ESRB Rating: E for Everyone, Alcohol Reference
Release Date: October 2006
- Multiple scenarios & options
- Online play
- Depth of gameplay
- Few graphical bugs
"Sid Meier's Railroads!" Features
- Connect cities and industries by laying track and setting up train routes to pick up products.
- Buy stock in your company and the competition, with the hopes of eventually buying them out.
- Play single player mode against up to 4 computer players, or play online against other gamers.
- Buy city industries and increase your profits.
- Scenarios in single player mode maps and cities can be randomized, multiple routing difficulty levels, and pick up to 4 AI players compete against.
- Historically accurate trains, available as they were released.
- Buy patents on technology that will give you the upper hand.
- Personalize trains with a custom logo and colors.
"Sid Meier's Railroads!" Review
Getting goods to where they will make you the most money by train, and putting the competition out of business are the ultimate goals of "Sid Meier's Railroads!" Your railroad empire is built by laying track so trains can run efficiently, while having enough track to keep trafficked areas from becoming congested. This is primarily done by adding a second (or third) track next to the first track laid down.
Where you decide to build tracks and stations depends on the goods you want to transport. Some goods can be transported directly from city to city, like people and mail. Other products are made from gold or coal that need to be transported from mines to cities that turn the raw materials into a good that is in demand. In turn, the good created (food for example) will need to be transported to another city (not all cities demand or want all the same goods). This long line of transfer of resources can become complicated and difficult (and expensive) to route. Too add more chaos, you chose how many and which cargo cars each train brings with them from city to city.
While this assembly line of movement, can become overwhelming if you try to do too much. The key is to find the good that will make you the most money. The markets for goods is always changing. The price of products is not going to stay the same. Get in when it's low and get out before you start losing money. And yes, there are plenty of resources to keep the game interesting. I frequently changed what I was transporting based on the growth and demand of the cities.
Speaking of getting in low... Stocks play a role in how successful you will be. You can buy (or sell) stock in your own company or the competition. To get rid of the competition you'll have to buy them out. Sometimes buying stock in the competition is part of a scenario's objects.
Scenarios offer a long list of goals to be meet by specific years. The objectives range from buying stock to helping a city grow to a new level. Often times with scenarios, they can become dull and repetitive. This is not the case with "Railroads." Randomization of city locations and maps, along with the fact that there is no way one to win keeps the game interest and adds to the replay value.
Scenarios and online play will add to the replay value, along with the four routing difficulty level settings. For a beginner, the routing can be set to an easy level that will allow a train to cross each other on one track. Harder levels require you have the track needed for the trains to travel.
"Sid Meier's Railroads!" has the depth, addictive gameplay, replay value, and range of options to make it a must-have for gamers, especially those who love management sims (like "SimCity"). It is a game that has the power to stick around and will continue to be played even months after it is released.