Railways – The simulated stories of a crash test dummy

What can he possibly say about such a simple game as Railways: Train Simulator, I hear you ask? While a reasonable question, dear reader, there is quite a lot to say about this game. Yes, I am as surprised as you. Still, I have to admit that it took me some time to figure out how to relate to the simplicity of the game and how to word this review. Not because of any faults of the game, mind you. At least not from a technical standpoint.

That is correct, this was one of the better experiences I have had in a game as of late. See, I am so used to technical and graphical issues that I expect to see them in every game I play. But I found neither technical nor graphical issues in Railways: Train Simulator. It was a smooth ride from start to finish. Well, that is not entirely true. I have had enough encounters with ghost vehicles in several levels to call it anything but a smooth ride.

Color cues and signs

Yes, Railways: Train Simulator has ghost vehicles in the shape of trains, cars, and planes that cross paths with your trains. I even saw boats, as shown in the image above. But those are purely decorative and will not pose much of a problem compared to the other land and air-based vehicles. Let me correct myself. Although planes are made for air-based travel, these never leave the runway. It would probably be fairer to call them trailers with wings. But my categorizing efforts aside, they still act as an effective disturbance.

While on the subject of obstacles and things that stand out. I am sure you have noticed the color scheme in Railways: Train Simulator and how it could be a problem for those who are visually impaired and cannot see certain colors. If you saw that you probably took note of how Nerd Monkey and Infinity Games tackles this issue as well. That is right. Not only is each train color coordinated with the passengers. Each passenger also has a sign on their head that corresponds to each train. So no matter what color you struggle with, you should, in theory, be able to play the game.

Objects and access points

Now, theory is one thing. Being able to master the game is another. It is not like Railways: Train Simulator is a difficult game to beat by any stretch of the imagination. But there are some inconsistencies between the levels I had access to—at least in terms of how I relate to them and their perceived difficulty. For example. I struggled in getting past two out of three stars on level 5 but had no problems getting three stars with time to spare on level 25. It might not be much of a problem as each level acts as its own thing rather than a continuation of the one before it. But it has been a recurring theme throughout my sessions and might be for you as well.

Another thing I won’t criticize the game for is the distance your crosshair has to cover between objects and access points. Although this becomes more noticeable on higher resolutions it is possible to smooth things over with a higher DPI setting on your mouse. Still, if I could only pick one unit to play this game on, I would pick a tablet and my index finger. Yes, Railways: Train Simulator is available on Google Play and App Store and would be a perfect fit for that hour-long trip to and from work or when you want to escape your in-laws.

30 tracks later

It should go without saying. But we cannot hide from our in-laws forever, and all good things must come to an end. At least that is how the saying goes. However, according to Nerd Monkey and Infinity Games, there is no end to be had in Railways: Train Simulator. That is if you decide to leave the timed mode and try your luck in the endless mode. I did, and have to say. While the first level did not impress me, the other ones with more tracks, trains, and ghost traffic did. Especially when the trains began to speed up.

What can I say? I like speed and perform better under stress. I do not know if the same can be said about Yuri, my editor. But I may see some competition in the endless mode when he learns about the game’s existence. And this is something that ties into my main complaint about Railways: Train Simulator. There is no online ladder for the endless mode that you can climb and refer to. As it stands, I have to either share my screen or send my editor a screenshot and ask him to do the same.

The final request

I know the ladder is a request on its own and that I should not be greedy and ask for more. But I cannot help myself and have to put in one more request before I reach the end of this review. And that request is for Nerd Monkey and Infinity Games to add support for Steam workshop. Yes, I would like to create my own levels and see what evil creations others can throw my way. I know this is a tall ask. You know, much like expecting me to reach all passengers on time. But I really think that user-generated levels would add to the longevity of the game.

With all that said, between the inconsistent level design and my unrealistic requests, I had a good time with Railways: Train Simulator. And much of that stems from the fact the game ran according to my expectations and without issues. That alone deserves fifteen minutes in the spotlight. So hats off to Nerd Monkey and their port of Railways: Train Simulator. Now, where did I put my monocle and whistle? I have a train to conduct!

Disclaimer: Railways Train Simulator was provided to me by Nerd Monkey for review.

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