I know it’s a little geeky, but playing with trains is pretty cool. Now, I’ve loved this theme in gaming ever since the original Railroad Tycoon. However, these days, I don’t have the time or patience to micromanage a whole railway. Yet, I still want to play something that will scratch that itch. This is where Train Valley: Console Edition comes into play.
Developed by Flazm and published by Blitworks, this is a resource management simulation title. Accordingly, it’ll test your patience, planning, and management skills. Furthermore, the gentle learning curve will suck you in, while the unfortunate hectic action will spit you out. As such, it is unhealthily addictive and bloody good fun.
Train Valley: Console Edition is simple to understand but challenging to master.
What makes Train Valley: Console Edition so moreish is its simplicity. Effectively, all you have to do is connect stations and run your trains. However, things quickly heat up as more trains are introduced. Moreover, the vehicles vary in length and speed, and the track layouts become more complex. In short, it is simple to understand but challenging to master.
Sadly, there is no story to follow and this may disappoint some gamers. Instead, the action spans 5 seasons that revolve around real locations and famous events. You’ll see the fall of the Berlin Wall, WWII, the Gold Rush of 1849, and more. These renowned moments add a fascinating and historical twist to the addictive and relentless action.
Planning, and many tasks.
Though building your railroad is essential, you have other tasks to focus on. Accordingly, every level is ranked up to a maximum of 3 stars. Each of these represents a task that must be completed during every stage. You’ll be able to spend money, lay tracks, demolish properties, or make money. There are, of course, other jobs, and they will test your ability.
Every level starts the same, no matter the environment. You must connect each coloured station with train tracks. Then, it is your responsibility to send each train to its corresponding goal. En route, you must switch the point work to set the path you wish to take. Sounds easy so far, right? Well, don’t get too confident as things soon go astray. As more trains are added, you must plan and prioritise your approach. If you take too long, the drivers lose patience and will go without your authority. Consequently, your plans will be scuppered and accidents will happen.
Crashing and hectic action.
Talking of accidents, train crashes are a big no, no. They cause damage to infrastructure, cost lives, and will set you back. If, and when, your vehicles collide, the surrounding area becomes damaged. Subsequently, you must replace the tracks, and you lose the money for each train that has exploded.
As you can tell, the action gets pretty hectic even though you don’t have to micromanage your business. Instead of the normal sim/resource management tropes, you experience puzzle elements. As such, you must think logically and methodically at all times.
The moment you fail to plan or you go off course is the time it’ll go wrong. Luckily, the developers aren’t monsters as the action can be paused, slowed down, or sped up. This was a godsend as it gives you time to think, build, and prevent the inevitable crashes.
Train Valley: Console Edition is painfully colourful.
Though a very simple approach has been taken, this doesn’t undermine Train Valley: Console Edition. Instead, the vivid colour palette and basic graphics allow you to focus on the ensuing madness. The top-down viewpoint and fixed-screen perspective allow you to plan and observe your progress with ease. Furthermore, the basic UI is clutter free and sufficiently comfortable to complete every task. Therefore, it’s a nice but not visually impressive look that works extremely well.
The seriousness of the gameplay dissipates because of the fun and jovial audio. A Western folksy soundtrack accompanies everything you do. Alongside this, loud sound effects indicate when tasks are started and completed. Thankfully, it is a simple affair that works wonderfully with the gameplay.
Occasionally clumsy controls.
Train Valley: Console Edition suffers from the usual PC ported ailments. By that, I mean its controls are occasionally clumsy. With no free cursor to use, you are forced to move rigidly between point work or stations. This is particularly testing when your track layout is complex and you have many moves to complete. Sadly, this leads to frustration and certain failure. This could easily have been resolved if a free-flowing cursor was introduced alongside the other control method.
As tradition dictates, simulation and resource management games ooze longevity and replay value. Luckily, Train Valley: Console Edition ticks both of these boxes. Not only is it tough as hell, but you also have the ranking system and a sandbox mode to explore. Consequently, this will keep you busy for hours.
Train Valley: Console Edition made me scream.
I’m not sure that I have sadomasochistic tendencies, but I adored the brutality of this game. As such, Train Valley: Console Edition made me repeatedly scream with rage. You’ll learn that minor mistakes cost you dearly, and this will haunt you on every level. However, there is lots to love and enjoy about this addictive game. Accordingly, I adored it and I recommend you to buy it here! Running your railway shouldn’t be easy, but surely, this takes the biscuit?