Computer Game #3: “Caesar III”

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

813638-caesar_3Computer Game #3: Caesar III (1998)

My brother sent me an article last week about the highest paid athlete in history — a charioteer in ancient Rome. Turns out he earned the modern equivalent of $15 billion over his career and lived a lavish lifestyle. Yes, if you were a citizen of the Roman Empire, life was usually pretty good. Of course, if you clicked on the virtual citizens of your Roman city in Caesar III, you’ll most likely get an earful of complaints.

This was one of the more charming elements of the city building computer game Caesar III, a clever combination of SimCity and a real-time strategy game, which let you build Rome in a day. While historically inaccurate — if you laid out your digital version using an actual Roman street plan, your city would fail — Caesar III was nonetheless a challenge to play and a great deal of fun. Clicking on your citizens as they went about their daily tasks would tell you what they needed, as you planned what to construct next. Aquaducts, markets and colosseums were important, but so were gardens, walls and temples: you really did not want to anger the gods in this game.

Sadly, the only thing Caesar III was lacking was a multiplayer element, one where you could trade with — or invade — your friend’s cities.

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One comment on “Computer Game #3: “Caesar III”

  1. Shannon O says:

    I’d have no interest in invading or being invaded. I always took pride in my little cities. One of my favorite gaming memories from back in those days was the city I made that I refused to leave that refused to send it’s tribute. Rome came to remove me by force, but we turned them back every time, abusing the power of fast ranged units like sling throwers and javelineers. Good times. If a city itself was ever attacked any of the citizenry that could fight, would fight, including the police, the praetorian guard, and even gladiators and their animals. How many games gave you that?

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