Transport Empire - an Android Tycoon Game

Transport Empire, a tycoon game for Android and iPhone.

I have always been a huge fan of tycoon games. Back in the day of the PC, two tycoon games stood out. Roller Coaster Tycoon where the goal as to design a theme park and Industry Giant, a supply chain simulation and tycoon game. When I initially saw the video ad for Transport Empire (a game by GIGL), I imagined it would be a hybrid of both Roller Coast Tycoon's building aspect and Industry Giant's supply chain. Turned out that was not the case, and the review of Transport Empire for Android on my Moto X.

For the basics, Transport Empire is a single player game where your goal is to transport raw materials (like wood, ore, coal, etc). With the raw material, you build and improve your facilities in towns that you operate in. After a few weeks of solid gameplay during late-August 2014 to mid-September 2014, I had many points I enjoyed about the game:

  1. A very high detailed map of territory in which your tycoon operate. The map is mostly static, and the only animations are in the form of trains, boats, and planes traveling.
  2. A very detailed tutorial in the form of tasks that got me acquainted with most aspects of the complex game (in terms of options).
  3. There are in-app purchase options, but there are NOT necessary if you are willing to spend more time playing the game, you can achieve the same end result.
  4. There is the ability to sync with various social networks (like Google and Facebook), which I assume mean your progress is saved (if you were to reinstall Transport Empire).

That being said, there were things I dislike about Transport Empire:

  1. The tasks drive the entire game. What I mean by this is that everyone who downloads and plays Transport Empire are very likely to do the exact thing. Players don't have the chance to express their creativity in the game.
  2. Mines that the trains go to can deplete (without any countdown or timer). The fact that they deplete are annoying (and my ultimate decision to stop playing). Lots of time is spent upgrading the tracks and mines, which is all lost and must be restarted.
  3. There are some annoying bugs such  as some screens do not give the visual cue (red text) of insufficient resources for an action like an upgrade.
  4. There are way too many notifications that take over all other notifications. About 5-10 minutes after closing the app, there is always guaranteed two distinct notifications. If I do a several actions and check the phone when I wake up, there are easily 5 or 6 notifications.

My final conclusion for Empire Tycoon is that it is fun in that I was achieving progress without having to think or experiment, but the lack of creativity was the major downfall to the game. Because there was always one task, the Transport Empire felt like a game where I was following a script, without any concept of an end goal. Since it is single player, there is not competitive nature or goal for the game. I am unlikely to recommend Transport Empire (available on Android and iPhone) to others, but it may be appropriate for a niche set of players.

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