TTDX vs. other games
Railroad Tycoon I&II
RollerCoasterTycoon
Microsoft Train Sim
TTDX vs. other Great Games

Why I consider TTDX to be better than any other game in this list? What makes it so good? How you compare it with these other great names? Why many of them are much more famous than TTDX itself?

Railroad Tycoon, I & II
Railroad tycoon is the most similar game to TTDX in this list. They both share the same approach: They allow to build and operate a railway network, doing almost every task in a day-to-day basis.

Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon (RT) was launched in 1990, about four years before Transport Tycoon. He succesfully developed most of the main concepts which are already so familiar to us: The starting point as a railway company to develop new lines, choose new vehicles, plan timetables and fit them with transport demand.

The game was strongly influenced by the success of SimCity: This game, one of the great classics of our time, enables the player to manage a city ina day-to-day basis, building roads and transport and setting terrains for development. As the city develops, the game in SimCity evolves. In the same way, Meier used a growing demand for transport to keep you busy in Railroad Tycoon.

RT was relaunched as Railroad Tycoon Deluxe in 1993. TT was improved to become Transport Tycoon Deluxe in 1995. Hence, it is obvious that Chris Sawyer used Meier's original ideas to develop his game, and we can regard RT as "the original" thing.

Railroad tycoon II (RTII) was launched more recently (November 1998). It looks it has been a big success, at least I always find it in the department stores shelves in my country (Spain), which I guess it means it sells well (?).

RT Cover   RTII Cover

Two great games on railways

I haven't played much to RT original. I got a copy some time ago and I wasn't impressed by the graphics or the game itself: The game looks old, and it is indeed. But I paid big money for RTII recently and I do have an opinion. Let's check out in detail:

What's similar:
- Same approach: operate a railway network in day-to-day basis: Lay tracks, purchase vehicles, some finance and company management as an add-on, etc.

- Good Music: Both games have a very good sound which make them more appealling.


What's better in TTDX:
- Building Capabilities: TTDX enables you to do anything as explained in the Why is so good section. It is indeed a very key feature of the game as long time is spent designing junctions and crossings. In the other hand, RTII capabilities look very poor: Just choose one or double track, and crossings are limited to an out-of-the-box X cross. There aren't either traffic lights, trains crashing, need to set different directions in a layout, etc. You will not spend much time on it. Huge difference.

- The Quality of the Simulation: The random behaviour of cities and industries, as well as the method used to allocate traffic (the famous station ratings) look much more realistic in TTDX than in RRTII, where everything looks "too linear" and predictable.

- TTDX is not only on trains: Although they are the main focus of the game, don't forget TTDX is about transport networks, including planes, buses and trucks as well as ships and hovercrafts. This definetely makes the game more complex and interesting.

- A lot of attention to detail: In RTII you can see trains "inside" another one, track graphics look "uncomplete" as one single track becomes doubled without a transition section, etc. etc. In other words, the game looks finished in a rush. And no chance to find an UFO or a submarine like in TTDX...

RTII Screenshot

Look at this junction between a double track and a single one in RTII... and on the left side you can see how the double track becomes single.... grim. This game deserved a better quality check.

- Faster, lower system requirements: I was surprised when I checked RTII system reqs: It uses 130 MB of hard disk, to start with. Furthermore, performance in my machine was quite poor: It was slow. Nothing to do with the small, fast TTDX.


What's better in RTII:
- 3D Graphics: More realistic, although not so rich than in TTDX - not easy to see them evolve in the time. It also enables a useful point-of-view rotation which TTDX hasn't.

RTII screenshot

RTII has very good 3D graphics

- Scenario-based: Instead of providing you with a new, random map to play, RTII gives you scenarios related with real life history and geography. Furthermore, each scenario has some goals to rank you and allow you to go on playing the next game. That's a big difference as it makes the game much more addictive. There are plenty of scenarios to solve.

RTII screenshot

Real life maps and historical situations to play with

- Very smart AI (Artificial intelligence): Playing against the computer in RTII is very interesting, and beating it at the toughest levels is quite a challenge. Nothing to do with TTDX AI, credited with creating computer railway layouts quite nonsense and being not interesting at all.

- I enjoyed The Terrain and Scenario Editors: Terrain can be modified in a more flexible way and slopes are more realistic. Furthermore, the scenario editor enables you to create different situations, even setting the time for a economic boom or a population increase. Very powerful.

- More Finance Management Features: It has more features related with finance issues like selling/purchasing shares, set your own salary, give credit to the company from your own pocket, etc. This is interesting, but do not make much for the game playability, I just see it as an add-on feature.

- A complete manual, even interesting to read!

- Pop Top (RTII publishers) Marketing and Distribution is also much better: As I said above, finding a copy of the new RTII is very easy, just the opposite to TTDX, for which there is hardly any legal wat to get it.


Why is more famous than TTDX?
To be honest, I am not sure if it really is... There was some kind of boom when RTII was launched, but its webring look abandoned and I guess that in the long term, only TTDX quality will survive ;-)


What others say about this game:
Have a look to these reviews and read what others think about RTII:
Review in Games Domain.
Review in Strategy Gaming Online.
Review in PC HotGames.


My Conclusion:
Don't buy RTII, is a kind of bad copy of TTDX.

When I bought it, I was terribly dissapointed: After playing TTDX for a long time, I expected a four years younger game would have something to say. The answer is No. RTII use the same basic concepts we already know and most of the detail is much poorer than TTDX. I just feel sorry for the money I spent on it...

Do you play RT / RTII frequently? Can you compare it with TTDX? Help us to enrich these pages writing your comments in this form.

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