Sometimes making a loss of virtual cash, is better than a loss of friendship…
So I’m here to talk about the most graphically intensive video game (you can call it this?) of all time. OpenTTD.
The game looks like something from the 1990s – well, that’s cause it is! OpenTTD took Transport Tycoon Deluxe (an infamous Chris Sawyer game) from 1995, reverse engineered it, set up several other projects to recreate the graphics / sounds / music from the original (without requiring the original game, as the original game was required for the earlier releases).
If you enjoy micromanagement – there is plenty to keep you busy with OpenTTD (even more if you don’t know about the automated tools built in which can help you!), however to review the game it is important that it’s split into both single and multiplayer.
Single player can be great, I mean people have written their own AI scripts, there are currently 30 on BaNaNaS – the games built-in content distribution system, and these can really dig the knife in when it comes to playing alone. However once you’ve beaten the AI it gets very same-y and the challenge doesn’t adapt because the AI is acting to certain rules – harassing an AI opponent will get you no come-back so it’s just much less fun. Although the user created content makes up for this a little for example adding new industries, types of vehicle or even maps which are scale models of a country.
Now, Multiplayer – this is where the game really starts to get fun, running a company each or sharing control of a single company can be great fun – particularly if your friends are OK with a little unfriendly competition. You get the benefit of being able to edit the game (using the NewGRF settings – and it enforces them on each player on the server), allowing you to add, or remove content from the game and making what you’re able to do much more diverse.
You can guarantee that one of your friends will be a pain in the ass, and be much better than everyone else – easiest solution is to make sure everyone teams up against that person. By offering competing services to what they do, you can severely cut their income stream whilst gaining money for yourself. It’s win-win. Or if you feel like a head start is all you need, just make sure you invite them to the party after everyone has started to get settled (and perhaps paid off those loans…!)
The game isn’t going to win any awards for its demanding graphics, or its amazing sound and music packs (this is no disrespect to either of the open source movements to recreate the original, it is just that being spoilt by modern day games it really does make OpenTTD look dated) – however I can guarantee if you get into it, you’ll be wondering where the hours went.