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Sweet Transit is a loveable city builder for model train nerds, out of early access now

You choo choo choose me?

A steam train chuffing through a town with the Sweet Transit logo in top left.
Image credit: Team17

Afternoon, conveyor belt fans! Good news, I think I may have discovered the first genuinely cosy automation game. Attempts have been made at cosy automation and automated cosiness in the past – Satisfactory is on the sunnier side, providing you enable the right settings, and Shapez 2 has lots of rounded edges. But IDK, there’s something about the ravages of mass industry that doesn’t quite gel with zoomorphic raccoon baristas and other such wholesome trappings. Have you ever encountered a cuddly smokestack? How about a cuddly just-in-time network?

Combine cosiness with automation, and a lot of the time, you end up with some kind of macabre joke, like Palworld. Or at least so I thought before I discovered Sweet Transit, out now, which seemingly resolves everything by means of a hearty injection of trains.

Solo developer Ernestas Norvaišas is a former Factorio 3D artist. Factorio is not a cosy game. It is a game of mass devastation and xenocide with a view to building a rocket and getting the hell out of there. Sweet Transit is none of these things. It is a city builder and transportation sim in which houses have pastel coloured roofs, in which train windows light up after dark, in which locomotives pebble the afternoon air with steam as they drive past rippling golden fields of corn.

OK, so you have to worry about pollution and villagers being unhappy about the pollution. The UI is a bit unwieldy in places, too. But the toy trainset vibe is immaculate. My granddad had a massive model train system set up in his study. I’d have loved to show him this, though I suspect he’d have disapproved of the whole games journalism thing. Look, grandpa, I didn’t have good enough maths to become a pilot. If it helps, though, I’m really great at playing Pharah in Overwatch.

Here’s the launch trailer for Sweet Transit:

Watch on YouTube

And here’s a rundown of the key features, care of our old friend Monsieur Press Release:

- Systems-led city builder: Starting with a single warehouse, build a thriving interconnected world of villages and cities as you expand your rail network and evolve your society

- Customisable rail network: Construct platforms and stations linked by intricate railway routes to help connect settlements and ensure a painless transit for both workers and civilians

- Evolve your industry: From steam to diesel, and beyond, play through distinct eras of the railway and plan the most economical expansions using the technology at your disposal

- Be a person of the people: Keep a close eye on your citizens and ensure their needs are met as you expand your routes and scale up your settlements

- Full modding support: Create custom content via Steam Workshop, including structures, locomotives, in-game rules, progression markers, and graphics

Sweet Transit has been in early access since 2022, receiving four major updates in that time. The 1.0 update adds civic buildings, production chains, newspaper stories and a new population tier on top of the usual bugfixes - full changelog here.

I haven't had a chance to play much of this, so I can't say how it stacks up to the classics like Railroad Tycoon, but I'm enjoying the sights. Commendably cosy-adjacent. The Steam review consensus is hovering at Mostly Positive right now. You can also find it on the Epic Games Store.

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