Sid Meier’s Railroads! is a business simulation game developed by Firaxis Games! It was released in 2006, and acts as a sequel to Railroad Tycoon 3. Despite creating the original game, Sid Meier had no direct input over the two sequels, with this game acting as a reinvention of his original creation. It was inspired after a visit to Miniatur Wunderland in Hamburg.
In Sid Meier’s Railroads!; the player takes on the role of a railway company. The game takes place on several different maps, including locales in the USA, UK, France, and Germany. In the game players need to build railways between destinations and resources, then set-up train routes to pick up goods and passengers, and deliver them to where they are requested. Players will also need to keep an eye on future railway developments, such as the introduction of brand new and better locomotives, to improve the productivity of their railway.
As the game progresses, towns and villages will develop into city’s and metropolises, who request other resources be transported to them. In addition to creating railway routes, and building extra lines, players can purchase industries to increase their income, as well as buy and sell shares in both their own company, and those of AI players too (if they chose to include them). So what starts out as a game about building railways, usually turns into a game about buying out your competitors. When the game ends, either due to the time limit, the player being bought out, or from retirement; the game will calculate the players score, and give them a title based on their success; with titles ranging from Hobo, and Circus Freak; to Newspaper Editor and President of the United States.
The game is a really nice game to simply watch, as compared to earlier games of this kind, you can actually watch and see trains running around, collecting cattle, and transporting goods like Cars, Steel and Food. The game is also very easy to get into, and it’s in game objectives aren’t compulsory, more just a guide to get you going. The graphics may be beginning to look outdated, but they are still pleasant and aesthetically pleasing enough just to get into the game. And whilst the business side can be head scratching or perhaps occasionally stressful; on the whole it is a very relaxing experience, and a great choice to play when you just want to play a relaxing video game. Also, there is a mode where you can simply design a model railway (although personally I haven’t done that yet).
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