Sweet Transit – Review
Follow Genre: Sim game, management game
Developer: Ernestas Norvaišas
Publisher: Team17
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Sweet Transit – Review

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Good: Huge amount of freedom to build the logistics network of your dreams
Bad: Lack of narrative content
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After a two year journey through Early Access, Ernestas Norvaišas’ Sweet Transit has finally arrived at its destination: the game has officially gone on general release. We hopped on a little under a year ago, to take an early look at what Sweet Transit had to offer back then. Now that the final version of the game is out, we’re returning to the city management sim to deliver our verdict. All aboard!


As we mentioned in our preview of the game, we were hoping for some sort of story-driven campaign to be added to Sweet Transit. While this wasn’t the case, the game does add over a dozen Scenario challenges, but these don’t add any narrative content. As such, Sweet Transit doesn’t have any backstory to speak of.


It doesn’t seem like Sweet Transit’s visuals got an overhaul since we last saw them, but given that the game already struck the right balance between simplicity and detail back then, we’re not complaining. This is a game that deliberately avoids hyper realism, and that’s a good thing because cramming too many details into a network literally comprising hundreds of trains would cause lower-end PCs to take off on their own. The simplified visuals also make Sweet Transit feel like a cozy and laid-back game, perfect for a lazy afternoon. On top of that, the turn-of-the-century industrial revolution aesthetics perfectly encapsulate the time period that Sweet Transit is supposedly set in, even without the narrative aspect.


Ely Robins’ soundtrack hasn’t lost any of its charm. As soon as we heard the music kick in again, it put a smile on our face. The tunes are a fantastic addition to Sweet Transit’s laid-back and cozy atmosphere, evolving alongside the hustle and bustle of the world you’re building. Adding to this are the ambient sound effects that add even more layers of immersion. There isn’t any voice acting present, but given Sweet Transit’s nature as a management sim and not a narrative game, that’s not an issue here.


If you’ve read our Sweet Transit preview, you should already have an idea of the core experience, but it probably doesn’t hurt to quickly recap things. Sweet Transit combines building cities with managing a railroad network, forming the midway point between games like Highrise City and Railway Empire. Trains are essential to your success; whether you’re using them to move goods around or using them to expand your city, these steel behemoths truly are the cornerstone of your budding urban empire. The game’s so-called New World mode, which is Sweet Transit’s main feature, presents you with an enormous world map, which you can use as your canvas. As daunting of a task as this may seem, you can rest assured that things start off simple enough. The game eases you into new mechanics as you expand your city from a single warehouse into a sprawling metropolis. Alongside these mechanics come different trains, more opportunities, and, of course, new problems to deal with. The thing is, those problems aren’t necessarily ones that the game throws at you. Instead, logistical problems typically rear their ugly head once you need to expand, and see that your own carefully laid out track may not have been placed ideally for expansion. This leads to some obvious questions: do you swallow the cost to dismantle and rebuild? Do you try to work around it? Or do you call things quits and start over with an entirely new save file? There are no wrong answers here, because as we mentioned in our preview, as long as you dedicate time and resources, there is nothing you can’t do. The only thing you need is patience, and the will to actually overcome whatever challenges pop up.

It’s difficult to explain without having played Sweet Transit for yourself, but gradually, you’ll learn to plan ahead to avoid making rookie mistakes that affect your long-term plans. This is a game that actually becomes better in subsequent runs as you gain insight and build your future logistics network to accommodate such potential issues. Fortunately, Sweet Transit is also a very linear game in terms of progression, meaning that a run follows the same beats, and you can optimize your plans accordingly. That doesn’t mean that Sweet Transit is a repetitive game, far from it in fact. The linear progression just provides structure, and combined with the freedom that is present here, it makes for an incredibly solid management sim that doesn’t overcomplicate things. If you stick with it, you’ll eventually be running a network comprising hundreds of trains and there is something inherently satisfying about seeing your self-built logistics network run as smooth as butter. That feeling perfectly encapsulates what Sweet Transit wants to be: this isn’t a particularly deep game, but if you’re looking for a more laid-back take on the genre, it’s perfect.

In addition to New World mode, Sweet Transit also offers a series of scenarios. These present you with logistical challenges to overcome, and we highly recommend that you tackle these, as the experience and insights you’ll gain here will help in New World mode as well. It’s something that wasn’t present in the game’s Early Access build we previewed, and it’s a very welcome addition, both as an educational tool as well as a motivator to keep playing. Speaking of which, Sweet Transit also offers mod support and a full-fledged workshop, meaning that the possibilities for the future are nearly limitless, thanks to the community that the game has built up during its Early Access period. It all adds up to an attractive package, provided you’re a part of Sweet Transit’s target audience. The biggest issue the game faces is that, despite its accessibility, it’s still a niche title that will appeal to a very specific set of people rather than the mainstream audience. If you happen to be in that niche, you’ll absolutely love what’s on offer here, but if the idea of optimizing a logistics network doesn’t appeal to you, then this is a train you’re better off letting pass.


Feeling more like an evolution than a revolution, Sweet Transit’s full build certainly doesn’t disappoint. The newly added Scenario mode is a welcome addition, and thanks to mod support and a budding community, we expect Sweet Transit to be a mainstay for quite a while. We wouldn’t go as far as to say that this is an absolute must-have game because it’s too niche for that. However, if the idea of messing around with a logistics chain in a laid-back atmosphere sounds up your alley, then Sweet Transit may just be the ticket for you.

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