The game is proof
that a big name tacked onto a game does not necessarily guarantee a
great game. It just seems like a game trying to ride on name
recognition alone. Maybe Railroad or Sid Meier fans are all a gush
and may actually enjoy the game. Maybe I am just tired of seeing yet
another game that has the creators name in the title. The game is a
remake of Mr. Sid Meier's well loved railroad game from the early
90's. Looking at it, I had a feeling of dread. So ok, it's a game
about running a railroad. For the life of me I just could not
understand what the big deal is.
Until I played the
tutorial. There is something very oddly addictive to this game. For
lack of better terms I'll call it rail crack, and it strangely makes
you want to continue and beat the game. becoming the most powerful
rail baron ever known. Mwaaa ha ha ha ha. umm pardon me. that
The game has a bit of depth to it none the less for those gamers
into these kinds of games. Managing a Railroad apparently can be
rather cut throat and becoming a big Railroad baron can be a bit of
a juggle. From purchasing new trains, to laying tracks and even
managing industry supply and demand for several cities, all the
little things that make up a company can effect the players
progress. One can even purchase and sell stock in the Railroad.
The over head maps remind me a lot of other games such as the total
war series, gamers use to navigating the big world maps in those
games will have no problem getting around the map in Sid Meier's
Railroads. Still to get the full appreciation for the game and what
little nuances it offers I would suggest playing the tutorial. Now
normally I am not a big fan of tutorials. I am a guilty jump in and
let's see what this button does. In this case, I suggest the
tutorial to grasp what the games strategies and goals are. While the
tutorial can be a bit of a bore for some, you will be glad you ran
The game has a lot to master to be sure, but for those that just
want to jump on in and not worry about the cost of running the
railroad, or the cost of building track and industry, there is
thankfully a Train table mode. The player can mess around with the
very basics of the game, without worry for impact on the money or
any of the artificial intelligence.
Playing it in any
other modes, finds the player in a cut throat world of economics.
Building an empire that can soon over run and even buy out the
competition is the name of the game. Building rails to link cities
and contend with supply and demand is a constant balance. Mess up
the train schedule and a city can shrink into poverty and then that
Railroads! Uses the same graphic engine as Civilization IV, so as
you can imagine, the graphics are pretty pleasing to the eye.
Everything looks as you would expect. The cities are pretty close
together which makes things get pretty busy as trains pull into
stations, people boarding and de boarding, lumber and other goods
being placed on and in train cars. Once the game gets moving it can
be pretty interesting. While it can look very intimidating, laying
down track is pretty easy, a drag and drop kind of interface makes
it a snap. Rally at my age, I have nothing to compare the game too
in terms of being the best Railroad building game ever, but it is
sure one that has earned it's place as an instant classic that
others will be comparing for years to come.
There are over 20 different goods to harvest, produce, and sell, and
30 unique industries, from lumber mills to war factories, each with
detailed, unique animations. All of this serves to keep the world of
Railroads! Alive and vibrant.
Scenario and map editor support enables user-created maps and
scenarios. A feature that will no doubt find a lot of use for any
one that gets this game.
Building your own train layout in train table mode is more of a
blast than you would expect. Top this off with some really nifty
single player scenarios where you can challenge historical giants
like Cornelius Vanderbilt, J.P. Morgan, and others.well that's just
tips the cool factor. This was a sinful indulgence. I know this is
such a small thing but having some control in some customization has
always been a favorite of mine. So using the Locobuilder to
customize trains and color schemes and even logos got my attention,
no if ands or buts. So when you get done playing with the multitude
of trains, (Over 30 of these suckers) just start playing with some
customization of your own.
almost a standard these days and if there was no multiplayer, there
had better be a pretty good game on its own. Happily there is
real-time LAN and Internet play. Players can go at it in economic
warfare and buy out their rivals. At its core the game does teach a
few things about supply and demand and also about moving up in the
You can visit the Official Web Site - To see the game in action,
stop by the official Sid Meier's Railroads! site. Check out the demo
of this rather surprisingly engaging game.
Here is what you will need at a minimum to run Railroads!
Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows® 2000/XP
Processor: Pentium 4® 1.4 GHz or AMD Athlon® equivalent
Memory: 512 MB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB Free
Video: DirectX 9.0c-compatible 64 MB video card with hardware pixel
& vertex shaders
Sound: DirectX 7-compatible sound card or higher
DirectX®: DirectX® version 9.0c (included) or higher
And last but not least, there is a patch out for the game that does
some tweaks and improvements, so make sure to shoot on over to
http://www.firaxis.com and pick up the patch if you have the full
retail version of Sid Meier's Railroads!
Kick back, relax.let's play