Thanks Archelaos for your comment.
It inspired me that thought: maybe you were a “slave” by having to play more to achieve the same result as a paying player, but at least you were a “free slave”, pun intended. Pixel Federation is a professional corporation employing people to create games. They pay wages and taxes and hope that their products (=games) will sell enough so that they can keep on running.
They chose to open all the main aspects (running trains, building station) of their game TrainStation, which is quite a bargain: they knew that a fraction of their players would never spend a dime playing their game, all the while enjoying the free entertainment and draining their computer resources. Yet their never put any paywall anywhere in the game if you just want to play it. Their didn’t make some major gameplay features only accessible after paying.
Did you know that even with premium locomotives and big capacity wagons, I quit playing before getting all the achievement? At some point, I got bored of the gameplay, not because it’s a freemium game with paid items, but because I always get bored of every game I play, freemium or not. The difference is the time I spent enjoying the game. And TrainStation does a great job at making you enjoy it for a long time with very simple game concepts. Just consider your comment: you played for about 3-4 every day for many hours, enjoying every single minute of it (or else you would have quit before), all that for free!
Yes, that’s true that you can progress faster in the game with paid content, but in the end I don’t think that’s the point, you can’t *beat* that game, you just have to go the farthest you can before getting bored with the game mechanics, as it happens with every game you and I play 🙂