One thing that separates Gamescom from the rest of the year's big gaming events is the sheer abundance of niche PC strategy games on display. Think of an occupation, and chances are you'll be able to find a sim of it here in Cologne, Germany. One such example is Cities in Motion, a public transportation simulator that we had a look at earlier today.
Cities in Motion is being developed by the startup Finnish studio Colossal Order. You can choose form four big European Cities--Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Helsinki--and then play as that city's public transport chief, albeit one able to command far more instantaneous results than any real-life bureaucrat. The basic idea of the game is that the city has an economic pulse independent of you. The city's classes are always changing, new jobs are being formed in different parts of town, and buildings are popping up to meet the needs of the citizens. Your job as public transportation head is to build transit lines, vehicles, and stations to meet the needs of a town that's constantly changing.
You can guess where citizens need to go based on their type of job and whether their transit needs are being met by the smiley/sad icon above their heads. You can then choose to dip into your finite budget to buy a new transit vehicle and select the line for it to run on. There are five vehicle types: bus, tram, metro, helicopter, and boat. The usefulness and capability of these vehicles change over time, too, as the campaign stretches from 1920 to 2020, so you'll need to keep an eye on outdated infrastructure and the sweetest new buses to invest in. There are also economic trends to keep abreast of, which affect both your budget and transit lines (out-of-work people don't go to the office anymore, do they?).
Cities in Motion is scheduled for release early next year. We're told by publisher Paradox Interactive that the game is aiming for low system requirements. Oddly enough, you might just be able to play it on a laptop during your train ride to work.