Railway Empire is a Tycoon-like game but for trains. The game takes place in the United States in 1863. The player’s job is to build railroads, particularly the historic Transcontinental railroad.
One of the first things I notice about a game is the quality, or lack thereof, of it’s voice acting. Railway Empire has good quality voice acting. During the instructional phases of the game, the instructor showing the player the ropes isn’t irritating or cartoon-y. He sounds like a normal person just giving instructions on how to play the game.
Railway Empire also makes an effort to give a reason for things. The instructor tells the player exactly why a specific thing is needed on the rail line in the (1863) real world. This adds a sense of realism and purpose to the game. The player really has to think about the logistics of everything they do.
The game a few small features that are pretty interesting. The riding animation is pretty typical for games of this sort and the ones in Railway Empire are very pretty. The hints and tips menu is pretty self-explanatory but can be a very useful tool if the player pays attention to it. The controls of the game are pretty simple as well. They will be very easy to pick up for pretty much any player. Also, the ability to spy on a sabotage rival railroad companies is one of the more fun things in the game.
Like all games of this type, gameplay is quite repetitive. Build trains and stations to complete tasks until you make enough money and are successful enough to open up a new game area. Then do it again. This game doesn’t reinvent the wheel it just paints it a different color. For people who want their gameplay to change a bit more drastically throughout their play through, they probably won’t enjoy this game.
Railway Empire is also a very specific interest area. It basically teaches a player to manage a railroad company in the 1860s. If a person could care less about trains and the 1860s in the US then they probably won’t be interested in this game. That said, a person who is interested in both or either topics would probably have fun playing the game as well as learning a thing or two about those two topics.
Overall, Railway Empire is a good game. There has been great care and effort put into the game to ensure that it offers a good gameplay experience. Like all games, Railway Empire has great points and flaws that any prospective player will have to weigh out and see how they really feel about the game. To me the game has features that are mostly well done. The voice acting fits. Given the nature of the game it could have been much worse. In fact, I half way expected it to be some western cowboy type accent which would have been a fatal flaw to me. There’s a reason for the things the player is asked to do. The small features of the game, like the controls being easy or the ability to spy on other railroads, enhance the game. Some people may not like the game because it is what it is and some people are just not interested in a game where you build and manage trains. Others, like myself, could find the game to be educational and even fun. If any players are looking for a fun, well made, Tycoon-like game to kill some time then they might want to look into getting Railway Empire.