Review: Train Fever

train fever (5)

It’s the year 1850, and there are great times ahead! Establish a transport company and be its manager. Build infrastructure such as railways and stations, purchase transportation vehicles and manage lines. Fulfill the people’s needs and watch cities evolve dynamically. Train Fever runs on an engine specifically developed for this game.

train fever (4)

Pros:

  • Really detailed graphics set within a truly 3D world. The detail on each individual train/building is of a high standard.
  • Full soundtrack that brings the mellow with a few borderline tracks that wouldn’t sound out of place in a adult video. The sound effect of the trains is realistic and some how soothing. For in game music you also have a control panel to swap songs.
  • A sim like no other, First impression is its just another train simulator but do some digging and you get a solid sim covering all areas. You can build bus networks as well as trains. Do trade runs, carry passengers and grow!
  • Unique mechanic in which the game reacts to your actions. The world around your lines will actually react to your actions and grow accordingly. Again, Depending on how you play will determine how the game world will change.
  • Basic tutorial. It is literally a quick how to for placing lines and roads but its better than nothing.
  • In depth video options that allow you to change many options like: v-sync,AA,SSAO along with the usual suspects like resolution, graphic quality.
  • Game setup settings allow you to set difficulty, name your game,if you start on a hilly/mixed/flat world and a you get a cool level generator tool. First seen by me in a Worms game you can type whatever you want into the level generator to create some crazy game worlds.
  • Steam achievements.
  • Building and placing lines and roads is really easy to do and the game will tell you if you cause any conflicts like hitting buildings or are on a hill too steep.
  • You have a budget and everything you do has a cost. You balance the books by doing tasks like transporting goods or providing a transport network for civilians.
  • Zoom controls are worth a separate entry as its really well done. On the fly you can scroll wheel in and out of the game world seamlessly.
  • Train physics are spot on, Speed reacts to criteria like load size, hill steepness and any line restrictions.
  • The game allows you to play how you want, Focus on just transporting cargo, build a huge passenger network or play a balanced game, Its all up to you.
  • The map itself is huge and you can play anywhere on it or use the whole thing!
  • Viewing stats/Statuses of trains is all done in real time with up to the second results showing.
  • Game speed settings go slow,fast or pause the game.
  • Unlock new periods in time to get different trains/technology and grow with the times.
  • Upgrade buildings/lines/roads.
  • Tools allow you to actually change the game field as it were. Get a digger out and flatten hills or make your own hills!

train fever (3)

Cons:

  • Menu issues like the font is too small, Windows do not self close or disappear when you move away from them, They clash with each other and overlap.
  • Needs a better tutorial.
  • Performance overall needs some work as my i5 rig had serious issues at times.
  • No undo button as you place lines.
  • Had a few instances where upgrading buildings meant I had to knock them down first.

train fever (1)

In Summary, For fans of the genre, You will get more out of this than a new person. It has so many great ideas and can look really good. Unfortunately a series of bugs and poor UI choices stop it from being as accessible as it should be. I mean its a great Sunday afternoon brain workout but to get enjoyment does take some time. The learning curve is huge and with no set goals, Motivation and direction can be hard to find. I did enjoy my time with it once it all clicked into place but in today’s market the game needs to be in a shape where its available to everyone and doesn’t require a lot of reading and learning. Fans of the genre are exception to this rule for the most part and can get cracking on discovering the brilliant mechanics hidden beneath the surface. I would say as is today the game is more for the fans of the genre and new players should watch a few videos first and see if they have the time to invest.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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