Reviews - Updated on April 15, 2022

Imagine Transport Tycoon, Chris Sawyer’s acclaimed strategy game to this day, but with a sensible city-building model instead of a chaotic scattering of houses, animated inhabitants’ life instead of dry biomass statistics, a structured historical ingredient instead of a mediocre date change, with an engaging story campaign. and related random events. Just about such a hero will appear – Transport Fever with giant locations and thousands of tiny details. The direct successor of the Train Fever railway locomotive from the Swiss studio Urban Games, which rattled its wheels in 2014, and even with a scientific core (here are details about their virtual urban model).Transport Fever game review

The Swiss hero in the usual perspective for fans of Transport Tycoon (and OpenTTD).

Because the Alps outside the window

Every native Swiss loves trains. They even ride their cars on special trains – they really like to sit over long distances with a cup of tea, enjoying the lulling landscapes of the Alps outside the window. What is there to be embarrassed about? There is a myriad of fans of miniature models with tiny steam locomotives and rails in the world. In the age of “numbers” they relished numerous computer simulators like Trainz or strategy games like Chris Sawyer. In some cases, fans of the genre fork out several hundred dollars to collect virtual models. Fortunately, for such a “herbarium” it is not required to allocate a whole garage. After all, only one layout occupies almost the entire average living room in a typical panel house.

With Train Fever, millions of people didn’t have to persuade their wife and hide behind their child to make their childhood dreams come true. A full-fledged and realistic system of a self-constructed virtual city played a special role in attracting the audience – with offices in the center, houses in the district and factories on the periphery. Now you do not need to fantasize about factory structures, delivering a piece of cake from the kitchen on a toy composition – computer strategy simulates in the most detailed way long chains between resource extraction, production and consumption in settlements.

The Urban Games team has successfully implemented such an algorithm in Train Fever. We built railroads and asphalt roads, connected settlements with routes, and gained dynamic economic progress, as evidenced by the growing skyscrapers surrounded by desert hills and mountains. As a result, the developers gave us the opportunity to go the way of a railway magnate from horse carts in the wilderness to bullet trains against the backdrop of megacities.

Transport Fever game review

Indian camps – one of the adventures that awaits us at the transcontinental construction site.

War, thorns and Indians do not care for the magnate

And so we return to the 1860s. The imaginary Collis Huntington once again observes a desert landscape with rolling camel thorns, imagining a future transcontinental railroad. In a few years, it will link the eastern, Atlantic coast of North America with the western, Pacific coast. But first, the player is involved in the thick of things.

The Transport Fever campaign is tied at the origins of a giant construction site during the American Civil War – Indian settlements on the trajectory of laying, fighting in the surrounding area and digging the Panama Canal in the end. There are seven massive missions in total, broken down into countless missions, followed by seven more episodes (on the European continent) that involve drilling the Eurotunnel between the UK and France.

It is up to the player to think over the most efficient placement of tracks, branches and routes for industry and passengers. The backbone of the entire transport system is the railway. With the expansion of oil production, it will have to be supplemented by road transport over short distances. Costly bridges and interchanges should be saved by building ports and purchasing ships. And in order to speed up the mobility of the population, it is necessary to think over the network of air traffic and urban systems of movement.

For these purposes, the developers have carefully recreated the most popular models of rolling stock, including even the interior. A total of one hundred and sixty-five vehicles with a division into European and American origin for different historical eras: horse-drawn carts, trams, buses, trucks, steam, diesel and electric trains, ships and aircraft. Urban Games has a small staff of about ten people. And they did their best to make beautifully animated and authentic samples.

Transport Fever game review

Each model has an interior, inside passengers are placed in various positions and with unique animation.

Technological is when it is magnificent and smooth

Ferry passengers are beautifully distributed on the deck, the chassis of an airbus soaring into the air fold behind the fuselage, the pantographs of the locomotive touch the contact network with a click, the wheels of the steamer splash water … The picture seems to be not rendered, but drawn. Transport Fever says “no” to outdated technologies and boldly embraces 64-bit systems with optimized pathfinding calculations for tens of thousands of “units”, reduced time on multi-threaded processes, and multi-core support. This is not Dovetail Games’ chronic stagnation Train Simulator.

After numerous reproaches of Train Fever for a dull picture, programmers from Urban Games, under the guidance of a designer, shoveled the entire visual part. Graphics have become more believable, post-processing includes important simulations of the environment and imitates the elementary laws of light and shadows. To match the technological sophistication and the same urban system. Its evolution in Transport Fever is noticeable in the region’s extensive development (villages, towns, megacities look different) with individual forms of architecture. The developers abandoned the principle of “copy-paste” of buildings, using thematic “layers” with a special set of styles and textures.

Cities look completely different and believable: they are densely built up in the center and looser on the outskirts. Population, land value and a host of other parameters are taken into account. Finally, the will of the province is given, where less wealthy citizens settle. An ideal place for those who prefer a quiet lifestyle and only occasionally visit large settlements, for example, in order to buy something. It is in our power to preserve the established way of life and achieve systematic supply on the ground. With the help of a competent transport infrastructure, the liveliness of the periphery throughout the location is ensured.

Capitalism around man

Nobody forbids to stir up the limp population, to motivate them to become more mobile. There are many tools – as an option, develop enterprises and offices with powerful logistics, actively invest in a metropolis that devours nearby villages. Downtowns and industrial complexes create a high concentration of trade. Life becomes more expensive, but opportunities appear. Fed up with potential, citizens famously travel by plane and transfer to the most expensive and comfortable trains. After all, life is in full swing where there is a lot of money, as cursed capitalism bequeathed to us!Transport Fever game review

A large project to combine a location with a transportation system requires careful planning.

In general, a person in Transport Fever, as it should be, is a very complex game unit: he lives in a specific house and can leave it in search of a better life, works in a certain place and strives for a more profitable one, buys food and goods in selected stores, looks for new attractions and loves to walk in the parks. Urban Games gives every character a will. Some travel only short distances and make do with shopping at home. Others are constantly breaking records in terms of travel distance. Still others are forced to make throws across the entire map, but they can’t stand the ride and dream of teleportation, even when they get into the fastest plane.

Each movement is taken into account by the game engine. When a person does not have time to reach his destination with cheap transport, he looks for a faster and more expensive way. But if the budget is exceeded, then the trip will not take place. It also happens that the character is not in a hurry at all, but he may simply not have enough money for a ticket. All statistics are before our eyes. The virtuoso transport magnate will skillfully calculate the optimal business models so as not to work at a loss and provide a decent quality of transportation to a passenger with any budget and needs. The same applies to cargo – it is unlikely that the factory will agree to transport food by freight train if affordable horse-drawn carts go to the nearest store. Otherwise, it is easier to send the batch in general in the hands of the worker.

Look, the residents are excited about the appearance of the first tram on the street. The opening of the railway station. The launch of a long-range flight. Construction of a ferry crossing. High-speed train station… With each new virtual year, we set an increasingly exciting goal. Neither in the campaign, where there are already tasks, complex and simple, enough for any player, nor in the “sandbox” with complete freedom of action from 1860 to infinity, development never stops. Just perfect entertainment for a perfectionist.


Let Transport Fever lack action, multiplayer, rival artificial intelligence, and even dynamic day and night (although the location editor allows you to set any time of day or season), weather effects and disasters, like in SimCity or Cities: Skylines (the corresponding addon will be released soon) . But we will be able to be touched by the picturesque details of a giant railway model, deal with a detailed economic system with a detailed simulation of the development of cities and, of course, a gigantic base of modifications. The game supports the Steam Workshop and has simplified the process of converting any fan-created vehicle for Train Fever. A variety of aspects can be changed, even buildings – you can even add easily recognizable village huts in the style of “Russian outback”. Isn’t it a recipe for success when nice graphics, thoughtful gameplay and the enthusiasm of a huge number of people come together in one game?

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