Ernestas Norvaišas and Team17 have released Sweet Transit, the systems-led, train-powered city builder by the ex-Factorio 3D artist and developer to Steam Early Access. Following a successful beta earlier in the year, Ernestas Norvaišas, the game’s solo developer, has worked closely with the community, implementing feedback, features, and quality of life improvements up to the early access launch. With the arrival of the Ernestas Norvaišas indie game to Steam Early Access, we got our hands on a copy of the game. Find out how it is with our Sweet Transit Early Access review.
Story: Tame a wild land with rail and signal
In Sweet Transit, players will be tasked with building a thriving rail empire. Setting up coordinated track lines, you’ll dominate the land with a massive network of trains. Unfortunately, players aren’t going to find any story in Sweet Transit. So if that’s something you’re looking for, it may be best to look elsewhere. There may be some future story content added late. For now, the game is still early in development, with the developer focusing on working on gameplay and adding community features.
Gameplay: Build and maintain your railroad empire
Even without a story, Sweet Transit offers enough in terms of gameplay to make up for it. Starting your game will have you deciding on the kind of map you’d like to play on. Here you have a bit of customization, from the amount of water to the size of the mountains. Once you’ve decided on the map, you have to drop your warehouse, which will be the hub point of your new civilization. Pay attention to the placement of your building; it can be everything in Sweet Transit. Now you can begin building your new civilization by dropping your first Town Hall and building houses around it where the citizens will start to fill your new town automatically. As we said before, placement is everything in this game.
You’ll want to place your village near natural resources such as bodies of water, spots for coal and stone, and open space for farms and lumber. As your city grows, keeping your resources stable will become problematic. Sweet Transit has a bit of a learning curve requiring the player to learn the best way to lay signal lights and tracks to maximize travel for the trains. Improving efficiency will enable the city to optimize the usage of resources, allowing the player to build new facilities and train cars. As a tip, don’t forget to build trains that will move workers from your town to your facilities. This process can be a bit of a pain with the facilities sometimes not responding to the trains once they’ve been laid next to the rail until you figure it out.
Trains are your sole method of transportation, and the layout of your track is not the only means of making your resource transportation as efficient as possible. Sweet Transit adds further nuance to the gameplay by adding a signal system with three different types of signals. These signals will assist your trains in navigating the track systems that you set up. But beware. Finding the perfect setup of your signals will be difficult to master. Too many or too few will cause massive gridlock seizing up your entire system of trains as you watch your resources drain before your eyes. This was the cause of many restarts during our review of the Ernestas Norvaišas game Sweet Transit.
While mastering the mechanics of Sweet Transit is difficult, learning them is easy. With each play, you’ll learn better ways to lay your tracks to reduce the number of bottlenecks between the fuel consumption of your trains and the layout of your track and signals system. While Sweet Transit will undoubtedly cause a fair amount of frustration as you learn how to design the best track system, the game is surprisingly addicting.
Graphics: A call back to the tycoon games of old but with a great soundtrack
Now, while Sweet Transit’s gameplay is relatively deep and addicting, the graphics probably won’t blow any minds. They’re not bad; they certainly will remind you of the various tycoon games or sim city games of the past. And for the most part, the camera operated well, but sometimes the camera would feel a bit clunky. There were minimal bugs or glitches, with the only one being observed once you were to delete large portions of the track, and the game would begin to stutter.
But, even with that, the audio of Sweet Transit certainly makes up for that, which might even be more important. While you’re sitting, spending hours laying track and monitoring your city for any issues that may crop up. The music you’ll listen to is important, and the developer Ernestas Norvaišas doesn’t disappoint, offering a great in-game soundtrack composed by Ely Robins, where players can also purchase the soundtrack separately on Steam.
Conclusion: An addicting indie game with a good challenge
If you’re looking to get your railroad tycoon fix but wouldn’t mind a bit of challenge, we recommend checking out Ernestas Norvaišas’s indie game Sweet Transit. For a game that has only been in Early Access for a short time, it’s already an impressive game at this point, even though it’s not perfect and still has more development ahead before its full release date. If you’re looking for a fun-addicting city-building train game, then we recommend Sweet Transit to fill that spot. After reading our review of the Ernestas Norvaišas indie game Sweet Transit, you can check it out on the Steam Early Access program for $21.99. Additionally, if you want to follow updates for Sweet Transit, more information can be found on the Steam community page.