Over the Easter Weekend I played my new Railroad Tycoon boardgame twice. Because both times it was with new people we only played the basic rules, but this games looks to have a lot of life in it, and is lots of fun.
The basic concept of the game is to build track between cities on the board and to move freight between the cities to gain income. The competition part comes in building to cities and moving the freight there first and for more profit than the other players who are doing the same thing elsewhere on the board.
I would describe it as a revision of Age of Steam, with the more tedious aspects of that game revised. The scoring is far simpler and easy to follow, and the game play time has been reined back in to about 2 hours, without losing the fun aspects of building tracks, figuring out cargo routes and competing with other players. The borrowing of money has also been overhauled to be far more pleasant and easy to follow, but with the same risk of a debt spiral if you aren't careful.
The artwork of the board and tiles is a lot prettier, as are the game pieces, which are now small locomotives instead of round disks.
The games biggest faults are the size of the board (36"wide!) and the colour-blind unfriendly combinations of freight and cities it uses. These can both be fixed somewhat with a more friendly city colour scheme download you can print and some bulldog clips, but are still slightly irritating.
I will write an additional review when I have had a chance to play the full game, as well as the map of Europe expansion I have downloaded and printed, but for now I would rate it 8.5 out of 10.