Genre History

This a list of third-party titles which made – from our point of view – a great contribution to the history of transport simulation games. Please note that we are not affiliated in any way with the companies that developed or published these games and that all products, company names, trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners.

Transport Tycoon

In 1994, legendary Chris Sawyer developed a game that was ahead of the times: Transport Tycoon. After the Deluxe version, which brought many improvements over the original title, the huge fan community waited nearly 10 years until Sawyer made the game Locomotion, which he called the “spiritual successor” to Transport Tycoon. However, this title did not completely meet the high expectations of the community. There are also two great open-source projects which remake and extend the famous 1994-title: Simutrans and OpenTTD.

Transport Tycoon Cover
Transport Tycoon Deluxe Cover
Locomotion Cover
OpenTTD Cover
(since 2004)
Simutrans Cover
(since 1999)

Railroad Tycoon

Designed by Sid Meier, the original Railroad Tycoon was the game which launched the tycoon genre in 1990. The sequels Railroad Tycoon II and III have been developed without direct input of Sid Meier. Finally, in 2006, the original author came back and re-invented the game by presenting Sid Meier’s Railroads, introducting real-time gameplay to the sequel.

Railroad Tycoon I Cover
Railroad Tycoon II Cover
Railroad Tycoon III Cover
Sid Meier's Railroads Cover


Driven by JoWooD, an Austrian game industry company (1995 – 2011), the title Industry Giant was published in 1998. Based on the big success of the game, follow-up titles including Traffic Giant and Transport Giant have been developed.

In 2011, the Finnish game development studio Colossal Order presented its debut title: Cities in Motion. In the basic version (there are expansion packs available), the player builds and maintains public transport infrastructure in four European cities. It’s a great game with detailed 3D graphics, refreshing the genre.

Industry Giant Cover
Traffic Giant Cover
Transport Giant Cover
Cities in Motion Cover

Influence on Train Fever

All listed games have influenced the design of Train Fever. The game with the greatest influence is Transport Tycoon. However, Train Fever is not simply a “3D transport tycoon”. The main differences are:

  • No grid and detailed 3d graphics
  • Procedurally generated buildings
  • More realistic game world dimensions
  • Advanced passenger simulation
  • Achievements and experience points
  • Seamless 360° camera

28 thoughts on “Genre History

  1. Straße und Schiene fehlt da noch…sah genauso aus nur die Grafik ist besser geworden. Weis aber nicht ob es das Spiel nur in Deutschland gab!!! Road and rail was still lacking … just saw only the picture has improved. Looking but not if it’s the only game in Germany was!

  2. Hi, this is a great overview.

    I would also suggest to add “Trucks & Trains” (German: “Schiene und Strasse”) [1]. Although there have been legal issues about the ownership of parts of the program code, it is a great game on itself, including more or less realistic economy simulations.

    Trick & Trains was one of the first games in the genre that is truly grid-less. It partly looks like a predecessor to what you guys are developing now.



  3. Played all of them (of course). Transport Tycoon Deluxe and Traffic Giant were my favourites. I’ll second Kaspar, A-Train is a big omission here! It’s probably closest to Railroad Tycoon, but much older. How’s this for a long-running series?
    A-Train (1985), A-Train II (1988), A-Train III (1990), A-Train IV (1993), A-Train 5 (1996), A-Train Z (1999), A-Train 6 (2000), A-Train 2001 (2001), A-Train 7 (2005), A-Train HX (2006), A-Train 8 (2008), A-Train DS (2009), A-Train 9 (2010).
    They had some weaker titles along the line, but the last one is really good again.

    • A-Train is really missing. The newest Version A-Train 9 was published in Germany called “BahnGigant”. Except the missing signals and rare street variations its a nice game. I hope that the great options to create timetables somehow will be implemented to Train Fever.

  4. Trucks & Trains Tycoon is really missing. It was a top class rough diamond, that never got the attention it deserved. Virtual x-Citement lacked the money and the competence to polish it, but the gameplay-core of the game is even better than railroad tycoon 3. TTT sucks on a thousand little annoying problems, which could all have been solved, but Virtual x-Citement failed epically.
    The game was a hobby project, which was “sold” to ubisoft which gave it to Virtual x-Citement. Peter Dobrovka, the head-developer, stayed at the project and even tried to prevent the publication, because Virtual x-Citement ruined the game. he had to fight for 7 years in court to get the legal ownership of the code back to him.

    ohhhh, 4 days ago, Peter Dobrovka reactivated his old homepage and sayd, that he will try to redo 3dtt

    I wish train fever and peter all the best and greatest success for your projects!

    kind regards


  5. For almost twenty years I was waiting for a REAL WORTHY successor of TT and for the first time I really hope it is within reach! Keep it up, I’m gonna buy it at all costs 😀

    Greetings from Germany…

  6. Hi hope, there will be competition! I think no competition is boring. That`s why I dont like Cities in Motion but railroad tycoon.

  7. I must say … OMG i’ve been waiting to find a game similar to TTD that looks promising for a couple years.Surely i’m gonna buy this game! i hope the game won’t be plagued by the same problem like Locomotion:
    – city overgroth
    – very easy profit
    and maybe add AI on a dlc or major expansion of the game in the future cuz no competition is actually boring xD. anyway keep up the good work!

  8. I hope you guys include the strategy gameplay of Railroad Tycoon III. I consider this as one of the best realistic train strategy games.

  9. I will admit that I have the Locomotion disc in my computer right now. I always seem to go back to it whenever I want to play a game.

    The most recent game I bought, Sim City, leaves me wanting more, so it’s back to Locomotion every time.

    I hope this game lives up to the expectations I have. I’m really looking forward to it.

  10. This looks like a lot of fun. Will it be available for MAC in a Boxed version. If so I will purchase it for My Sister, for when her Grandsons come to stay.

  11. It’s a nice game but unfortunately it does lack some features when compared to previous Locomotion games such as fewer choices for transports, no airplane or ships, weak UI, performance issues when you start having more lines. Other than that, I see this game as a potential reboot and successor to previous transportation simulation games but it needs some fixes before it can even earn that success.

  12. Nice work – its probably first TTD remake with decent (or even better invented) pathfinding and line management. And about (rail)road construction and details – just wow.

  13. Pingback: Релиз игры Train Fever в Steam для Linux | — Всероссийский портал о UNIX-системах

  14. It looks very strongly like a sequel to Trains and Trucks Tycoon to me, one of the best games in the genre, technically years ahead of its time and ill-fated due to copyright disputes and such

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  16. I absolutely love this game, but its a pitty that you failed to mention what obviously has been your main inspiration – Trains & Trucks Tycoon. There was a lot of controversy surrounding that game though so I can’t say I blame you.

  17. Wow, that’s fun! I played Railroad Tycoon II when I was 8 years old, I didn’t know it was a famous game!

  18. i have it , still builing on map i started months ago in day of purchase, it is amazing!!
    i wish to see multiplayer in final release like openttd…

    remeber all,. with negative post, this is still “open beta” so be patinet.
    i waiting for better multicore support (big cities in the future ary hard cpu drain every second month)
    very cheep game producing fun and relaxation

    i could say, i giving you thump up 😀

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