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'Transport Tycoon' expanding onto mobile in October

tech reviews Updated: Sep 24, 2013 16:54 IST

That classic game of enterprise and expansion, "Transport Tycoon," is dated for arrival on iOS and Android platforms this October 3.

Even twenty years on, 1994 release "Transport Tycoon" and sequel "Transport Tycoon Deluxe" remain unusual in that they combine several disciplines, asking players to establish profitable routes over road, rail, air and sea.

Game designer Chris Sawyer, who is also involved in the mobile remake, later explored more focused areas with the "RollerCoaster Tycoon" series and "Locomotion."

Similarly, its followers have chosen to double down on just one mode of movement: road planning has "Cities in Motion 2"; international airfares are taken care of with "Airport Tycoon" and mobile hit "Pocket Planes"; railway and train enthusiasts can look to "Railroads!," "Railroad Tycoon" and, more recently, the annualized "Train Simulator"; seadogs have the "Ship Simulator" series, most recently piquing curiosity with "Ship Simulator Extremes."

And 2012's surprise hit "Euro Truck Simulator 2" proved that there can be a strong appetite for an apparently urbane topic, even among a gaming crowd ordinarily accustomed to action-heavy set-pieces and big budget productions, admitting that a good game is still a good game, regardless of genre, especially when it so skillfully encourages players to keep on clocking up the miles.

But even after two decades "Transport Tycoon" has retained much of its appeal, with fans recreating and improving the classic as "OpenTTD" for Mac, PC and Linux, iOS, Android and even the PlayStation Portable; another group resurrected it as "Simutrans," adding subway systems to the mix.

So perhaps it's for the best that "Transport Tycoon" holds so closely to the aesthetic that helped make it a classic, the pixelated isometric viewpoint it shared with "SimCity" games -- especially as the latter's 2012 launch saw it struggle so notably with tranport options -- and the mix of land, air and sea that challenges players to while away minutes, then hours, becoming not just jack but master of all four transportation trades.