Station To Station: Cities In Motion 2 Out Now

Why couldn’t Transport Tycoon Super Ultra Deluxe have been released yesterday so that I could quip about waiting years for a mass transit simulator to come along only to see two chugging around the corner at the same time? Oh well. Cities In Motion 2 has been available for a week now and having played it briefly at the Paradox Convention and for an hour at the weekend, I’m in no fit state to tell you wot I think of its people-ferrying charms, but I do enjoy zooming through the city streets and watching people go about their business. While its a transport business simulation rather than a city builder, the urban sprawl does change and expand as people are given the ability to more conveniently move from one place to another, and the Unity-powered metropolises are a good size, and look splendidly hard-edged and real.

I’ve found the interface exasperating at times, occasionally struggling to find the exact point I’m supposed to click to make something happen. It’s irritating to know what is required or desired but to struggle putting the plan into action, but it may be that I need to ascend the learning curve more slowly rather than trying to build a giant metro line that rings the city like a barricade. I’ll find time to dig deeper soon.

Is anyone playing?


  1. RedViv says:

    Seems a good sequel from what I gather, but the truly important question is: Whatever happened to Chris Sawyer anyway?

    • Zeewolf says:

      Yeah, Kickstarter is calling!

      As for CIM 2, I’ve been playing it a fair bit and enjoying it. It certainly feels a lot more complicated than the first one, and track building can be _extremely_ fiddly (no undo either). But it’s quite fun once things get going. And while building stuff can be tough, the options are almost limitless.

    • JaminBob says:

      Us anoraks on the Transport Tycoon forums have many theories… he’s a hard man to get hold of, but the admin Orduge seems to have some contact with him apparently.

      The man is a demi-god.

    • ulix says:

      I actually made a petition for him to develop another game, no-one signed it…

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      distantlurker says:

      Chris “Write the theme tune, sing the theme tune” Sawyer?

      He sued Atari back in 2008 for an undisclosed sum and then vanished.

      Some say he fled to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, he survives as a programmer of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire: THE A-TYCOON.

      On a more serious note, he has a credit on Cities in Motion and he’s at least been contacted by Braben et al to reprise his Elite role, whether or not he did/has I can neither confirm nor deny (‘cos I have no idea).

    • Phalanx14 says:

      Transport Tycoon Fans like myself might want to keep an eye on Train Fever

      link to

      Could this be the spiritual successor to TTD/Locomotion?

  2. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Transport Tycoon must be my most played game, ever. I simply adore it. Ever since I picked it up in ’94 (you don’t know, man! you weren’t there!) it has captivated my imagination and I’ve been playing it ever since.

    Thank God for OpenTTD which not only kept the game going, it actually managed to improve on it. Big love.

    • Poppis says:

      I just installed OpenTTD last week. The nostalgia is strong in that one. But I guess it’s good they keep making more of this type of games.

    • atticus says:

      It’s crazy how this ancient game is still being played by so many people.

      Much praise must go to the modding community for the improvements over the years, but it’s also a brilliant example of how to create a look and graphic design that ages very well.

    • Moonkat says:

      Has anyone played Simutrans? link to

  3. actaxob says:

    I enjoyed the first game for some hours, but once I realised it takes three simple steps to beat the game – 1) borrow plenty acheap, 2) build a tube line covering key spots, 3) swim in money whatever else you decide to do (or ignore doing for that matter) – it became utterly boooriiing… The only challenge left was the interface.

    In your WIT, could you please tell us if this stands for the second incarnation.

    • Eich says:

      The Metros got nerved quite a bit in my opinion. Mainly because credits became harder to handle (no paying back in advance, no crazy economy hickups). But they are still quite overpowered. The greatest problem is that it’s too cheap to build the tunnels. If you find a mod which doubles or tripples the buildingcosts you will be satisfied with the game. Mainly because Trams and Busses are a viable option now (no traffic jam deadlock during first hour of gameplay).

  4. yxxxx says:

    Played the first one for hours and enjoyed every moment. This however…

    It could be that i havent given it enough time but everything seems to be more complicated for no good reason. Laying lines for trains and trams is akward and setting transport lines seems harder than it needs to be and not as clear as the previous versions thick coloured lines.

    Im hoping that some of the bigger problems will get fixed as the first game was well supported after launch.

  5. BurningPet says:

    TTD/OTTD and Simutrans are responsible for hundreds of fun play time for me. i simply love that genre and if chris sawyer ever decide to emerge from the deeps and start a kickstarter, he got 5,000 from me.

    I loved CiM 1 despite its many shortcomings but CiM 2 just didn’t click with me.

  6. Joshua Northey says:

    So did they fix the problem where if you made a really good system (i.e. one that focused on the areas with the most density where transit was most necessary) you would invariably end up with more demand than you could handle.

    So waits would skyrocket into hours, and rather than switching back to cars you would just have people waiting 3 hours for a train that is going 4 blocks and furious the whole time.

    It made it so you actually wanted to stay away from the built up areas, which is the opposite of how real life transit works or good transit development. It was rather game-breaking.

    • Eich says:

      I’ve had this problem only in the first City because I didn’t know how to build a proper network. However it was easily fixed by getting the coverage up to about 70% and allow 100% overcrowding. This way you can work at 30min intervalls (because there is no private car usage) and with 80/40 trams you can handle even the heaviest load. I had a metro hub which produced at least 500 ppl during rushhour. There is always something you can do to handle a new situation. And in the end this is what makes the game fun ;)

      • JaminBob says:

        The trick is to keep the lines short. Very short. It may not be realistic, but you can just pretend your 5 lines at 3 stops each are one line.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Well sort of, except in the first game there wasn’t anything you could do. If you built in the major density areas and built a big network so people could get most places there would be huge wait times regardless of how often things made stops. it wasn’t possible to build a system that could match demand, without making lots of duplicate lines, which there wasn’t room for and looked ridiculous.

      • Bishop says:

        I found trams to be abit rubbish. Nearly all the levels I completed by taking out 200k loan at the start and building two big underground metro’s. You’ll soon have a enough to build a 3rd, 4th, nth, etc. I got 100% coverage on one map while waiting for the populate growth, 95% by metros then a few free buses in the missed spots.

    • Ninja Foodstuff says:

      Seems to me like you’ve perfectly described the London Underground

      • Joshua Northey says:

        Every time I have been in London the tube has gotten me everywhere I have needed to go with an absolute minimum of fuss and almost no wait.

        But what do I know? I am from Minnesota and only get thee every few years or so. Perhaps there are lots of problems for commuters.

  7. pupsikaso says:

    Do they have a demo? And is there demo save erased as soon as you quit the game, like in the demo of the first game?

    • JaminBob says:

      Yeah… i’m worried my comp ain’t up to this one, and Steam aren’t exactly big on refunds.

  8. Hahaha says:

    So are they going to give us this one for free as well?

  9. satsui says:

    I beta tested this game from the early stages and I love the deep simulation. I couldn’t get past the GUI and it was a continuous issue raised in the forums. I’m honestly shocked it has changed very little and it discourages me from playing the game.

    I would love the game if it had a similar interface as CiM 1 even. But this… this is just unbearable.

    Edit: I also don’t like how tracks are laid down in this version. Another issue I have with it.

  10. The Random One says:

    I found the first one ferry good, despite the stramge broken engine that destrolleyed any chance of it being elevated to cult hit status, so it isn’t thought of as heli as Transport Tycoon. I still play it whenever I’m not bus-y.

  11. jrr says:

    I bought the first one on sale recently and got strangely addicted to it. Then the second came out!

    In comparison:
    – The performance is wayyyy better. Load times are worse, but it runs very smoothly, even as the simulation grows in complexity.
    – The game complexity is higher. A couple examples: you have to worry about depots to store all your vehicles; tram tracks can be placed in varying positions on the streets (median, inner lanes, outer lanes), and trams tops have to be placed matching them.
    – The interface is difficult to use. Many windows that can exist simultaneously, and it feels like more clicks to do any given action.
    – The game world is less *legible*. It’s harder to see tracks, stops, and lines. The underground view (which is no longer strictly an underground view, but rather a simplified view) helps a bit, but it’s still difficult.

    It’s difficult to place metros. I had to watch a tutorial on youtube.

    It’s promising. I’m hoping for interface-improving updates.

  12. Tams80 says:

    Driving on the wrong side of the road, an apparent lack of roundabouts, let alone mini-roundabouts and yellow lines down the centre of the roads. I am severely disappointed.

  13. DannySpud says:

    The opening joke was amazing, that is all.