I'm a bit of a Sid Meier's fan -- He will likely go down in history as the king of turn based strategy games with the introduction of the Civilization franchise in the early 1990's.
Having said that, I must admit that I don't enjoy the civilization franchise at all.. In fact, I really can't stand that game. I have tried to like them but I just don't enjoy any of the civilization games.. But his other games are great! To this day I still have very fond memories of F-15 Strike Eagle.. I played the hell out of that game..hehe
The games of his that I enjoy most are the business simulation games revolving around the rail roads. Specifically the Railroad Tycoon games. I have played all three and I enjoyed them very much. It's been years, of course since the last game came out and thus the whole genre sort of fell off my radar.
I was watching the history channel the other night when they were talking about railroads and steam engines and was reminded of the good ol'days of Tycoon'ing and thought I would check out the franchise to see whats happened in the intervening years. Needless to say I was stoked when I saw a new addition.
I must admit -- I'm disappointed. The game was billed as the sequal to Tycoon 3 and I say pshaw! It's no such thing. While very pretty, it's extremely simplified. They removed all the stuff that people enjoy with business simulations.. like.. I dunno.. the business..and managing that business..
This game is almost juvenile in it's game play in that you don't have to do anything.. just lay track between two points, throw down a train slap on some cars.. leave the room. The game does everything else. Usually poorly.
The train routing is just awful! One of the things I enjoyed about the old games was the designing of the track layout and then routing trains in such a way to take advantage of that. The new game has 100% automated train routing and it's just bad. The trains often will use the wrong set of track, no matter how many different routes you lay. So you then have 2 trains head to head when there are 3 and 4 parallel tracks that one of them could have used.
The map is tiny!! Remember the days of laying track from New York to LA? Gone. The new maps are a tiny portion of any given land mass..
Simply put, Railroads! is very much the dumbed down and simplified version of Railroad Tycoon 3. If you're looking for a good game for a kid then it's probably great.. but if you're looking for the challenge of complex economic cycles and rail road management... pass this one up and reload Tycoon 3.