Mini Video Game Review – Railway Empire

In the last couple of weeks I have been playing Railway Empire; and found it rather stressful! Railway Empire is a tycoon simulation game produced by Kalypso Media, and it involves building railway’s across (mostly) America during the Civil War and beyond. It’s mechanics are very similar to those of Sid Meier’s Railroads, in that you build station’s in town’s and next to resources, and then connect these up so that trains can journey and haul between them, growing town’s and industry; making money in the process – but that’s where the comparison stops! Watching the trains move around the map is quite nice and the trains are beautifully detailed, plus the trading and purchasing of stocks is a nice little feature, but then the game get’s going…..When playing the campaign, you are given some tasks to complete, now unlike Sid Meier’s Railroads where all the tasks are optional, most of the tasks in this game are a must to complete the scenario with very few optional tasks, or breathing space! These tasks are all timed, and in many cases provide you with a very short space of time to complete a very specific task, which if not completed is an instant fail. The time constraints can be very sudden, and even if you are just a couple of train loads from completing the tasks, if not done to the letter; that’s your lot, and the game makes you restart the level all over again (so save constantly)! Building town’s is pretty irritant too as town’s require specific things to upgrade and a specific amount, and won’t grow if at least 60% of these things aren’t met at any one random time! Railway Empire is a game which is beautiful to play but one that just gets me angry when playing it, and I shouldn’t be playing a game to get angry, they should be fun, and this one is a hard one to find any fun in! I might play it again, once I have calmed down!

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