Transport Giant Review
We become giants in the world of transportation.
Review by Tracy Bosworth
Published 12th July 2004
- Developer: JoWooD
- Publisher: JoWooD
- Release Date: 13th August 2004
The human race has a number of elements which drive its members; the most obvious being money, power and love. So far the only game to have touched on the love thing was The Singles and to a lesser extent The Sims which challenged players to achieve that all important relationship between friends. More popular however are those games which focus on the money and power element of which drives society and an example of these can be found in the likes of “Sim City”, “Industry Giant”, “Airport tycoon” and now “Transport Giant”.
The game spans back over 200 years of evolving transport from the humble horse and carts to the modern day high speed trains. Starting with a small budget, Transport Giant lets you take advantage of the lacking transport business challenging you to take control of ever changing demands and economic circumstances.
There are two modes of play available, namely campaign mode which requires you to fulfil specific goals on a set map and an endless play mode which, as the name suggests sets you free on a map of your choosing where you build up your empire as and how you see fit. Both modes of play take place on one of two regions, USA and Europe with the US taking the role as the easier option in campaign mode.
As a rule I think that these types of games are best suited to open ended gameplay so lets start here, after choosing a region from the USA or Europe players are given a choice of an inner region in which to play, for instance on the Europe map I choose to build up my empire in Britain which gave me the whole of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland to play around with.
Within each region are small towns which house various businesses, factories and other money making opportunities in which to take advantage of. After choosing a nice spot on the map you build your first depot where your first business ventures will begin. The strategic involvement comes when placing these depots as choosing the right spot can mean the difference between gaining customers or going unnoticed, for instance building a depot next to a tobacco farm is an ideal business opportunity should the cigar makers need tobacco delivering! In this case you would build your first depot next to the farm, buy a truck and make it a schedule to deliver tobacco to the cigar makers, other examples include delivering wood from the woodcutters to the carpenter and from there to the furniture store with the wooden planks that the carpenter has miraculously created from the wood you took him!
Placing the mouse over each town brings up a list of what the population need, this ranges from the basic eggs, clothes and building materials to the more specific stuff such as mail and public transport. Placing depots within cities brings up a green boundary letting you know what areas your trucks will reach and a sure fire way of making a bit of money is to buy a few busses and transport passengers from town to town and back again.
Of course it isn’t all about the actual vehicles themselves, players will also need to lay roads, highways, bridges, train tracks and even water stations along long stretches of track to enable steam trains to refill midway. Other building possibilities include a storehouse, cold storage and loading crane, all of which are designed to improve your services as well as hotels, restaurants and kiosks to make the experience a pleasurable one for your travelling customers!
If you start from the earliest time period (1850) you will slowly see technology improving with new trucks, trains, aeroplanes and ships as the years go by meaning that you fully experience the changes in transport which have occurred in the past 200 years. Horse carriages, steam trains, modern engine trains, various trucks and shuttles all make an appearance in Transport Giant.
On the whole, Transport Giant is a good looking game with environmental settings doing well in portraying the time periods in which they represent. The game ran pretty smoothly with the exception of one lock up and a few pauses here and there, nothing too drastic but worthy of a mention all the same. My one gripe came in the map set-outs which were a little un-accurate from the bits I saw, Britain for example had the position of cities the wrong way around with some being more north then their true northern counterparts and whilst it did nothing to spoil the overall gameplay I feel a little more care could have been put into providing more accurate map settings. The game also features a good musical backing with tracks taking you back to the cowboy settings of western America and an upbeat and lively composure backing the setting of the modern day world.
All in all Transport Giant is nothing new, its another business game for power hungry players and whilst it does what it intends to do well, you cant help but become a little bored at the limited structure of transport routes. The game is set out well and fans of the God Sim genre should enjoy what this game has to offer, everyone else will get enjoyment out of it for short periods of time but there is nothing here to really get you hooked.
Review Score: 7.4/10
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