Rail Nation Overall Rating - 8
Rail Nation USA is an entertaining browser-based strategy game that has players managing a train empire across the United States. While a little bit more control would have been appreciated, the game still offers an entertaining experience that is perfect for those pickup and play moments. In the game, players select from either the Atlantic Railway in the east or Pacific Railroad in the west and then proceed to expand their network of trains. After selecting from one of 50 American cities, players must then plan routes for delivering goods as well as construct additional tracks which in turn connect to more cities and resources. While initially beginning in the era of steam engines, players research additional technologies such as diesel and electric trains as eras advance over the span of real-life time.
t the heart of your progress in the game is the train station, which functions as your central hub for upgrading various buildings from an engine shed to a bank. Each of the buildings function as upgrades that allow for further game progress. Upgrades to the engine shed for example allow for the storage of additional trains, or while upgrading the bank increases your account's limit of money. The other major aspect of the game's progression system involves managing a fleet of trains and their specific routes. Supply and demand plays an important role as the profits of routes can shift each day creating for a dynamic gameplay experience. The only gripe I had with routes was in the planning stages in that each train has to be selected individually to view their stops. Players can also upgrade their trains through research trees, which coincide with the six game eras, that unlocks various train upgrades from faster speeds to better durability ratings.
The game world is presented as a massive overlay of the United States with various cities and resource locations. The beginning scope begins quite small but soon expands to reveal an ever-expanding network of railways. Unfortunately, players aren't able to lay their own tracks but simply select from the construction of pre-laid lines. Other than that, players have nearly unlimited freedom in the direction they pursue for expanding their train empire. Both the massive game world and time required for later game actions ensure a lengthy experience. The downtime in between game actions is what I was most disappointed with as there aren't any more hands-on activities to complete. The game takes a automatic approach to gameplay as the extent of manual actions involves completing some tasks and then waiting till the next day. Overall, I give this game a rating of eight out of ten.