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1830: Railroads & Robber Barons

Avalon Hill 1995
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

A good adaptation of the classic board game. No doubt the port to computer from the tabletop was done in response to Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon, a game co-created by one of the designers of the board game original. It is honestly probably still one of the most accurate adaptations of the golden age of railroading in America, showing clearly how the early robber barons bought up earlier, smaller, less profitable companies, and used them to construct huge lines - additionally, it's heavy focus on the stock market is quite realistic, something that the Railroad Tycoon series never quite got 100% right. Whereas the Railroad Tycoon series always had model railroad simulation elements, 1830 focuses solely on the business aspects. It is possible to win a game without even running a railroad!


Microprose 1991
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 6/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Without any doubt, Civilization is the greatest and most addictive game that ever graced a computer screen. Designed by Sid Meier, who at that time was already a household name among gamers, the game introduced the world to a new level of empire management: from settling whole continents, through researching new technologies, to building military units, city improvements and even wonders of the world. The game has spawned several sequels and copies, out of which only a single one (Alpha Centauri) comes close in the terms of gameplay and overall fun. Civilization has never left my hard drive, and probably never will, remaining the main reason why I still keep MS-DOS on a separate partition.

Railroad Tycoon

Microprose 1990
Genre: Strategy
Rating: 5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Nowadays everybody relates Sid Meier to Civilization, but there was a time when one of his most characteristic games was not about raising yet another culture, but about building your own railroad empire.

The Elder Scrolls: Arena

Bethesda Softworks LLC 1994
Genre: RPG, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

The first game in the Elder Scrolls series, it is - like many of them - an incredibly flawed, broken, not-at-all-finished game, that has so much appeal and good ideas, that you play it in the wish that there could exist a better version of the same game.

The Last Express

Smoking Car Productions 1997
Genre: Adventure
Rating: 5.5/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

Robert Cath is a American doctor in his late 20s who has been kicked out of the medical establishment for his leanings towards mysticism and interest in ancient and esoteric forms of medicine. He spent the last few years of his life in Paris. Recently however, some of his research brought him to Ireland where he got caught between the fronts of the fight between the IRA and the British army. Suddenly, he's wanted by the police all over Europe - for murdering a policeman. Just then, an invitation to accompany him in the Orient Express to Constantinople from his old friend Tyler Whitney arrives. Cath decides this is the best way out, so he boards the train in Paris... or rather some kilometres later. He opens the door to his friend's compartment and finds him lying on the floor in a pool of his own blood - murdered. Cath has to find the murderer - and avoid being arrested for this crime as well as the other charges himself.

The Terminator

Bethesda Softworks LLC 1991
Genre: Simulation, Action
Rating: 2/6
Licence: Commercial
System: PC

This is a very interesting game considering Bethesda's later history. It is their first ever attempt at an open world game, years before the famous Elder Scrolls series. And it is very much an indicator of things to come, because it is also an incredibly unfinished, buggy, overly ambitious, nigh-unplayable hunk of glorious junk that has such a great concept that, as you play it, you find yourself longing for a better version of the same game.

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