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Sponsored Android Game Review – My Railway

February 13, 2012 - Written By Randy Arrowood

App Name
My Railway from Game Insight

Description
There’s a new game out from Game Insight called My Railway that puts a whole new spin on the city builder genre. Instead of spending your time and in-game resources building cities or attractions, your task is to build the infrastructure that connects your towns and industry to one another, and you profit from the activity of moving and selling goods.

The game play is quite detailed and intricate. You not only have to build the rails that your trains will run on, but you’ll build bridges to cross over ponds and ravines, and you’ll knock down hills to get your tracks through. You’ll even have to take the time to repair your engines after they’ve been used for a bit.

My Railway takes the idea of incorporating transportation and commerce as important parts of the game and makes them the focus of the game. The towns, farms and factories become secondary parts of the game play.


How it works
Just like other city builder games from Game Insight, you’ll begin the game with a small pot of silver and gold coins to fund your initial expansion needs and you’ll complete a few tutorials designed to teach you how the game is played.

Your first task is to connect your railway to the furniture mill and  the City of Hamburg, and then deliver a load of fir to the city. From there, you’ll notice that you also have a farmyard for livestock, a farm for crops and a crockery for producing wax, clay and fine china.

You expand your railroad by expanding your territory. You earn expansions as you progress through the game, or you can buy an expansion early for a few very precious gold coins. By connecting all of your towns and factories, your able to fulfill more orders for the goods that are produced in your factories and the crops that are grown on your farms.

Goods that you produce and transport to town can be sold in shops by the shopkeepers that you hire to do the job. You also earn silver coins by transporting poor passengers from city to city.


Opinion
My Railway is a different kind of game. Anyone with even a passing interest in trains or transportation will be instantly drawn into this game. For everyone else, there is a lot to like about this game.
The idea may seem simple, but the game play is actually quite involved. You aren’t just building an attraction and hoping that visitors come to pay you money to see it or use it. You make or grow the things that people need to live their lives, and then you move your goods to the places where people come to buy them.

I really like that the game gives you choices. When it’s time to grow livestock in your farmyard, you can check the price trends for chicken, sheep, cows and other animals and decide which will pay you the most money in the least amount of time. You can also determine what your mill and crockery produce, or what you grow on your farm based on these same price trends.

You’re also given the option to do upgrades to your train tracks and engines, but the prompted upgrades to faster tracks and engines cost you a lot of gold coins and provide little if any payback.

Tips

  • Spend your gold coins very wisely. Prompted upgrades for your tracks and trains or additions like blimps and spade upgrades are expensive and don’t provide a lot of payback. You can ignore the prompts for upgrades and early expansion offers without suffering in the game. Gold coins are earned easily in the first 5 or 6 levels of the game, but there are very few opportunities to earn more gold after that.
  • Do the social media sharing and make friends in the game. Skipping social media sharing costs you precious gold coins (which I totally hate) and making friends helps you to advance further in the game. If you don’t know anyone to give your friend code to, the game will suggest people for you once a day.
  • Fix your trains. When the circle with the horn in it appears above one of your engines, it needs maintenance. I forgot about this from the tutorial phase and apparently I lost a lot of eggs and chickens between my farmyard and town.
  • Capture every bird that flies across your screen. If you see it, you can capture it and each bird pays silver coins. The big, slow birds are worth about 350 coins and the small, fast ones are worth about 450 coins. You also earn several achievement awards that pay 1,000 silver coins based on the number of birds that you capture.
  • When you are going to start production in a factory or on one of your farms, pay attention to the scrolling price trends at the bottom of the screen. It won’t do you any good to produce another crop of chickens or eggs if the price has fallen because of over production.
  • Resist the urge to spend gold coins to complete production of items immediately. All that does is speed the game up even further, lessens the enjoyment of the game and drains your limited supply of gold very quickly. Wait for things to happen in real-time and save your gold for more important things.

Ratings

Speed: (4/5) – Game is very responsive and timers moved accurately for me.
Features: (3/5) – The game is feature rich, but some of the forced social sharing and suggested improvements don’t add anything to game play.
Theme: (4/5) –  The level of detail in the game maps is quite good, but zooming out to get a wider view makes too many details difficult to see.
Overall: (4.0/5) – Great game that plays well. Some minor annoyances with suggested upgrades and social sharing.

Conclusion
Though some might not fall in love with this game because of it’s deep focus on trains, I’ve really enjoyed the time that I’ve spent playing it, and I’ll be keeping this in the game folder on my 7″ tablet. Even if trains just aren’t your thing, you still need to try this game out.

Plain city builders are really boring for me, but this is the second title from Game Insight that I have loved. Approaching the game from the transportation and commerce angle is a very refreshing and enjoyable way to do a city builder game, and My Railway gets it right for me.

Like all of the Game Insight titles, My Railway is free to download and play and has more than enough gold and silver coins to get you started. If you manage your resources wisely your free game play goes on and on.

This is another highly enjoyable, highly recommended city builder title from Game Insight.

Links
My Railway on Android Market

Market Link