Offworld Trading Company vs. Railgrade

Dec 15, 2022

Offworld Trading Company and Railgrade are both management sim games that offer players unique and engaging gameplay experiences. Offworld Trading Company sets players in space and tasks them with establishing their own trading company on Mars, while Railgrade sets players on an unspecified off-world colony and focuses on using railways to transport resources and power industry.

In Offworld Trading Company, players take on the role of an extraterrestrial capitalist, competing with other corporations to exploit the resources of Mars (and eventually other settings as well). The game’s mechanics are relatively simple, with a supply-and-demand economy and hex-based maps featuring just six elements to harvest. However, the fast real-time strategy pacing and cutthroat mind games give the game a competitive edge. Additionally, DLC released over time has created a lot more variation in options.

In Railgrade, players take on the role of an Administrator for the Nakatani Chemicals corporation. You are tasked with managing the resources at various sites across a space colony. The key to success in the game is mastering the delicate balance between cost and efficiency. Players must set up complex railway systems to transport materials, energy, and goods to where they are needed. This challenging and engaging gameplay makes Railgarde a unique and enjoyable management sim experience.

The gameplay

One of the key features of Offworld Trading Company is its real-time strategy gameplay, which challenges players to make quick and strategic decisions in order to outcompete their rivals and establish a successful trading company. The game also features a dynamic economy that reacts to players’ actions. This adds an extra layer of challenge and complexity to the gameplay. This economy system feels lifelike and really brings a lot of variety into each and every playthrough. Additionally, there are 6 different factions to choose from and four different planets and each of those brings a totally different gameplay experience.

In contrast, Railgrade focuses more on construction and management. The game’s effortless construction tools allow players to instantly build and manage a busy railway network packed with trains. The goal is to create efficient supply chains by connecting industrial sources and placing dozens of trains on the map. Players can also build their trains using different engines and freight types. In total, there are hundreds of unique engine and cargo combinations to choose from. The system seems rather basic at first but becomes insanely complex.

This highlights the major differences between the two games in their approach to gameplay. Offworld Trading Company is more focused on strategy and economic gameplay, while Railgrade emphasizes construction and optimization. This means that players who enjoy fast-paced, strategic gameplay may prefer Offworld Trading Company, while those who enjoy building and managing complex systems may prefer Railgrade.

The setting

Another key difference between the two games is their settings and themes. The setting of a game can have a big impact on the player’s overall experience. In the case of Offworld Trading Company and Railgrade, the settings of these games are somewhat different, and this difference is reflected in the gameplay and themes of the games.

In Offworld Trading Company, the setting of Mars and the focus on space exploration and colonization give the game a sci-fi theme. This theme is reflected in the game’s art style, music, and gameplay elements. The sci-fi setting also adds an element of novelty and imagination to the game. This gives players the opportunity explore and build their own company in a futuristic, alien world.

In contrast, the setting of Railgrade is more focused on industrial production and transportation. The game is set in an off-world colony, but no specific details are provided about the setting. This lack of specificity allows players to use their imagination to fill in the details and make the game feel more immersive. The focus on railways and industrial production also gives the game a distinct aesthetic and atmosphere. The challenges of restoring industrial production in the aftermath of an infrastructure collapse add an interesting and engaging element to the gameplay.

Overall, the different settings of these two games contribute significantly to the unique experiences they offer players. The sci-fi setting of Offworld Trading Company and the industrial, off-world setting of Railgrade both provide unique themes and challenges for players to engage with, making each game a unique and enjoyable experience.

The Verdict

Ultimately, the choice between Offworld Trading Company and Railgrade will come down to personal preference. In my opinion, Offworld Trading Company offers a deeper experience over time and is more user-friendly than Railgrade. Its fast-paced, strategic gameplay and unique sci-fi setting make it a great choice for fans of real-time strategy games. The dynamic economy adds an extra layer of challenge and complexity to the gameplay. Overall, I feel that Offworld Trading Company offers a more fun and enjoyable experience than Railgrade, and I would personally prefer to play it. That being said, Railgrade was also a very engaging experience, with a unique story that was fun to play through. I loved both of these games, and I hope if, given a chance, everyone who likes this genre would play them both.