Follow Genre: Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Minakata Dynamics
Publisher: The Irregular Corporation, Epic Games
Platform: PC, Switch
Tested on: PC


Site Score
Good: Relaxing, Overall fun mechanics
Bad: Needs a free play mode, After a while all levels feel the same
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It’s been a long time since games such as Transport Tycoon were all the rage, as we seemingly went from the Tycoon games to more realistic simulation games. Nowadays, we have simulators for everything, ranging from a Lawn Moving Simulator and a PowerWash Simulator to the more elaborate Railway Simulator. Today, we will be staying on the same train of thought with RAILGRADE, which puts us in control of an off-world colony where we will have to create supply chains using trains. What first seemed like a fairly run-of-the-mill strategy game turned out to be something quite entertaining.


RAILGRADE puts you in charge of a transportation network on an off-world colony. It’s your task to make sure everything runs smoothly, and it’s clear that the company you work for, Nakatani Chemicals, is not the most easygoing company. In between missions, you’ll get short text notifications telling you more about the upcoming task, and these are actually presented in a fairly fun way. The text messages add some charm to the game, and it’s quite enjoyable seeing how the reasonably basic story evolves.


While this title will not push your gaming setup to its limits, it still looks quite good. The game will have you create elaborate railway constructions in different environments, and as you progress you’ll get a few new train models, new industry options, and so on. Overall, what’s on display here is quite basic, but for a game such as this, it’s important that everything is quite clear. We sometimes struggled with the UI, as it would be in the way when laying tracks and the grid that would pop up during nighttime was extremely annoying. Even though we got used to several graphical issues after a while, a lot could be done here to improve the overall accessibility.


The futuristic soundtrack had us enamored from the get-go. We very much enjoyed the synthwave tracks while we were thinking of how to create the best and most effective supply chains. The sound effects also suffice, but they are nothing to truly write home about. With the story intermezzos in-between levels, we do regret that the game doesn’t have any voice acting. We think this would have further added to the charm of the game.


RAILGRADE is a simulation game with strategy elements. The game will put you in charge of different regions where you must create effective railroad systems in order to transport raw materials and finished goods from one place to another. At the beginning of the game, you’ll only be managing a few stations and trains, but as you progress you’ll start managing more and more trains, stations as well as different tracks. You’ll have to decide where trains can pass, but also what routes they should take in case they cross other tracks as well.

While just building tracks, trains, and stations is already a challenge by itself, things get even trickier when you also have to gather funds to upgrade the factories and refineries, on top of making the local city prosper and grow. The latter is very important, as cities provide workers for the aforementioned processing facilities. If raw materials don’t get processed they will pile up, and after a while, facilities cannot store more materials. When this happens, your trains will not be able to drop off cargo, and you won’t get any income, while you still keep paying upkeep for your own facilities. You’ll have to plan a lot, but it’s ever so satisfying when things run smoothly.

As you progress, you’ll have to keep track of more and more supply chains and it becomes harder to make everything fit. You can also unlock new upgrades by exchanging the vouchers you earn by completing missions. You’ll get more vouchers depending on how quickly you complete stages. Overall this is a satisfying gameplay loop, but the game does grow stale after a while. The biggest problem is that after a while all levels start to look the same, and it’s just a matter of finding the best routes for your trains. The latter can sometimes be a bit tedious, as the controls of the game are actually not that good. More than often the tracks don’t snap the way you want them to, and you’ll have to put down tracks one tile at a time. The same can be said about the aforementioned UI, which remains active even when laying tracks. Sometimes you are placing tracks, but accidentally go over the UI and you’ll have to start over again if you accidentally click it. This is also because the hitboxes for the different menu tabs are bigger than the actual pictures.


RAILGRADE is a fun hybrid simulation and strategy title, and we quite enjoyed zoning out after building elaborate railroad systems. Outside of the annoying UI and sometimes wonky controls, we were entertained playing through the lengthy campaign mode. We had more fun when we played only a few levels during each session because after a while every level does feel similar to the previous ones. All in all, you’re getting a fun title that will take you quite some time to beat.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
RAILGRADE - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Aspiring ninja.

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