So it feels like there’s a bit of renewed interest in the digital train empire genre recently. Maybe some of that comes from the rejuvenation of city-builders, after SimCity crashed and burned but the good ideas it had got implemented into Cities Skylines. Of course, that game came out of the developer’s previous work on public transport sims (Cities in Motion) so maybe we’re just watching focus circle around all these related subgenres.
Right now I’m diving into Mashinky, which is quite a lovely reworking of the ideas from Transport Tycoon Deluxe. Seven years of solo development have resulted in something that’s certainly crunchy and now looking to expand development into a fully-featured game (very much looking for Early Access to build out the mid to late game, as only the first eras are implemented so far). One of the interesting things: as the multiplayer isn’t implemented yet and there’s no AI, it doesn’t have that pressure - you’re playing something closer to a city-builder in the way you’re pushing yourself to scale and build within the budget rather than competing with other transport links.
I’ve also noticed some buzz around Railway Empire (how much of that is related to Kalypso showering money onto YouTubers to stream it? probably not all) which is looking pretty polished. Oh, and I’m sure people are still playing OpenTTD. So have you noticed this upswing in the genre? What are you currently enjoying or looking forward to?