Railway Empire is a strategy, tycoon, and simulation genre game aimed at creating a railway network. The game is developed by Gaming Minds Studios. It was developed by the Kalypso Media Group. Railway Empire was available on multiple platforms already like PS4, PC, and Xbox One but the game developers have now released a version of it for the Nintendo Switch console. The game released on 19th of June 2020 and it is recently priced at $40 on various gaming E-stores.
If you go back some years, it was nearly impossible to find a good simulation game on other gaming consoles and devices except PC. Whether it was PS Vita, iPad, etc, you wouldn’t get a simulator game that has some gameplay in it rather than slow or standard simulators without any kind of task or story associated with them. However, 4X games are consigned to PC whereas it is very rare that a title comes to Nintendo Switch which makes itself imminent amongst the other games. They have amazing gameplay along with some great management and control perfection.
For those players who haven’t played this game on any other gaming platform in the past, Railway Empire, as the name suggests, gives you the task of creating a huge and magnificent rail network. You will also be able to purchase 40 different locomotives designs which are very well detailed. You will have to create this network before you are overrun by other competitors of yours. You also will be controlling a labor force of yours which will be providing quick services to the passengers. You will not only have these; your competitors would also have their workforce. They will try their best to pass you and in answer to this, you should be prepared for anything coming your way.
From the outlook, the game is almost fully identical to the Xbox One’s variant of it. Similarities occur in the sound quality and graphical detail’s richness of the game for the players to take the joy of. Text in the game looks clear and has good readability. When you will play the game, you will see some tiny issues with the game tutorials. They aren’t transparent about the controls as you will not certainly know all from them. Controls are also a little tougher and peculiar than the Xbox version for Switch’s game version (controllers can also have issues too).
You will build up your own railway lines in the game. Long rail tracks connecting areas. Interesting! Isn’t it? You will probably think that it seems like a difficult task, but it really isn’t at all! All you need to do is very simple, drag and drop between two train stations and it’s done! You will certainly like this mechanic of dragging and dropping using touch as this feature is not available for other mobile variants of this game. They also don’t have this option to add a tunnel in the way of tracks or bend a track even. Feel lucky!
As told before, you will have to get used to the controls if you are from an Xbox console background. You will mistakenly press the wrong buttons but after some hours of gameplay, you won’t feel this lack of missing buttons and pressing wrong ones. The best thing about Railway Empire’s Switch Edition is that it doesn’t have an overpopulated user interface. You will not have to roam around the options and settings in order to find what you need. But when you want to see that what is a town’s demands, what does it need and how much, it’s a little difficult to sort this out. You will see some further insight. The game developers should add some popup for the columns of the table describing the details. It will resolve the issue.
Railway Empire comprises of 3 gaming modes. One of the modes is called Campaign Mode or you may say story mode. Your journey will initiate from Omaha which has a station on it. You will have to construct your empire from the very start. No assists here! Good thing is that you are carried by the characters who carry you throughout the tale themselves. This is very interesting being instructed. And the best thing is that you are not bound under any instructions. You can build any form of track design by yourself. You won’t be asked to lay a totally straight one or curled whatever. The developers have also added a feature that is highly commendable for a simulator game. The ability to ride the locomotive on your built design is amazing. This provides you with a new experience as you see the track closely and you can do modification to make it look better or add more designs. It also provides a clear view as you need to add multiple numbers of lines, crossings, and signals for rails between stations.
The game comes with some types of bugs or errors. Some can be called due to misinformation. In some instances in the story mode, you will find that you will be prompted about putting a passing loop or supply station which is a tower containing tanks of water for steam engines. This error occurs mostly when you have already placed one but not on the exact spot where required. The game doesn’t tell about the original issue with the placements putting you in a mental mess. Another notable bug found was that the cursor disappears itself without any proper reason. To bring it back, you will have to save the game and then quit it. After quitting the game, you will have to reload it. It is not a huge problem as the game does load very quickly, but it annoys you in between deteriorating the gaming experience.
Other than the campaign mode, Railway Empire has two other modes. One is called Free Roam and the other one is Scenarios. Free Roam, as the name suggests, means that you can roam freely wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do in your empire. Scenario is a task-based mode where you have to complete some definite tasks. One of the examples is that you may have to transport 100000 passengers on your rail network by 1864. Some of these tasks also pop up in the story mode of the game. If you had played the campaign mode before, some of these tasks would come to you as repetitions of those done before but is a very rare case in the game. Scenarios are indeed lengthy as it would take you a lot of time to complete the first one as after three hours, you will not be even closer to the end of the target to be achieved. They are time taking and impossible to complete in less time if that’s what you are up to.
One thing that disappoints in these scenarios is the absence of any continuation of the task from some already-achieved progress. If you fail to complete the task by even a small amount of work, it would take you to the main menu and you will have to try all of it again. Another feature, if added would a great addition. If the player fails to complete a scenario one time, he/she should be then given some real-time tips and tricks so that they can accomplish the task on their next trials. An increase in completion time will be well appreciated.
Conclusively, Railway Empire is a fun game to play. If you connect your Nintendo Switch to a television, it provides a more immersive experience for the game. Having the portability trait for Switch is amazing for this game. If you have previously played train games like Transport Fever 2 or Cities Skylines, you will definitely like it. From the Cities Skylines, Railway Empire has the edge for the management of rails, trains, stations, passing loops, etc. It has a lot of resemblance to Transport Fever 2 but it is without any other vehicle options. Some of the text in this game was miniature and players with eyesight issues could have problems reading it. The story mode is very enjoyable and is very good for time pass as you will play for hours and wouldn’t notice it. Game developers have announced some downloadable content for the game including a map of the UK which will be a heck of fun to play. If you are simulator lovers and want some nice gameplay with good graphics, it will be a good choice for you for sure.