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Wednesday, March 4, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 9.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Black gold

Big Oil
Tri Synergy (PC)
Rated Everyone

This game has a cool premise: You control the fate of an oil company starting at the dawn of the industrial age and continuing to the modern era. Pay cities or countries to dig for oil in their neighborhoods, then figure out ways to get that oil to market. Sell it to refineries first, then build your own so you can start raking in the big bucks. Eventually your profits drive your company's stock price to the point where you can buy into the other refineries in the game, as well as into other companies that you may want to merge with.

Unfortunately, the only real way to judge success in Big Oil is money. While that may be how some keep score in real life, it's really boring in a game. The lack of real-world scenarios is also disappointing. Where are the oil spills? The boycotts? Why can't I ignore a huge fine after my drunk-off-his-ass tanker captain ruins one of the most environmentally vulnerable coastlines on the planet? A little realism would go a long way to making Big Oil more intriguing.

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