Iron Roads aims to capture the old school fun of games like Railroad Tycoon while adding new layers and wiping away the micromanagement. Managers are moved from different offices to optimize efficiency within a headquarters building as players run the show controlling HR, Advertising, Supervisors, Trainyard, Rail Facility, and other various departments. For example, you might send a manager to a grain silo to increase loading of a product or Railyard to figure out why a certain train isn’t being fixed in time.
As the boss of a Railroad company in the 1820’s – 1830’s time frame players take position with a high level (looking at a map with cities) viewpoint of the game with their main job focusing on deciding whether to survey and expand their railroad and where / how to go about that. Executive decisions are made based on business logic with challenges presented in the form of bottlenecks, congested traffic, competitors working against the player’s corp, and more.
When looking at a map players can research goods, demand, and supply with estimates of revenue to be made from each area and potential directions they could take their business. Competing against road and water as well as air transportation of goods adds another element to the strategy players must take into account when making their moves. In the office and railyard departments for example it’s a top down click and drag of managers to different areas of focus.
Event cards indicate problems, and requirements, as well as pros and cons to solutions for problems that come up. In the long term though there can also be consequences for the decisions you make. For example at the game’s start deciding on which resources to focus on transporting is a major cornerstone of later trials and tribulations while leaning towards solving solutions a certain way could later effect your relationships with potential clients and business partners down the (Iron) roads.
Currently Iron Roads is in early conceptual design, and leaning towards an Art Deco art style direction with freight concept versus transporting people as a major gameplay focus but strategic fun being derived more importantly above all else. Short videos of the game’s mechanics are expected to become available and open to criticism in the near future with feedback being actively worked in. Take a look at the link below for more information and to get in touch with the developer of this game which is currently being planned for eventual release on Windows PC, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems.