A Train city simulator is a management sim that places you in charge of a city’s transport systems. Most popular games of this nature nowadays are shallow, dumbed down and straightforward. A train simulator is quite the opposite. This is a management sim that will really make you work for success. There is a great sense of achievement lying at the heart of this deceivingly deep drama of a simulator and if the hours are put in, then it can be quite enjoyable.
The game seats you in charge of the main transportation company for the city where you are tasked with developing transport around the city so the city can fulfill its potential. These tasks come in the form of scenarios. This is where you will need to use everything you have picked up from playing the game in order to succeed. Scenarios can vary in their ultimate objective, anything from making X amount of profit to growing the city population to a certain number, but success is a must.
As CEO of this major transportation company, you have a lot of things to oversee which is great. A game of this type should be throwing things at you left right and centre. It is a little overwhelming to start with, but once you realise that you can’t do everything immediately and get your priorities in order, then it becomes much easier to manage. The learning curve is as steep as the game is deep. I wouldn’t even call it a curve to be honest. More like a 88 degree vertical line… Seriously, if you’re a newcomer to the genre and think this is a decent launch pad, it isn’t. This is for seasoned veterans, or newbies with a lot of patience.
This is mainly down to the tutorial system that the game offers. Added together the are roughly 6 hours of tutelage that the game throws at you and expects you to remember. I didn’t find a sub menu that retold these lessons later on in the game, so if they are forgotten, then they are forgotten. Another factor that doesn’t help these lessons is the fact that they are all told by text. Reading the aforementioned 6 hours of text is a slog in itself. Remembering is a whole other issue. With the amount you have to read just to know the functions of the game, it’s basically a college course. You should be fully qualified to run a company like this is real life after the work you need to put in just to play this game.
The game looks below average for what it is. The colours look washed out, the city doesn’t look as alive as I would have liked. The characters look like Japanese anime characters which doesn’t hurt the game and slightly adds to its charm. You can navigate through the initially transportless city with the stylus or using the analogue slider. This makes it simple and straightforward to check what’s what in your city. There are a lot of sub menus also if you would like a look at something specific, to save you scrolling across your city to find it. You can change the angle of the camera too, if you require to see something from a different angle. 4 views are available with the press of a shoulder button rotating the camera 90 degrees. For some reason though the will take a few seconds to load after pressing. This gets annoying if you are rotating the camera often, so I picked the view I liked and stuck with it.
To add longevity to the game, DLC have been added to the title with the potential for more in the future. These come if the form of additional scenarios. From my experience with them they turn the difficulty up to 11! Your actions in the main game left consequences elsewhere, but in the DLC, there is a real sense of meaning behind every action that you do. This company will not run itself and it’s completely up to the player to get everything right and deal with whatever consequences may arise from them.
In conclusion, A Train City Simulator is a game that demands your time and 100% of your attention. If you have the patience for it and excel, then the reward can be very fulfilling. If you are a casual gamer, or simply don’t have the time to sink into a management title, then this isn’t for you. All in all though this game is a tough nut to crack, but if you do crack it there is a sweet gooey centre to enjoy, just remember to wash your hands afterwards…
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