In a game inspired by Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon (according to the designer's notes), Transport Tycoon carries the concept of transportation management to new heights. Chris Sawyer, the game's developer, has beefed up the original idea of a train empire to include airplanes, buses, trucks, and ships. To support these modes of transportation, you as the manager will have to acquire land and use bulldozers to mold it to your purposes, construct airports, ship depots, docks, roads, bus stations, truck terminals, railroad tracks, train depots, signals, tunnels, and bridges. You'll need to upgrade these facilities as time marches on while managing your finances by borrowing, repaying loans, appropriating funds to buy, maintain and upgrade your transportation empire assets and keeping abreast of your competitors' status. Revenues and working capital can be acquired by dealing with town councils who offer subsidies (requiring special routes) and establishing routes to move products such as coal, wood, oil, steel, livestock and grain. Game options include customizing the music by choosing between old or new styles from the Jazz Jukebox (or turning it off -- it does tend to get repetitive), adjusting the difficulty level (easy, medium or hard which affects your initial cash balance), color scheme, detail level, distance units (miles or kilometers), town name language (English, European or American), currency (dollar, pound, franc, deutsche mark or yen), whether your vehicles drive on the left or right side of the road, building appearance (solid or transparent) and even the face of your empire's president.
The interface is simple to learn and use and four tutorial demos are included to make it even easier. Keeping track of the many aspects of your empire is done through the use of windows, several of which can be opened simultaneously with each allowing you to keep an eye on some facet of your empire's management. Detailed charts are available to help in areas of vehicle costs, maintenance and capacity while financial charts help to monitor progress against rivals and provide your company information such as operating profit, income, cargo payment rates, delivered cargo, etc. Manipulating resources, building structures and general gameplay are handled through a simple point and click mode. Graphics and animations are detailed and include nice touches like a vapor trail from jets, navigational buoys for your shipping lanes, eight different tree types you can plant and sign placement (you name the signs). Whether you're routing planes, laying track, bulldozing land, building canals, shipping cargo or moving passengers, Transport Tycoon offers an amazing level of gameplay and detail within an easy to use environment. Minor flaws include slowly developing timeline for new technologies, placement of pop-up windows, and questionable AI decision making at times for opposing computer controlled competitors.
Success in the game requires patience and persistence. It doesn't have a pre-set win solution or goal other than to be the top company by the year 2030. Your reward and enjoyment is realized by seeing your decision making, strategies and management prowess pay dividends on the road to becoming a Transport Tycoon.
Graphics: 3-D world and detailed SVGA graphics are well done. Level of detail and animations are visually appealing.
Sound: Music tends to be repetitive and sound effects of the vehicles are adequate (nothing special here).
Enjoyment: Ease of play and minimal learning curve in a game of vast detail makes Transport Tycoon a fun experience. Details don't overwhelm you and accomplishment of building a successful empire is very rewarding.
Replay Value: With features like a random world generator, multiple strategic paths, competitive or non-competitive mode option and adjustable difficulty levels, a high replay value is assured.
People who downloaded Transport Tycoon have also downloaded:
Transport Tycoon Deluxe, Railroad Tycoon, Trains & Trucks Tycoon, Civilization 2, Theme Hospital, Railroad Tycoon 2: Platinum, Transport Giant, Railroad Tycoon Deluxe
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