One of the reasons I had a computer for so many years, was to play
games. I’m from that generation who started off with ZX Spectrums
(well actually I started with a Dragon 32!) and just progressed
onwards and upwards.
After my Spectrum (48k+ I’ll have you know) I moved onto an Atari
1024STE, and then a rather dodgy 386 PC. Games continued to be there
– my main use.
Despite me being addicted to Railroad Tycoon, Populous, Quake, Doom,
Wolfenstien 3D and Theme Park over the years, as my 386 got older and
older, I started playing fewer and fewer games.
By 1996 my humble 386 was looking very tired, but I still
persevered with Theme Park, Civilization, Railroad Tycoon and
Settlers. An upgrade later and I moved onto Civ II, Settlers 2, Theme
Hospital. But slowly but surely my interest was waning.
My game playing time decreased around the same time as something
else increased – my interest in the web. Nowadays I have a home PC
(and indeed a laptop) for building websites, writing articles and
penning this page. Games don’t often get a look in.
Yet for the last few months I have become hopelessly addicted. My
life has been a constant battle to keep away from it. I just can’t
get enough of one game: Transport Tycoon.
The Transport Simulator.
Despite being made for DOS, despite being eight years old and
despite having some slightly dodgy graphics, Transport Tycoon is a
rather engaging beast.
Whilst the aim of Railroad Tycoon was to run a railway, Transport Tycoon gives you the opportunity to do that and buses, ships and aircraft. You even get mono-rails and maglevs. In short, you can become a transport mogul in your own home.
Sad as it may seem, the intricacies of plotting out your empire,
ensuring all runs swiftly and efficiently and fending off your
computer controlled opponents, has made on of the most addictive games
I have ever played. So much so that I’m beginning to get RSI through
playing it so much, and writing this piece has been put off for the
last few days by the amount of work to do on my empire.
One of the reasons why Transport Tycoon has kept me so engaged
recently is the vast improvements allowed by a GPL’d patch to the game.
Whilst the original release of Transport Tycoon was great, it still
had some flaws. Even the much improved version, Transport Tycoon
Deluxe didn’t do everything. Simple things like allowing a mono-rail
station and a railway station to be joined up were impossible. Thanks
to TTDPatch, not anymore.
Stations can be bigger, and the patch even offers the ability to
use a more efficient method of railway signals. A multitude of bugs
have been fixed, and a host of cheats been added, although to be
honest I never use them (no really!) It’s helped make a great game
Not just for Anoraks!
The big mistake would be to write off Transport Tycoon off as being
just for anoraks. It’s not at all. Anyone in love with god games
will be in heaven. I know I am. It may be eight years old, but its
hopelessly addictive. Now if only I could get a network game going in
Sadly its a bit difficult to get hold of, but you can get it
through Amazon. I think it’s the Windows version but I’m not sure.
If its the DOS version, you have no chance of getting it working on
Windows XP, but using the patch, the Windows version will run quite
happily on Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Thankfully, else I wouldn’t
be able to run it on my laptop!
Although saying that, perhaps it would be better if it didn’t…
Then I might have my life back!