and street brawls do feature, Caesar III is almost completely a city building game. As with most building games, although there is a lot of involvement at first, you get to a point where you must just let your city work on it’s own. Sometimes this period can last for a long time and you can be stuck for things to do. To end this problem, the people behind Caesar III have come up with some interesting ways to keep you involved. Natural disasters, crime, building collapse, unemployment, storms, angry Gods and bad crops can all hamper your progress.

This game has actually turned out to be pretty good. Even though it is perhaps not the most realistic game (e.g. buildings are not built by people, they just appear by magic and nobody ever seems to actually eat the food you grow, or even buy it at the markets), it has a nice, easy going kind of gameplay. It is quite amusing to watch your minions go about their chores and to wind the God’s up so much that they curse every move you make andsend riots and hurricanes ravaging your city.

Although not the best strategy ever made, Caesar III is quite enjoyable and offers hours of gameplay. I give it 85% - good, but not quite a classic.

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