Do you constantly complain about the inefficiency of the New York subway system? If so, you’ll soon have your chance to (hypothetically) construct an alternative subway line. The iOS app Third Rail, expected to debut this summer, pits up to six players against each other as they attempt to build their own subway lines across both real and fictional city maps. At the end of each round, the line that serves the largest amount of the population wins.
Designer Joe Kowalski is a veteran of the industry, having worked on high-profile games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band before moving to New York and going indie. He attributes his inspiration for the game to the New York subway’s competitive beginnings: Prior to the consolidation of the MTA, three independent lines–the IRT, BRT, and BMT–fought for riders. Conceived in 2011, the game took two years to develop and is still being playtested.
Initial reports on the game from within the video game industry have left us intrigued but plagued with questions. How is the population calculated? Will players know how much of the population they’re serving as they’re building? Are the “fictional” maps of real cities that don’t have rapid-transit systems, or are they of fake cities? (Can we expect to play on Gotham or Hogsmeade maps?). Nonetheless, the transit nerds in us are pretty excited.
Special thanks to Studio-X NYC for getting this on our radar.
Get in touch with the author @YiinYangYale.