Planes, Trains And Automoboats: Transport Fever

Train Fever gave off all the right signals and received a nod of approval from none other than our very own Stat Controller, Tim Stone. A sequel has just been announced and, glory be, it’s going full Transport Tycoon. Transport Fever’s [official site] the name. Taking in land, air and sea transport, and more than 150 years of history, it’ll have cities that evolve, 120+ makes of vehicle, and improved UI and simulation features. The first trailer just pulled into the station.

I love Transport Tycoon Deluxe dearly. It was the first game to convince me that I didn’t need toy soldiers or monsters on my screen to enjoy myself, or at least the first that convinced me I could enjoy myself with a non-violent simulation of the real world just as much as I could with anything else. Forget Leisure Suit Larry and Doom – Transport Tycoon was my first mature game.

If Transport Fever can come even close to capturing its spiritual predecessors finer qualities, I’ll be absolutely delighted. I love the look and will probably never get tired of seeing steam trains trundling across rickety bridges. Even modern trains still retain some romanticism in my mind, despite my main (and too frequent) experience being the Manchester to London Virgin rail service. It’s a good service but it’s also naggingly expensive and is used to shuttle me back and forth between workspaces. Not exactly the Orient Express.

Planes have completely lost their attraction, sadly. A long flight is a place to read a book and I completely forgot that something incredible is happening – I’m flying across an ocean! – because I’m usually uncomfortable and tired-but-not-sleepy.

And boats? Boats are great. Next time I need to go on a press trip to the USA, I’m going to travel by sea.

Transport Fever will be out “Fall 2016”, which is round about when I might arrive for that press trip.

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  1. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Everything I saw in that trailer looked impressive, really hope they nail this.

    • FieldyGB says:

      Likewise, loved playing TTD and this looks like a nice reboot so looking forward to this, if they get it right.

    • Czrly says:

      They have to do but one thing in order to succeed: embrace complexity and difficulty. They need to learn from OpenTTD, with its smart signals and linked stations and complicated orders for connections and wotnot. They need to learn from Factorio and demand precision from the player. They need to learn from Dwarf Fortress and give the player a hard time.

  2. Shiloh says:

    Never played Transport Tycoon Deluxe, but I used to enjoy Railroad Tycoon a lot (great music BTW) even if the stock market shenanigans were a little opaque and not particularly of interest.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this, given my usual watchword “if it’s good enough for Tim Stone, it’s pretty much painted on that it’ll be good enough for me”.

    • Didero says:

      You can play Transport Tycoon right now, through OpenTTD. It’s completely free! Plus it runs on almost any old computer.

  3. Zaxwerks says:

    Have never played either game, how does this differ from Cities in Motion?

    • Aninhumer says:

      Train Fever has a more intercity scope (or intertown anyway), and organic town growth. Unfortunately it also feels kind of unfinished.

  4. Cinek says:

    Wow, it looks so fugly. It kind of reminds me of SotA – game that should have been done in beautiful 2D, but instead someone made a stupid decision to push for 3D without having talented artists nor visual director to handle that.

    • Turkey says:

      I don’t know if a game like this really needs that much art direction. I think it’s more the lighting’s fault that everything looks so flat and lifeless.

    • Ludomation says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. It looks horrid. Overly simplistic and very drab models make the whole thing look rather dull, which is a shame because the rest of the simulation and mechanics look fantastic.

      • Ludomation says:

        Lighting, textures, overall style and cohesion all need work. It’s like what people discovered to make pixel art work with light and colour has been completely forgotten in 3d.

  5. Xipheas says:

    Please please, if you’ve never played Transport Tycoon, visit

    It’s a completely free, totally identical (with extras of you like) remake of the game I also dearly live and have lost many months of my life to. I still play it, and always will.

    • Aninhumer says:

      OpenTTD is great, but the only thing I think it’s really missing is a decent passenger model. It supposedly has a passenger destinations option, but as far as I can tell the model seems to just create passengers to fill your network, rather than follow any kind of logical travel patterns.

      I’ve been preferring Simutrans a lot more lately for this reason.

      • Czrly says:

        The single worst feature of OpenTTD has got to be the passenger model, aye. The single BEST feature is the train signalling! They absolutely nailed the delicate balance between “realism” and “fun”…

        … although, at high resolutions, trying to eye-ball which type of signal you’ve just plonked (and which way it’s facing) can lead to a migraine.

        • Czrly says:

          Come to think of it, perhaps the passenger model is bad because it is too close to the real world: you’re supposed to move passengers from station A to station B and get rewarded based on how fast you do that, regardless of where they actually wanted to go. British trains never seemed to give a damn about my ultimate intended destination, when I used them every day.

  6. mich5man says:

    Still one of my favorite games to just relax playing. I was disappointed by Cities in Motion but I do think it’s something they could do right.
    Oddly, sort of like Cities Skyline remaking the enjoyment of SimCity.

  7. Aninhumer says:

    Train Fever is probably the most promising modern transport sim I’ve seen so far. It has a realistic model of towns and passengers that seems like it might finally offer the kind of organic transport network growth narrative I really want from a game like this.

    Unfortunately the interface needs a LOT of work. So many little things like needing to demolish stations to add platforms, and the fiddly track construction that makes junctions challenging, and grade separated crossings almost impossible. And the performance wasn’t great, it freezes for about a second at the end of every game month.

    I’m a little disappointed that they’ve decided to make a new game rather than finish the old one, but I guess I enjoyed it enough for the money. And maybe they’ll backport the train fixes to the old game.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Cooper says:

    I booted up Train Fever last night, first time in ages.

    I had played some OpenTTD the night before and thought I’d go back to it. By dear god is it fiddly. Complicated junctions in openTTD can be time consuming and a bit of a pain, sure, but there’s a level of exactitude there.

    Train Fever is just fiddly. Interminably so. It just straightforwardly cannot allow you to make a whole range of fairly standard track junctions, resulting in seri0ously awkward track layouts.

    It also has a real slow down problem once you have more than a few dozen trains on my computer…

  9. The Algerian says:

    That locomotive is quite the sexy beast.

  10. LewdPenguin says:

    Like many others here I’ve played a fair bit of Train Fever and still consider it somewhat unfinished, whilst to be fair there were a number of patches that addressed quite a few issues, plenty of others still remain. The ui is frankly early beta in that it’s functional to get you through the game but horribly lacking polish, and as others have mentioned inexplicable things like having to demolish stations to expand them, or track so you can make a road/rail level crossing, not to mention (whilst improved from release) still fiddly and frustrating track laying.
    There’s so much room for improvement really I wonder if it would have been better to make a Train Fever 2 and really nail that game before spreading resources thinner expanding to other modes of transport, whilst we see a couple of things apparently fixed in the trailer (able to cross rails and expanding stations organically, although the latter may well also just be in the editing) I wonder if we’ll also get a ui that isn’t garbage and higher general level of polish, or if the bulk of the effort ends up being spent on new shiny features at the expense of remedies for the existing problems.
    All that said I really do hope my fears are unfounded and it’s a great game all round, definitely something I’ll keep an eye out for when it releases.

  11. stone says:

    Take. My. Money.

  12. BlacKHeaDSg1 says:

    I personally preferred Locomotion that OTTD because pixel art was much better there … i couldn’t pass that in OTTD even with mods.

  13. ColonelFailure says:

    (Apologies for a little shameless self promotion – not grudges will be held should a moderator drop a train on this post.)

    Having let’s played my way through 180+ episodes of Train Fever (all of which are high quality entertainment) I’ve put together a small scene by scene trailer inspection. Submitting here as it may be of interest.