|Min OS X: 10.4|
Requirements:Mac OS X: 10.4 |†CPU: 1 GHz Intel | RAM: 512 MB | HD Space: 98 MB
Ah the glories of ancient Rome! The spectacles, the roads, wars against barbarians, the teleporters, submarines and hot air balloons. What, you say you didnít know the Romans had those last three things? Well you have obviously never played Roads of Rome, one of the more venerable time management casual game franchises around. Now in its third incarnation, Roads of Rome 3 (RoR3) offers more of the same Ö and more! Is it enough to keep the franchise fresh and players eager for version 4? Read on to find out.
OK, weíre not going to go over what a time management game is in this review. If youíre not sure if itís what you want, download the demo and check it out. Needless to say they are one of the more popular casual game categories right now and have led to several franchises in addition to RoR (Build a Lot, Be a King, etc.). And RoR 3 is not a total reinvention of the franchise, so if youíre interested in the nuts and bolts of the game, see my review of RoR 2. Just be aware, if you donít like clicking your mouse/trackpad, a lot, donít get involved. This review will focus on whatís new in the current incarnation and whether that provides enough entertainment to be worth your hard earned dollars (or other currency).
So Whatís New?
Well actually, a fair amount for a game franchise thatís been around. The most obvious one youíll experience in every single level is the Pumping Station. You see, the barbarians that used to just sit around and demand your resources for access to certain areas in different levels have begun acting, well, barbaric. Theyíve been looting, pillaging, and more importantly setting fire to your settlements. So the first thing you have to do in most levels is build a pumping station to get water to put out the fires. Then things get back to normal: building various structures, collecting resources, rebuilding roads. There are other new structures as well: Blacksmiths and Workshops allow you to have regular access to axes and hammers respectively, which speed up your use of those tools to collect resources and build things. These were previously available as random objects on certain levels; now you have to decide when to build them and how much to level them up on levels where theyíre available. Taken together, these new structures definitely add to your need to strategize on certain levels and decide what, and in what order, to build your structures.
Gameplay also sees some new options. Instead of just relaxed and timed mode, you have relaxed, easy, normal and hard modes. In normal and hard, there are three bonus levels (as opposed to the previous one) you can unlock by finishing all 40 levels in Expert time. This definitely increases the value and replayability of the game; my son only plays in Relaxed mode, my wife and I play in normal mode, and Iím guessing my wife will replay in hard once she finishes in normal (she can be a little obsessive that way).