Transport Giant


by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 60/100

Transport Giant Review
Published by: JoWood
Developed by: JoWood
Format Reviewed: PC
Review by: Wencke

Getting a job in real life is hard to find? Step into the virtual world and become a director of a transport company. Oh wow, owning your own company, a transport company! The only thing you need to do is to buy the game “Transport Giant”. It’s that simple and they even give you the time to get used to all features in your new job and mistakes won’t result automatically in a dismissal.

First day at work:Hello, nice meeting you. You must be the new director? Correct? Did you already passed all qualifications? Come again? They only stated that I should buy the game and I would become a director. Did I miss something? The person who is talking to you sighs. Silly one, you first need to check if your computer system requirements runs at a minimum of 500 MHz, Pentium III or comparable, Windows XP/2000/ME/98, 64 MB Ram, DirectX 8.1, compatible sound- and graphic card (32MB) and last but not least a CD-Rom Drive.

Image: http://www.gamergirlsunite.com/reviews/pcreviews/transportgiant/road.jpg

Second Day at work: Where’s my personal assistant? I really could use a cup of coffee before I start working on my first objective. Where is my planner? Where can I find my employees? What is going on? I look at my desk and I only see a computer, a game and a manual. What a strange company this is, but it’s my second day on a new job and you never feel comfortable the first days, even as a director.

Yesterday I peeked into the manual and started the game on my computer. It seemed to be the company’s system. As nobody else was around, I started the campaign mode option. Campaign modes are always the best way to learn all the game’s features. Strangely I ended up in America, in the year 1850. My task was to design a fast working transportation infrastructure which could transport enough construction materials to the forts. A total of five forts needed to be build completely within 10 years. Wood was the resource which was needed. I bought train horses, carts and stations to load the vehicles at the lumberjack repository, build gravel roads which leaded to nearest sawmills and build a road to our end destination; the truck terminal (warehouse) near the forts. I could zoom in and out on the map to get a better or closer look at the environment. Looking at all of my horses and carts riding on the roads up and down, fully loaded was very satisfying. Especially when you discovered how the game should be played. You don’t get any good training before you start the game or you should have read the manual. You have to figure it out on your own. Only the objective is clear and a little story with some clues are revealed but how to build a road, vehicles, stations or terminals?

Fourth day at work: The endless play mode is on my agenda. It’s called that way because you can play from 1850 all the way into the year 9000, however the technical improvements end in 2050. You can choose in which continent (US/Europe) and year you want to start your career. Note that the year also stands for type of transportation. For example in the year 1850 you can transport materials with horse trains and the year 1975 has trucks to deliver all kinds of items. The different kind of industries stays the same over the years, only their looks change just like the rest of the playfield. No true mission or goal has to be achieved except making enough money to keep the company in business. The endless play mode is a sandbox mode which is very enjoyable to play for a very long time.

Image: http://www.gamergirlsunite.com/reviews/pcreviews/transportgiant/train.jpg

Almost weekend, but first let’s review my week again, but now more detailed. I’ve controlled an incredible number of different transport vehicles. From bullock carts to different kind of trucks (with trailers, semi-trailer) to trains, ships, airplanes to ultra-modern monorails and superconductor trains. Naturally I wasn’t able to use airplanes in, say, 1850. The availability of vehicles is determined by historical context. Also no vehicle works forever and needs to repaired from time to time. Depending on the type of transport the costs of repairs can differ greatly. Now you understand why a director had to be hired in the first place to do the job. You need to make well over-thought decisions which vehicles are best suited to your purpose and budget!

Industries and cities means action time and the place to be to gather and deliver goods to. With more then 60 different kind of industries a lot can be done. Collect raw materials from the suppliers to manufacturers of end-user goods. When the end-user products are ready you need to transport them to the end-user. If you want to increase the industry production you need to deliver the goods on a regular basis. For every delivery you earn money to build better, new transport ways or to invest in modern vehicles.

Before I’m going to enjoy my weekend, I need to finish that financial report. Let’s see, no freight rates means no profit. Lesson 1 learned this week. Every product in the game has different freight rates. It’s cheaper to transport raw materials instead of finished products. The rate is based on the shortest transport way. Also the freight rate paid depends on how far you had to transport the product. However, this does not mean that you should aim to transport your goods over longer distances. The rate is always based on the shortest connection between two points. So if your vehicles take a detour, this will adversely affect your profit. The freight rate paid also depends how fast you transport the goods. For many products the transport speed should be quite high to achieve a good price. You may safely assume that raw materials won't require high speeds – after all, iron ore rarely goes bad during longer transports. Perishable goods, and particularly passengers or mail, need to be taken to their destination as quickly as possible.

Image: http://www.gamergirlsunite.com/reviews/pcreviews/transportgiant/fly.jpg
Female gamer angle: Well, I’m in control, the female reviewer yells. The men go "oh no a woman in traffic". Ah well, I’m the director who takes care of the giant transportation methods needed over the years in various continents and cities. The game doesn’t have any real characters as known in other games. It’s about vehicles, roads, money, buildings and materials, goods.

Conclusion: All in all it’s a nice game for tycoon gamers. Designing and building the best possible economical roads which leads to a well drivin’ company with good financial figures. Enjoy the growth of your business but stay concentrated on the supply chain and the market changes. You need to observe the demands of the market, the freight rates, the vehicles and need to explore the complete map to grab every opportunity to expand your business. A game which can be played for many hours as you can customize the game start settings from easy to hard, with competitors or not, starting at which year you want and with which transportation method.