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Join The Great Art Race

Ascaron's empire-building PC title has you setting up plantations to fund the recovery of your uncle's art collection.

Ascaron is preparing to publish The Great Art Race, a game that sees you building up an empire to fund art acquisitions, in the first few months of 2005. TGAR is being angled at the family market and supports a five-player hot-seating multiplayer mode.

The idea is that you're trying to recover your uncle Walter's stolen collection of paintings, and the person who manages to collect the most valuable pieces will inherit the lot. In order to do this, though, players will need to visit a great many auctions in Europe and America and build up plantations around the world to fund shopping sprees.

Naturally this heaps on another layer of complexity as you deal with labourer strikes, art courses, buying and selling produce and travelling between the game's 23 city locations to visit auctions.

In addition to that, the hot-seating multiplayer mode will allow a whole family to play The Great Art Race at once - assuming your whole family doesn't amount to more than five people. Players swap seats when, for example, someone sets off on an expedition somewhere. With the game set in the 1920s, this understandably swallows up some time. Other distractions like art courses and visiting your uncle also give you cause to go AFK.

There's no specific word on when The Great Art Race will hear the starter's pistol, but it might well be worth a look when it does. Have a look at some screenshots here.