Transport Tycoon is a game by independent developer Chris Sawyer, who has recently had hits with RollerCoaster Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon 2. You may not have known however that RollerCoaster Tycoon initially started life as a sequel to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, which itself was a sequel to Transport Tycoon.
So what exactly is Transport Tycoon? Transport Tycoon puts you in charge of a transport company. You start in 1930 (1950 in the Deluxe version) and have a bank loan of ¢G100,000. You have to link up industries and towns by rail, road, air and sea to earn your fortune. Meanwhile, rival companies are competing for contracts – the AI isn’t very hard to beat, however. You’ll usually find it running circles around your stations – quite literally. Visit the Stupid AI section of the Church of Transport Tycoon for many examples of AI silliness.
As the game progresses, you have the opportunity to try new trains, road vehicles, planes and ships. A new train may offer a faster speed, but at the expense of power – you have to balance up the odds and decide what to do. When you reach the year 2000, a whole new type of rail becomes available, and you have to make the decision whether to upgrade to monorail or not. In some cases, you have to. Transport Tycoon Deluxe features four climates – temperate, sub-arctic, sub-tropical and Toyland – and conventional rail trains become ‘extinct’ soon after the introduction of monorail.