Sweet Transit, the deceptively cosy-looking train game from one of the developers of Factorio, has arrived at Steam Early Access station today, ready to take us all on a cross-country voyage of industry and invention.
It’s the work of a solo developer, Ernestas Norvaišas, who previously worked as a 3D artist on the indie hit management game Factorio, and the connections between Factorio and Sweet Transit are certainly there to find if you’re looking for them. However, Sweet Transit trades the sci-fi setting for the Golden Age of Rail, and rather than creating conveyor belts and machinery, you’ll be setting up a transportation network and growing a production economy.
Sweet Transit has a few quirks that can take some getting used to initially. Fortunately, there’s already a set of tutorials that will guide you through the steps involved in establishing a village, building your first few production facilities, and perhaps most importantly, learning to place rail signals in the correct places so your trains don’t smash into each other.
Here’s the launch trailer:
Every resource you produce requires workers, and workers need to get from where they live to where they work. You’ll need to set up trains to get people around, and other trains to transport raw materials either to warehouses or to production facilities where they can be turned into finished goods.
Once you get the hang of the way trains route themselves to their next destination, and how the signals all work, it’s an intensely satisfying experience. Even untangling problems with your rail network feels good, a bit like fussing over the day’s Wordle with a cup of tea.
Over the course of a game of Sweet Transit, you’ll grow from a single warehouse and coal-powered trains to a massive industrial network powered by diesel locomotives. Norvaišas says players can look forward to full mod support, and the next update in the Early Access roadmap includes the addition of steel as a product and resource.
Sweet Transit is available on Steam for $21.99 USD / £17.49 GBP, which gets you the base game. A Supporter’s Pack, which includes the Sweet Transit soundtrack, costs $26.98 / £21.98. Norvaišas says a full release is planned for mid-2023, but that Sweet Transit will “stay in early access until it is good enough to be released fully.”