Transport Tycoon

aka: Chris Sawyer's Transport Game, I.T.S., Transport Tycoon 3D, Transportation Tycoon
Moby ID: 2283
DOS Specs
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Description official description

In Transport Tycoon, you are in charge of a transport company starting in 1930 in the midst of The Great Depression, and your aim is to build up an empire of trains, ships, lorries, planes and helicopters, with technological evolution to be taken into account. You can play alone, or with a number of computer-controlled rivals.

At the beginning of the game, you (and your rivals) have a large terrain at your disposal. The terrain is shown in isometric projection and includes hills, rivers, lakes, bridges, industrial facilities and a lot of small towns. It is up to you to decide how to start building your empire.

Maybe you can begin by connecting two towns with a road, building a vehicle depot somewhere next to the road, and setting up bus stops in both towns. Now just buy a bus (initially, there are just a few models available, but more buses appear with time), set its schedule, and watch as it goes between both bus stops, taking passengers and unloading them, earning you money. You can also transport passengers by building train tracks, sea ports, or airports and then buying appropriate vehicles - trains, ferries, planes.

If you set up a station next to an industrial facility (such as a factory, a power plant or a farm), you can also transport various cargo, such as coal, livestock or wood, which allows you to earn much more money than transporting passengers. Of course, you'll have to buy special lorries and train cars if you'll want to deal with these. Most businesses offer certain types of cargo and are ready to pay for transporting other cargo to them; for example, a steel mill has a lot of steel to fill your cars, and will gladly accept iron ore if you have any.

Clicking on any of your vehicles brings up a small window where you can observe a live feed of what the vehicle is doing and look up its status. If anything important happens during the game (such as a particular station accepting its first vehicle), it is shown as a newspaper headline at the bottom of the screen.

Various versions exist building upon the DOS original, with the most notably different being the PlayStation port, which in addition to the isometric graphics includes a 3D view of the world map taking advantage of the PlayStation’s graphics hardware. The game was followed up with the release of the World Editor and later re-released in enhanced form as Transport Tycoon Deluxe.


  • トランスポートタイクーン - Japanese spelling
  • トランスポートタイクーン3D SLからはじめよう!! - Japanese spelling (tag-lined title)
  • トランスポートタイクーン3D - Japanese PlayStation version, Japanese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

20 People

Game Design
Original Music
Sound Design and Programming
Quality Assurance
Manual Author
Managing Editor
Manual Design & Layout



Average score: 84% (based on 28 ratings)


Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 72 ratings with 4 reviews)

Wonderful game that can make whole days just disappear

The Good
This game is magnificent, better even than the original Railroad Tycoon. It is very compelling to play, and it can eat away hours of free time without you really noticing. The graphics are really cool, and you get a great sense of what's going on in your little world. In fact it's just a great game, but there are a few things that really make it stand out.

  1. The music is superb, easily the best in any game ever. Okay, so they're only midi files, but the tunes are great. I'm not all into this sort of music myself, but it fits the game perfectly, and always end up humming them for days.

  2. The range options for configuring the game are huge. You change the style of the town names, the currency, even what side of the road the vehicles drive on (great for us Brits).

  3. It's very cute. Especially if you open a 'watch' window on a train, following it as it goes through tunnels, stops at signals at toots its horn at level crossings. Wonderful!

    The Bad
    Three things. Firstly it's very slow. Unlike most sim type games it doesn't have a speed control, which means that when nothing much is happening you can't accelerate time. Sometimes it's nice to kick back, grab a beer and watch the world evolve in front of you, but at other times it can get a little frustrating, and since the game is due to run for 100 years of game time, it can take literally weeks of play time.

Secondally, I find the games AI annoying in the extreme. I'm quite happy to compete with the other companies, but they have a lot to learn about track/road design. They seem set up rail and road routes that have no logic to them at all - tracks that run in circles, over and under each other, figures of 8, etc. This gets annoying because their crap building techniques waste valuable building land around towns, stifling growth and providing an obstacle your building plans.

Lastly, the bloody stupid bus drivers. Why, oh why can't they stop at level crossings?

The Bottom Line
This game is not a sequel to Railroad Tycoon - it really is quite different. With four modes of transport to use (rail, road, air and sea) you can always find the right tool for the job, and as soon as you build up a reasonable empire the money keeps flooding in. It is a very long and time-consuming game and like all sim games, it can get a little dull after a while, especially when there are no new challenges. Making it all the way to the 100 years end point can be a real struggle. But at least the game has an end-point (unlike Sim City). Of course, you don't have to play to the end - I rarely do. Just play long enough to enjoy the building of a transport network, then move on.

DOS · by Steve Hall (329) · 2000

Transport Tycoon is a game of exactly the same style but which, without a doubt, establishes a benchmark for this style of game.

The Good
What is impressive about "Transport Tycoon" is the extensive details for example, the smoke from the steam locomotives, the railroad signals that change or even the railroad crossing. The animation is realistic and so beautiful! The day to day running of the business.

The Bad
To much micro management after 25+ years

The Bottom Line
Transport Tycoon puts you in charge of a transportion company, involving roads, railroads, shiplines and airlines. Your role will be to transport the people between different cities and to move merchandise between production and consumer areas. The goal of the game is to manage your company for a 100 year period from 1930 until 2030 by increasing your transportation network and avoiding bankruptcy.

DOS · by MajorDad (515) · 2000

Buy, sell, build, raise, YOU are the transport tycoon!

The Good
First of all as we all see this game is old. Ten years now since its release. That is quite a lot of time and games are so much different now. But does that mean that older games have to be forgotten? Transport Tycoon proves that the release date doesn't mean a thing when it comes to a product of great value. In Transport Tycoon you are an influential industry businessman. To improve your balance you have to construct roads, railroads, build train stations, shipyards, airports etc. The games always takes place on an island so your terrain isn't artificially limited. Player can construct any means of transport, cars, trains, ships, airplanes and it is up to you to pick the one that suits you best. Player can build dozens of different kinds of vehicles, and almost every year new types appear. You can play Transport Tycoon alone or with opponents, either human or computer. The game is often realistic. Lots of graphs, numbers, and competition everywhere. You have to make right decision or you'll be a bankrupt instead of tycoon :)

The Bad
I think that the most annoying thing in Transport Tycoon is lack of direct influence on the cities. Every city is small at the beginning and grow when you connect it with other city or build buses. But you cannot actually build anything apart from things connected with transport. No houses, offices, shops. The city has to develop all these things by itself. Also, when the game is close to an end and you have hundreds of trucks, trains and planes you have to spend a lot of time on replacing the old ones. That is annoying but to say the truth somewhere around the year 1990 (the game starts in 1930) there are no places or cities to connect! And rebuilding old railroads and buying new planes is not enough...

The Bottom Line
Transport Tycoon is a nice economical game. You won't find any armies there, no soldiers, tanks etc. Instead you will find lots of economy, business and management. It isn't as complicated as Pizza Syndicate for example but no one should feel disappointed about its difficulty level.

DOS · by Ajan (262) · 2004

[ View all 4 player reviews ]


References to the game

The PC version of Frontier: Elite II contained a reference to the upcoming Transport Tycoon back in 1993. Some of the advertising hoardings in space ports announced "Coming soon... Chris Sawyer's Transport Game" ! Chris Sawyer did the PC conversion of Frontier: Elite II back in 1992/3.


The fan remake OpenTTD from 2004 updates the game for later computer and mobile platforms.

Title change

Transport Tycoon was originally named I.T.S., which is short for "Interactive Transport Simulation". It was only because the game went to Microprose that it became a Tycoon game, to tie in with their own Railroad Tycoon.

Information also contributed by JimmyA.


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  • MobyGames ID: 2283
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Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by DaHero.

PlayStation added by Brolin Empey. Macintosh, SEGA Saturn added by ticky.

Additional contributors: MajorDad, Rebound Boy, Brolin Empey, chirinea, analoguedragon, Martin Smith, Patrick Bregger, mailmanppa, ticky.

Game added September 2, 2000. Last modified April 29, 2024.