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Review

Transport Fever Review

Off the tracks

Fans of Urban Studio’s debut game, Train Fever, will have almost certainly been keeping an eye on this sequel. This transport-tycoon follow up adds airports and harbours letting you expand your transport empire into water and air trade, as well as improving other aspects, culminating into Transport Fever.

For those unfamiliar with the series, your job is to connect the settlements and buildings across the map, helping passengers and resources get from one place to another. The trick is doing this without running out of money for your growing network.

The procedurally generated map contains numerous settlements, as well as factories and other resource buildings which produce goods. These goods can then be transported to your settlements, bringing prosperity to the residents who, of course, also require a solid transport system to get about. Kicking off in 1850, you’ll see settlements expand, new vehicles invented and the demands on your growing transport network increasing.

As the game progresses, new vehicles offer faster movement of people and goods, allowing you to expand your transport network and increase your profits. With a huge array of trains, aircrafts, ships, buses, trams and trucks at your disposal, the choice is yours as to where to focus your efforts. You will always begin by creating small bus networks within your settlements, helping people get from their homes to their place of work quicker. Every settlement has various zones (Residential, Industrial, Commercial, and Leisure), and it is wise to ensure each zone is well linked to maximise the development.

Although horse-drawn carriages are slow, they are a simple source of income, provided that the route or line you set up is quicker than walking. As time progresses, you will eventually have to either replace or upgrade your vehicles, to motorised buses or trams. You still need to think carefully about when and what to upgrade. Maintenance fees increase as each vehicle gets older, but upgrading a fleet is always a costly expense. Eventually your settlements will grow to a point where you need multiple lines serving different areas, but you often try to link these to a central hub such as a railway station.

transpfev-il

Railway stations are the gateway to intercity travel. Avoiding the grid system that many transport or city builders rely on, the game gives you free reign over where to place your tracks (or roads). Simple improvements here have made a huge impact to the game, and creating larger railway junctions are now possible without all the headaches of before. Alternatively, you can also now build bridges over existing railways.

In Train Fever, railways were the only way of transporting goods or people over larger distances. The addition of ships and planes opens up a wealth of opportunity for how you run your network, even if they are rather expensive. On the largest maps, where journeys by rail only make sense between the closer settlements, building airports allows you to overcome these barriers, much like it did in the real world in the 1950’s and 60’s when mass air travel took off. (No pun intended!)

As I mentioned in our preview, one of the best additions to the game is the introduction of a campaign mode. With two campaigns, one based in Europe and one in America, you have 7 missions on each continent to complete. Based upon real world challenges, such as the building of the Gotthard tunnel, they bring structure and guidance to those that want it, though you should not for a moment think that they are easy! Step by step, they guide you into building your transport empire from the beginning to end, while still giving you the freedom to operate your network how you wish.

That said, I still really enjoy the sandbox mode, which allows you to play with complete freedom and mess around with crazy networks without having to worry about the profitability of each line depending on your settings. Overall I feel that this is still the game’s biggest strength, the fact that you are free to manage and expand your transport network exactly how you want.

Other improvements include settlements looking far more varied and unique. A wide variety of buildings mean that when zoomed in, you notice small details such as billboards to the side of a building and balconies covered by parasols. The same attention to detail is carried over to the vehicles, which exhibit a sublime amount of detail considering that you’ll usually be zoomed out in order to oversee larger sections of the map. As vehicles get older, visible signs of age will appear such as dirt and rust, adding to the authenticity.

What’s Good:

  • Great attention to detail
  • Campaigns are a great new addition
  • Plenty of replayability in sandbox mode
  • Planes and ships offer more variety and new challenges

What’s Bad:

  • The UI can become cluttered in the late game
  • Placing roads and tracks can still lead to frustrations
  • The occasional bug to be ironed out

While I feel the initial asking price might be a tad high, there’s countless hours of play time to be found here. With over 120 different vehicles and new tools at your disposal, you have even greater choice in how you manage your transport company. If you missed out on Train Fever, and are a fan of tycoon games that require a firm grip on a business in a complex economy, you really should take a look at this game. At the same time, if you enjoyed the first game then it’s highly unlikely you will be disappointed with Transport Fever, as it adds new game modes, new vehicles and new ways to play.

Score: 7/10

15 Comments
  1. gernboes
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    I guess this is pc only? Havent you had some general info like platform, release date etc. included in your reviews? Are those gone or am i just not able to find it? If they are gone, why? I wonder if games you review are on platforms i own on a regular basis…

    Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 10:09.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Same here. Sadly, I’m often looking for the platform a game is on as well. Sometimes in the article, sometimes on the right-hand side. Other times, it’s nowhere to be found.

      Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 10:34.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      That info box with dates and platforms is a bit erratic lately. It’s there on some reviews, not on others. And sometimes lists “PSVR” as a platform instead of PS4 (with a clear indication whether PSVR is required or just supported)

      Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 10:36.
      • Stefan L
        Community Team
        Since: May 2009

        Sorry about that, I’ve sorted the boxout for this game. It’s PC, Mac and Linux.

        It is something we need to make clearer and more consistent, though. As for VR games, we treat PSVR as a separate platform, so if you can also play on PS4, it should say both PSVR and PS4.

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 11:24.
      • MrYd
        Member
        Since: Mar 2011

        But Sony don’t treat PSVR as a separate platform. They’re listed on the store as being for PS4.

        And then in other parts of the store there’s “PlayStation VR” listed as a “platform”. But then so is “PS2 Classics”, which is definitely not a platform.

        So since Sony are strangely confused and incorrectly list PSVR as a platform at times, I suggest we just ignore the whole “Games for Expensive Hats” category. ;)

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 11:44.
      • gernboes
        Member
        Since: Oct 2008

        Ah, so its a known issue then? Ok, good to know! Is the info box supposed to be there on mobile too? Because for me its only there when i go to desktop mode on my phone.

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 11:54.
      • MrYd
        Member
        Since: Mar 2011

        Keep scrolling down. The box appears on the mobile version below all the comments.

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 12:09.
      • gernboes
        Member
        Since: Oct 2008

        Ah right! Thanks!

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 12:57.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        On the subject of the mobile version of the site, the “Yeah, feck you, buy our crap.” adverts that take over the entire site seem to be very common nowadays. I swear i get them at least once every few days and makes for a poor “Hmm, bus has yet to come so I’ll check this.” Site.

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 13:16.
  2. camdaz
    Member
    Since: May 2009

    Nice review. I’m glad the laying of rail tracks has been improved, especially junctions, as I spent ages trying to lay tracks and junctions only for the game to tell you ‘you must be joking’ when there was no reason I could see (Train Fever). Being able to build tracks over tracks will be a great help too.

    Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 11:24.
    • gazzagb
      Master of speling mitakse
      Since: Feb 2009

      There’s still the odd collision warning / gradient too steep shenanigans, but overall it’s a massive improvement and takes away the massive headaches of Train Fever.

      Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 19:47.
  3. The Lone Steven
    Never heard of him.
    Since: May 2010

    Wasn’t this reviewed last month or was that another fever title?

    I will have to pick this up. I like trains and I could easily see myself spending hours crafting railways, planning routes etc.. Naturally, I would take the Southern Approach of cancelling trains or making them so late that it gets cancelled. May call it the Bastard Express. Hopefully, it be year of next I can pick this up.

    Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 13:18.
    • gazzagb
      Master of speling mitakse
      Since: Feb 2009

      Possibly you’re thinking of the Preview?

      Anyway, I’d definitely keep an eye out for it and pick it up when it goes on sale if you’re not ready yet. By then, there will also be loads of mods for you to play with too.

      Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 19:48.
      • The Lone Steven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Yeah, I kinda realised that after i posted it. This is your fault, you toeshoe lackey! You! :P

        It’s more of me wanting to have a PC set to one side for gaming then price. I would happily part with £20-40 for this. I would most likely try to get British train mods for each period.

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 20:00.
      • gazzagb
        Master of speling mitakse
        Since: Feb 2009

        You probably wouldn’t need that many mods, many famous British trains are already there, e.g Flying Scotsman, Mallard etc. :)

        Comment posted on 08/11/2016 at 21:41.