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Caesar II, by Sierra-Online (800-757-7707), is a DOS-based CD-ROM for $59.95 that lets you build a city and then parlay it into an empire. To achieve the goal of being the next Caesar, you must build eternal cities–be sure your citizens are educated and entertained, keep your cities free from plague and riot, and prevent invading barbarians from destroying your empire. The combat portion is so simple to play that true war gamers may be disappointed. And the background sound effects seemed to come up short compared to the stunning visual effects.

Realize that this is a city-building simulation at heart that expands to empire-building. As such, Caesar II is a visual jewel that brings the Roman Empire to life.