Decade old games: Transport Tycoon Deluxe (1995)

It’s easy to focus on the latest shiny consoles and games, but there’s plenty of merit in old games too! Decade Old Games will look to dig up some of these gems to see how they’re holding up!

Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Currently celebrating its 21st birthday, Transport Tycoon Deluxe was an expanded and improved version of 1994’s Transport Tycoon, both of which are the brainchildren of Scottish gaming developer extraordinaire Chris Sawyer and published by MicroProse. Given that there was only a year between them, and that Transport Tycoon Deluxe had some key improvements, that game will be the focus of this nostalgia-fest looking back at the greatest transport/business simulation game ever!!

How was it received at the time?

Building upon the moderately popular Transport Tycoon with some much needed improvements, the Deluxe version proved to be a success even though it it only came out a year after the original game.

Changes from Transport Tycoon

The main improvement from Transport Tycoon was a change in how the signals worked – in the original, train signals were two way, which is to say that they would allow two-way travel on train tracks. That sounds fine, until you realise that it would allow two trains, at opposite ends of the track to race towards each other at breakneck speed which, unsurprisingly, ended in lots of crashes.

Transport Tycoon Deluxe changed this to a one-way signal system which actually made the whole thing much more sensible, by preventing greens showing in both directions at the same time. Although it did result in higher costs as it required better planning and more tracks and signals to transport cargo and/or passengers back and forth.

Another improvement was the inclusion of different landscapes including arctic, toy town and tropical locales all of which come with their own unique industries and challenges.

How does it hold up?

Transport Tycoon Deluxe’s graphics are about as good as you can expect from a mid-1990s PC game. The buildings, towns and flora are all fairly generic and without much variety, and there are basically no people. But despite the low-def graphics, you can still tell the difference vehicles and their networks which is the important thing.

Dated visuals aside, the format and gameplay are still great, with simple menus and actions combining with informative pop-ups to ensure that gamers will be gripped for hours, if not days at a time.

Where is it now?

Well, unlike many simulation games, there hasn’t been the need to keep churning out regular updated versions. While Transport Tycoon Deluxe did receive a “spiritual successor” in the form of Chris Sawyer’s Locomotion in 2004, that game generally received a less than favourable reception on account of both the UI and AI being poor, especially when compared to Transport Tycoon Deluxe.

I want it! Where can I get it?

Well, there is good news and bad news here…the bad news first, is that the original game is no longer available, and even if you can get hold of it, it does not play nicely with window 7 or newer out of the box. 🙁

The good news is that an open version of the game was produced in the mid-2000s – the imaginatively named Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe. OTTD is available here for Windows, Mac and Linux…it’s even available for the Raspberry Pi

OTTD

But the fun doesn’t end with desktop and rpi system
s. TheTT mobilere is even better news if you’re an Android or iOS user. You can download the updated and appified Transport
Tycoon from the Google Play store and Apple’s Appstore. Even Kindle Fire users get access to it on the the Amazon app store, but sadly once again Windows Phone users will have to go without.

The app version is obviously a lighter version of the desktop game, but being adapted for touchscreen use, it is still definitely worth a look for anyone interest in either Transport Tycoon or its Deluxe follow-up.


Source: Transport Tycoon

Image source: TT-Forums.net

Ash

Ash is a technophile and Tolkienite at heart and has read the Silmarillion more than once – yes really, he’s one of those – with an enjoyment of the wider Sci-Fi and fantasy genres amongst others! When not engaged in hobbity pursuits, he is an avid gamer and movie watcher, and has had an affinity with all things technological and some things sporty.