By Chris Picone, 13 August 2022
Sweet Transit looks awesome! I grew up with games like SimCity and I’m a huge fan of both the genre and anything to do with trains and heavy industry so this looks exactly like my sort of game. I also enjoy that Sweet Transit is conceptually larger, dealing not only with a complex rail network capable of distributing a range of people and resources, but also with managing the village system that supports your industry.
I was a good boy initially and loaded up the tutorial – except there isn’t one tutorial, there’s four of them. Surely that’s not necessary, I thought, so I quickly knocked out the basic tutorial and then tried to leap into a game. I did reasonably for a while; the game includes an alert tab on the UI that highlights any issues faces by your village and also gives pointers as to what direction you probably need to take next. So I set up my warehouse, built a bunch of labourer’s houses, built a road system connecting everything to the town hall, built a bunch of water tanks and set up a little fishing dock. So now my blokes have food, water, and a roof over their heads. Jobs next, so I opened a coal mine. Here the game really starts: It’s a bit too far to the coal mine for my blokes to walk and of course we need to get the coal out to market, so it’s time to build some railroads and my first train! And suddenly I found myself overwhelmed. Not only do you have to build the stations and lay the tracks but it’s also your job to build the individual platforms and even individually place all the track signals. Back to the tutorials I go! I must say I do appreciate the level of intricacy though. Building totally customisable trains one wagon at a time is fun – and mapping out complex and efficient rail networks can be quite challenging.
The verdict? It’s a high quality sim game for sure, but it won’t be for everybody. Obviously the train theme will pigeonhole the target audience somewhat, but the real kicker is the game’s intricacy. It’s Sweet Transit’s greatest strength in that it gives plenty for the enthusiast to play with, but probably also the biggest obstacle as it makes it unapproachable for more casual gamers.