Sid Meier’s Railroads! is a faithful conversion of the PC classic for playing on iPhone and iPad

Sid Meier’s Railroads app screenshot
(Image credit: Apple)
Sid Meier’s Railroads!

Sid Meier’s Railroads app icon

(Image credit: Apple)

iOS/ iPadOS ($12.99/£11.99)

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Hot on the heels of Sim City inspired Cityscapes: Sim Builder landing on Apple Arcade comes another piece of retro-tinged strategy action that’s hit the App Store.

Originally released in 2006, Sid Meier’s Railroads! is a faithful iPhone and iPad conversion of the classic business simulation that will let you play the much-loved PC title on your daily commute.

As with the original, the game takes players back to the golden age of steam and tasks the player with building tracks, managing resources, and competing with famous rival tycoons as you try to get your very own railroad empire off the ground.

While the game strictly adheres to the looks, charm and leisurely pace of the original, this new version offers some 21st century improvements such as iCloud game saves and additional campaigns and scenarios.

Classic strategy game makes a smooth journey to mobile

Competing against AI-controlled, legendary captains of industry such as George Stephenson and Czar Nicholas II, you'll be establishing new networks across a 19th century map of the world before it all gets addictively cut throat.

From managing your suppliers and track building materials to overseeing your stocks and keeping an eye out for mergers and liquidations of your rivals, playing this new mobile version shines a light on just how deep the gameplay of the original was for its time.

The big test for this handheld version was always going to be about how well the point and click mouse controls of the PC original would be approximated and updated for a touchscreen device. 

Although we did at times struggle to navigate our way around the mini-map and accurately place tracks on the smaller playing field, the good news is that the app comes through largely with flying colors.

Combining tense big business decisions, history lessons and the immersive satisfaction of model railway building, Sid Meier’s Railroads arrives at its new destination in some style. 


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Kevin Lynch

Kevin Lynch is a London-born, Dublin-based writer and journalist. 

He started out as a music writer in the late 1990s, before moving to the Daily Mirror to become the newspaper’s technology editor, during which time he wrote a weekly column that saw him chart the boom of consumer tech and gaming as well as the resurrection and rise of Apple Inc. 

He has also served as editor of and has been a member of the judging panel for the BAFTA British Academy Video Game Awards.