Sep 1, 2014
Transport Empire starts the player off with a single train route and not much else. From there the player must build a huge, sprawling, well, transport empire!
Despite the name, Transport Empire only features trains, with some apparent Zeppelin action late in the game. Much like a certain other transport based game that was recently released on Android the player builds stations next to natural resources, such as wood or coal and ferries them back and forth by fulfilling contacts, which are just a fancy way of saying a single trip with resources.
Each trip in Transport Empire earns the player a small chunk of resources or money and has a freemium timer of at least a few minutes. Delivering resources allows those resources to be used for other things. For example to upgrade a wood production structure stone may be needed.
Transport Empire is very on-rails, so to speak. Tracks and stations can only be built where the game says and there is less of a feeling of building an empire and more of simply going through the motions.
Transport Empire just isn’t fun. The game lacks much spice and feels very dry. Most freemium game have something for the player to do while timers tick down, such as fighting battles or repeating old stages or the like. Transport Empire however is only about ordering trains around and once all trains have destinations there is nothing for the player to do expect twiddle their thumbs and wait for something to finish or spend resources so they can begin another un-skippable train journey.
And Transport Empire has a heck of a lot of timers. Even early updates to buildings take a good half hour and when the payout is simply more dull gameplay, it just isn’t worth waiting for.
What really makes Transport Empire unplayable however is its appalling interface. On a good phone like my S4 the game’s text and interface are completely unreadable. Text is so tiny it looks like simple black lines and teeny icons and buttons a fraction of an inch wide are a nightmare to use. There is just no excuse for slap dash Android games like this that don’t take screen size into account when scaling text anymore.
Transport Empire is a already-mediocre freemium game that is ruined by its interface. Players who enjoy their trains really only have one in-depth choice and that choice is Transport Tycoon. Freshly released on Android and reviewed at this very site, TT will scratch that locomotive itch better than Transport Empire ever could and it doesn’t ask for money.