Iron Roads is a top-down 2D train management game for Desktop and Mobile with a focus on optimising train networks. Its minimalistic interface is easy to learn, but encourages deep and sophisticated gameplay. We’re aiming for the accessibility of Mini Metro and the depth of simulations such as OpenTTD, while also capturing the irreverent tone of games like Theme Hospital.

In addition to more established train management mechanics, Iron Roads explores themes surrounding sustainable development. Rather than encouraging unconstrained construction, the game reacts to the player’s actions.

For example, building on farmland destroys the chance of potential profit from associated rural towns. Powering trains with fossil fuels allows for easy expansion, but comes at the cost of rising seas leaving less space for tracks. And while there is easy money to be found serving industries rather than passengers, factories can quickly overwhelm the landscape, leaving little space for anything else.

As players help their erudite animal passengers rebuild a transport system after the fall of the humans that preceded them, they will need to think strategically and balance the needs of the society, the environment, and their fledgling business.

Players can choose between 3 modes of play:

– Scenarios: Hand-crafted experiences with distinct narratives and gameplay features. Grant systems create focussed goals to earn extra money and get the satisfaction of ticking off a to-do list

– Endless mode: A low-pressure game where players set their preferred parameters, using procedurally-generated maps

– Challenges: Time-bound challenges where players compete for a spot on the highscore board

Iron Roads is being actively developed, but it is currently incomplete. The demo is a slice of the game that will arrive in Early Access. The demo can be downloaded and played now on Steam or Itch.

Features available in Iron Roads right now

– Ability to transport passengers or cargo, earn money and complete tasks

– Aa minimalistic interface that is easy to learn, but that allows for many happy hours optimising and building networks

– Performance graphs: The main goal of Iron Roads is to optimise networks, so you charts encourage analysis of data relating to finances and passengers

– Ability to build large, complex networks. Or small-to-medium sized networks, if that's what floats the players' boat

Features Iron Roads doesn't have yet, but will have eventually

– Numerous scenarios: Iron Roads is being developed by only two developers, so while we’re working as hard as we can, please bear with us as we add more scenarios

– Signals: Train orders such as one-way zones, non-stop zones, and waypoints replace traditional signals in Iron Roads. The idea is that players can do everything that signals can do, but without the steep learning curve

Iron Roads will not have

– Buses, boats, planes or any other form of transport

– 3D graphics: our focus is on enabling players to build large networks easily, and we find 2D better for that

– NFTs, lootboxes or microtransactions

Games we were inspired by

– OpenTTD

– Mini Metro

– Two Point Hospital

– Lets Build a Zoo

– Opus Magnum

About us

We are Marina and Duncan, a BAFTA-nominated husband-and-wife team, and we develop games and art inspired by our love for management games, literature, puzzles and travelling. While we don't have defined roles, Duncan tends to be responsible for writing the engine and game design, and Marina does the writing and illustrations. Cowleyfornia is a nickname for the area of Oxford in the UK where our little studio is based.



Teaser trailerYouTube

Media (Click for 1080p)


Cowleyfornia Studios LLP allows for the contents of Iron Roads to be published through video broadcasting services for any commercial or non-commercial purposes. Monetization of videos created containing assets from Iron Roads is legally & explicitly allowed by Cowleyfornia Studios LLP.

This permission can be found in writing at

Contact, review copies and links

If you would like a review copy, please email

We send out Steam keys and Apple App Store keys by default, but if you would like a preview copy for Android or Itch instead, please email

Iron Roads on Steam
Iron Roads on