Sweet Transit Review – Hardcore Railroad Transportation & Construction Strategy Game in the Test

A Complex mix of town builder strategy and railroad simulation with a lot of production and goods flow

Sweet Transit Review
Hardcore Railroad Transportation 
& Construction Strategy Game
in the Test
Sweet Transit Review
Hardcore Railroad Transportation
& Construction Strategy Game
in the Test

Sweet Transit offers a comprehensive mix of games like Railroad Tycoon, Railway Empires, Transport Tycoon, Satisfactory, Factorio, and a bit of Anno 1800 – In this world, everything is done by train, and few games have ever offered such complex train simulation and such a model railroad feel.

In this Sweet Transit review, you’ll see the gameplay of the new city-building simulation with plenty of trains, tracks, and railroad flair. A mix of village building strategy, transportation and goods organization, and everything is done by rail. All details about the new economic simulation, after more than 30 hours in the game – With this Indie game, a special Railroad Simulator and Trains Tycoon starts in Early Access on Steam. The release date of the strategy game was July 28, 2022, the publisher is Team17.

German Version:

Switch Dark / Light Mode:


This post is available here as text and as a YouTube Video (German Voice-Over, English Subtitles). So you can choose how you like to enjoy it most.

Sweet Transit Review Video

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Sweet Transit Review - Hardcore Eisenbahn Transport & Aufbau Strategie im Test [Deutsch/German]

What kind of game is Sweet Transit?

Take Railroad Tycoon and Railway Empires, mix it with Transport Tycoon and some Factorio, and then flavor it with a light pinch of Anno, and outcomes Sweet Transit.

Sweet Transit Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Sweet Transit review, you’ll get a sneak peek at the new build-up strategy game with lots of railroads and a ton of transportation simulation. I’ll tell you how it plays, what’s in it, and at the end, I’ll give you a rating. But most of all, I want to give you all the info, so you can decide for yourself if you might enjoy the game.

The game is developed by Ernestas Norvaišas and published by Team17. I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should not affect my rating, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price?

Background – Exciting Games Mix in Sweet Transit

Sweet Transit Review
Background - exciting games mix in Sweet Transit
Sweet Transit Review
Background – exciting games mix in Sweet Transit

Railroad simulations like Railroad Tycoon, Train Fever, or Railway Empire are very popular. There are countless spin-offs of them, whether on PC, Playstation, XBox, or Mobile. Mostly they offer a light to medium economic demand and a few train circuits. And from that, a nice game builds up that is a mix of business sim and model railroading.

Build-up strategy games, in which we build cities and villages and supply inhabitants with goods, are also always in great demand. But often the transport of goods is then rather organized by central warehouses and is only a sideshow in the game concept. Anno, especially in the version Anno 1800, offers, as an example, the shipping between the islands. But on the islands directly, only little goods organization is necessary, in order to bring the city to grow.

Another very popular game variant revolves around goods production. Here, a production process is thoroughly simulated in complex chains. As players, we build factories or machines and automate the processes in these complex systems. Often this happens together with precisely timed transport, for example by assembly line or even by rail. Games like Transport Tycoon, Satisfactory, Good Company, Little Big Workshop, or Factorio offer extensive possibilities here. But for this then the consumers are not represented at all or only very simplified.

But what if we mix and match all these areas in a completely new way? Then we come to Sweet Transit. This game at least attempts to rehash these sub-genres of business simulations into a completely new and unique interpretation, composing a new blend of each area. Let’s see how well this works.

Game Type – City Builder Strategy with Trains

Sweet Transit Review
Game Type - City Builder Strategy with Trains
Sweet Transit Review
Game Type – City Builder Strategy with Trains

Take the basic principle of Anno or similar construction simulations, where certain numbers of inhabitants must be reached to unlock new buildings and goods cycles. This then results in higher demand from the inhabitants, we have to produce more goods, install more goods cycles, etc.

To do this, you then stipulate that, roughly speaking, people only walk a maximum of 100 meters, and for everything else they need trains. Other means of transportation and traffic simply do not exist.

So in Sweet Transit, we need to transport people, raw materials, and goods with numerous trains to fill our little world with life. And as we get more residents, they need all the more transportation, for themselves, for their goods, and for making them.

All buildings have costs and some even need materials to maintain them, so we need to build and automate numerous circuits. Inhabitants have needs, and if they are not met, they work slowly or almost not at all. Our trains consume coal and have to keep replenishing it along their route. And we then have to maneuver this construct of ever more and ever more complex transportation of goods through traffic jams, accidents, and commodity shortages.

Over the course of the game, this develops into enormously extensive railroad systems with dozens of trains and complex schedules. We build a system of hundreds of kilometers of tracks, with tons of signals, crossings, junctions, detours, as well as an incredible number of small details and problems. Recognizing these in time, avoiding them, and planning the expansion requires a lot of overview, gumption, and, in the case of larger settlements, experience, which we first have to earn.

Gameplay – Simulation

Sweet Transit Gameplay
Simulation
Sweet Transit Gameplay
Simulation

At the outset, Sweet Transit offers the most comprehensive train simulation I’ve come across in a long time, if not ever. Here you can develop really very complex track systems and run dozens of trains on them. No matter if 4-6-8 or even 20-lane tracks, with crossings, bridges, traverses, and all the bells and whistles. It’s all possible here, there are almost no limits.

The signals are also a bit more complex. This results in a lot of possibilities to control the trains later on. But at first, this is a blocker, because they are not easy to learn as a beginner. The tutorial tries to explain here and bring some examples, only it does not work out so well with this task.

As an economic sim, Sweet Transit is very comprehensive on the one hand. However, it lacks decent UI elements and statistics. And so it’s easy to lose track of how to properly plan and balance this complexity as well.

Therefore, larger cities or settlements of multiple cities eventually become very shaky financially, and a single train accident or the fact that you only send 2 trains of commodity XYZ to a city instead of 4 trains can sometimes throw everything into turmoil. And that without being able to see directly what the reason is or having the right displays for it in time. There is still a lot of room for improvement here. But more on that later in the conclusion section.

Sweet Transit Gameplay – World and Maps

Sweet Transit Gameplay
World and Maps
Sweet Transit Gameplay
World and Maps

At the moment there is no campaign in Sweet Transit and only one pre-set scenario. However, in my eyes, this is also just a rather unsophisticated placeholder. Here, the game could easily earn more points later if the developers would put a little more zeal into it.

But currently, it consists mostly of randomly generated maps. There are different sizes and a few presets available here. There are also templates, such as a map of Europe, on which you can then have a random map calculated on top of it according to your specifications.

If someone has found a particularly interesting map, you can exchange seeds with other players, the numbers that the generator uses. This way, friends could play the same map. But this is not 100% exact, because the regions and biomes are pre-calculated, but the actual distribution of ore deposits, etc. is then calculated only at the start of the game, regardless of the seed.

Sweet Transit Mods and Modding – almost limitless customization and extension

Sweet Transit Mods and Modding
almost limitless customization and extension
Sweet Transit Mods and Modding
almost limitless customization and extension

Sweet Transit still has gaps in the content and some balancing problems. But very much of this can already be improved very easily with small, player-made add-ons. Anyone who knows this from games like Cities Skyline, for example, knows that this can expand a game enormously and completely turn it around if necessary.

The game offers full mod support and Steam Workshop integration. So even if you don’t have much experience with mods, you can click a couple of them into the game directly on Steam with just a few clicks – and remove them just as easily if you run into problems.

Already now, shortly after release, there are some very handy mods. Besides different map defaults, there are also already completely new goods, changes to the costs and ranges of buildings, blueprints for intersections, or a mod that brings 14,000 German city names into the game. I suppose also handmade maps or even scenarios and campaigns could become possible here. Plenty of opportunities for replenishment content to make the game more interesting, or to change things that might be bugging you.

Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation

Sweet Transit Review
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation
Sweet Transit Review
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Translation

Sweet Transit is built with the Unity engine, this provides good performance and stability. The game runs well at least up to medium-sized maps. I had no crashes in over thirty hours of testing. It generally seems to me to be largely bug-free and technically in good condition.

The graphics are adequate to mid-range. For my taste, more train variants would be nice, but there is certainly room for more. The assortment of trains, cars, buildings, and goods can be expanded quite easily both by the developer and by mods.

The game comes with translations in English, French, German, as well as Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and also Russian, and two variants of Chinese. At the same time, the game does not have any voice output. All the texts in English and German are presented in good quality at least.

Sweet Transit Screenshots – Ingame Pictures

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Sweet Transit Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Sweet Transit Test
Opinion and Conclusion
Sweet Transit Test
Opinion and Conclusion

A hurdle for beginners will be the signals, they are really not easy to learn. This is almost always a problem for beginners in other railroad games as well, but here I found it particularly complexly solved.

But once you understand the system with signals, chain signals, and later even more complex signals with preferences and other specifications, it works very well. And it allows enormously extensive control of trains. The track systems I’ve built in Sweet Transit have been more complex than in any other railroad game so far.

The user interface still needs a lot of improvement, in my opinion. While most of the controls are easily recognizable and usable, many building options are somewhat hidden. For example, you can only expand a city if you click on a building in the city first. There are building menus in the lower right corner, but the city components and some other building elements don’t even show up there directly.

These detours with the controls are still repeated at stations, distribution centers, and other areas. There, too, you always have to find and activate the appropriate building first, so that you can then get the associated construction options. This is not very beginner-friendly and even after many hours, I often get bogged down in the game flow due to this.

And then often the required building materials are not displayed exactly. For example, if you want to build a bridge, which you often plan to do over larger areas, nowhere does the game say to you how much the bridge will cost in total.

There are limits to almost all camps. This means you can’t just hoard raw materials or even money endlessly, trying to mitigate future shortages. These limited storage capacities are unproblematic for the initial cities but become increasingly scarce with growing settlements and a stored quantity of commodity X then sometimes lasts only for a few minutes, if the supply should fail briefly. On the one hand, this offers a certain challenge and a planning demand. However, it makes the game more and more unpredictable and sensitive as the size of the settlement increases.

The basic resources, such as wood, stones, and bricks are stored only in the central warehouse. And the coal for the trains can be stored in each station, but it is also always in short supply. Again, you can’t hoard endlessly, but the amount of consumers of these goods is constantly increasing. Balancing this requires more and more attention as the game progresses. Suddenly you run into unexpected tipping points, and if something goes wrong in the process, everything collapses extremely quickly, like a shaky house of cards.

Here I would like to see more options, through additional warehouses, both for the cities and for the base materials. An expansion of the stations for more capacity, additional storage sheds, or things like that. Sure, this would lower the standards a little bit, but on the other hand, you would have more building possibilities. And everything would not be so easily “tilt-prone” as it is at the moment. This is where the developers urgently need to improve. Because this whole area is Sweet Transit’s biggest strength, but also its biggest weakness. It brings the most fun, but also the most frustration.

It has happened to me 3 times so far that I have built settlements with thousands of inhabitants, which have permanently made a profit, and all of a sudden there was a tipping point somewhere, some coal was missing or a single commodity was a bit scarce and in no time I was broke, without any real chance to find and fix the problem. Unfortunately, for a lack of reasonable statistics, evaluations, and overviews of the cities, their needs, and consumption, the game offered me no possibilities and clues to recognize this in advance in order to avoid it.

Here complexity unfavorably sometimes turns into perplexity on the part of the player, and that’s not a nice way to play. At the moment it rather gets into the area of hardcore simulation because of that. And I think a great many casual or mid-range after-work gamers might be put off by this very quickly and quit in frustration.

Overall, the whole UI, stats, and player help section is still very weak and desperately needs improvement to make the game look appealing to more players. At least more stats are on the roadmap for one of the next major updates, so there’s still a chance for improvement there.

I hope that the balancing will become much more pleasant after some time through mods and updates. And maybe if there would be scenarios or even a campaign at some point, and maybe a dedicated editor for those things, that would be a phenomenal upgrade to the game.

A very big plus of Sweet Transit then is that it builds up a totally good model railroad feeling. Here we can build, tinker, and observe. It scurries and teems on the roads and tracks and we can watch spellbound, as in an aquarium, an ant colony, or just a model railroad.

The price of just under 22 euros or dollars is absolutely fine for what is currently on offer, at least if you are not one of the frustrated and put off. The replay value is almost endless due to random maps and mod support, apart from the normal “wear and tear” of being able to explore less, after the initial game phase. But then, that comes with every game.

Sweet Transit Review – Rating

Looking at the fun I had playing the game and balancing that with the price of $21.99 or €, I arrive at a base rating of 80 %.

If I take into account the high replay value through the map generator and the great mod interface, there is an extra 5 % from me for this, and for the low price, I would like to give out another 2 % bonus. In addition, however, there is a 3 % deduction for the currently still shaky balancing, 2 % go down for shortcomings in the UI design, and for the difficult introduction through a rather mediocre tutorial, the score drops by another 3 %.

So I come to a final rating for Sweet Transit at the Early Access launch of 79%. With further updates, there’s potential for it to go up higher as well. Unfortunately, it still has too many corners to completely convince me at the moment. If you are a real big train fan, you can probably add at least 5 % or even 10 % on top of that.

Sweet Transit Review
Rating with numbers - 79 percent
Sweet Transit Review
Rating with numbers – 79 percent

Sweet Transit

Zap von ZapZockt.de

Sweet Transit Review - Hardcore Eisenbahn Transport & Aufbau Strategie im Test
A Complex mix of town builder strategy and railroad simulation with a lot of production and goods flow

Sweet Transit offers a comprehensive mix of games like Railroad Tycoon, Railway Empires, Transport Tycoon, Satisfactory, Factorio, and a bit of Anno 1800 – In this world, everything is done by train, and few games have ever offered such complex train simulation and such a model railroad feel.

In this Sweet Transit review, you’ll see the gameplay of the new city-building simulation with plenty of trains, tracks, and railroad flair. A mix of village building strategy, transportation and goods organization, and everything is done by rail. All details about the new economic simulation, after more than 30 hours in the game – With this Indie game, a special Railroad Simulator and Trains Tycoon starts in Early Access on Steam. The release date of the strategy game was July 28, 2022, the publisher is Team17.
Railroad Simulation
Economic Simulation
Town Builder Strategy
State of the Game (Early Access Start)
Beginner Friendliness
Graphics
Sound
Spielspaß pro Preis Ratio

Rating

Looking at the fun I had playing the game and balancing that with the price of $21.99 or €, I arrive at a base rating of 80 %.

If I take into account the high replay value through the map generator and the great mod interface, there is an extra 5 % from me for this, and for the low price, I would like to give out another 2 % bonus. In addition, however, there is a 3 % deduction for the currently still shaky balancing, 2 % go down for shortcomings in the UI design, and for the difficult introduction through a rather mediocre tutorial, the score drops by another 3 %.

So I come to a final rating for Sweet Transit at the Early Access launch of 79%. With further updates, there’s potential for it to go up higher as well. Unfortunately, it still has too many corners to completely convince me at the moment. If you are a real big train fan, you can probably add at least 5 % or even 10 % on top of that.

4

Outro

Do you like to be mayor and railroad boss in one person? Or are hard-core economics, wonky balancing, and complicated track planning not something you’re passionate about? Feel free to write me your opinion in the comments or in the community Discord.

You can find more gaming news, game reviews, and guides here on the ZapZockt YouTube channel or at https://zapzockt.de – a thumbs up under the video, subscribing to the YT Channel and sharing with friends certainly can’t hurt, and then have a great day, ciao ciao, your Zap

Sweet Transit bei Gamesplanet günstiger kaufen (Affiliate Link / Werbung)

Sweet Transit Steam Page

Sweet Transit Website

Sweet Transit Twitter


Team17 Twitter

Sweet Transit Facebook

Team17 Facebook


Reading – recommendations:

A lot of detailed game news and information about games and gaming can always be found here at ZapZockt.de – As a Steam user, you can also follow the ZapZockt Steam curator to always be informed about my reviews directly on the platform.

There are also many game reviews that might interest you, and if you don’t want to miss anything, subscribe to the newsletter. As a Google News reader you can also go there and read the latest articles.

Shopping – Tip:

Ad / Affiliate Link
Games can often be bought cheaper. Legal, reliable and safe is the way to do it at my partner site Gamesplanet. This game, all DLCs, many more tactics, strategy, and many more titles are available there and almost always much cheaper than at Steam, Uplay, Epic, or other shops.

Steam Keys günstig kaufen - Buy steam keys cheap - Game keys Spiele Keys
Buy games cheaper

For every purchase, via this link, I receive a small commission. So you get games cheaper and at the same time support my work, my thanks in advance for that.

Social Media:


scroll to top - nach oben