Not quite as good as Railroad Tycoon 2
Railroad fans have a fair selection of games to choose from, with the likes of A-Train and Railroad Tycoon offering up plenty of train-based fun. However, Railroad Pioneer is interesting as it takes players back to the time of the Old West, when American was just starting to open up and where there were opportunities everywhere for enterprising businessmen. As such an entrepreneur, your goal here is to connect New York and California with a solid network of trains, allowing goods, people and resources to travel freely across this vast land, all the while watching out for natural disasters, violent bandits and unscrupulous competitors. The gameplay itself is fairly straightforward, requiring you to lay tracks, direct your trains, keep an eye on production and generally make sure everything is running smoothly, while also taking on the various special missions that come your way occasionally. As your business develops, you gain access to better trains, more facilities, areas of production and skills, all of which will help drive you towards your dream of a unified nation (and of course, lots of money). Railroad Pioneer is a decent enough management sim that evokes a nice sense of period and harkens back to a lost age of adventure and exploration. Visually, it's pretty much standard for this kind of thing, looking similar to the likes of SimCity and other empire builders, while it's well detailed and provides lots of things to watch out for, providing a decent challenge but which is generally accessible, thanks to an intuitive and uncluttered interface. If you're an avid fan of trains or management sims, this is a worthy game but which doesn't quite live up to the standards of Railroad Tycoon 2, which remains the benchmark for the genre.