Coming late to the gaming scene, I missed out on the first Railroad Tycoon game, but I did notice that many websites and gaming magazines would compare similar games to it. So when I heard that Railroad Tycoon 2 was coming, I was definitely interested. That interest proved to be well founded, because Railroad Tycoon 2 quickly became a daily obsession for me. On weekends I would spend the entire day and half the night playing, and even now, six years after its release, I still play it from time to time. The simple basics of the gameplay – build railroads and stations and set up train routes – grabs you instantly, and then you’re caught up in the tasks at hand – follow supply and demand, set up routes where there’s money to be made, expand, and fulfil the requirements of the scenario you’re playing. The stock market part of the game is quite complex, and can still cause me some grief – I’ve never been very good when it comes to money. But when I do get it right, it can be very satisfying. For its time, Railroad Tycoon 2 had very nice graphics. It might look simple on the surface, but zoom all the way in, and check out the laundry on the clotheslines, waving in the wind. The various menu screens are gorgeous, particularly the train set-up screen, with its pipes and levers that gives the feeling of being on an old steam engine. The sound is absolutely wonderful, and is key to the great mood of the game, that draws you in and makes you stay. Lots have been said about the cool, bluesy music, but just as important are the many sound effects. The different areas of the map you’re playing have different sounds, based on what type of landscape it is (forest, river, etc.) and what industries are in the area you’re looking at. The train sounds, especially the steam trains, add a lot of character to the game. If you’re looking for a good strategy/management sim type game, and you’re on a budget, Railroad Tycoon 2 could very well be exactly what you’re looking for.
It is not often that I will write a review for a game that is nearly ten years old. But, then again, it is not often that a game stays fresh that long, either. Railroad enthusiasts and business-financial strategists will... Read Full Review