Understandable, the 2d sprite artstyle can take some adjusting to at first. Though, I honestly don’t mind it at the higher zoom levels where everything looks smooth and crisp at 1080p.
For someone who adored Transport Tycoon Deluxe (OpenTTD) and the Railroad Tycoon games, Classic has had me absolutely hooked. Sunken 100+ hours into A-Train PC Classic so far and still working my way through all the different scenarios available and then re-completing them at the hardest difficulty. Easy gives you a fair bit of latitude in each scenario to experiment, make a bunch of mistakes, and learn the scenario.
To then take that knowledge and efficiently smash out the same scenario on Hard difficulty feels fairly rewarding to me. The game doesn’t withhold any punches on Hard regarding time pressures and the like, so it ain’t no walk in the park even for the introductory scenarios. Yet there can often be more then one way to go about achieving your objectives, so it doesn’t feel restrictively puzzle-like either on Hard either.
Each official scenario alone offers a good, at minimum, few hours of gameplay each. Then you chuck the map\scenario editor on top, associated Steam workshop support for sharing user-generated content, and sandbox mode on top. Pretty sure I could extract a hundred hours out of this game just based on the quality of some of the user scenarios on the workshop.
Classic really is a deceptively deep game about operating a private Japanese transportation business. Until All Aboard! Tourism hopefully makes its way to PC and I get a chance to try it, Classic definitely up there as a favourite of the series for me in terms of gameplay. Took everything I enjoyed about A-Train 9 as a simulation/management game, threw in a slew of gameplay improvements and quality of life fixes, and magic happened.
Nice range of different objectives to achieve in the scenarios too. The fourth scenario ‘City by the Lake’ is all about urban development and assisting the development of a region into a thriving metropolis by a lake. Can’t think of too many other railway\transport tycoon-like games that have their own RCI-esque indicator for sector supply & demand. Though, a very handy tool to have when you want to get your hands dirty establishing profitable subsidiaries across the map (e.g., building stacks of sorely needed housing developments).