Train Valley 2 – Review
Follow Genre: Casual, Indie, Simulation, Strategy
Developer: Alexey Davydov, Sergey Dvoynikov, Timofey Shargorodskiy
Publisher: Flazm
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Train Valley 2 – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Addictive
Bad: Dragging tracks doesn't always do what you expect
User Score
8.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Have you ever had one of those train sets? Be it Lego or wood, they shared a common problem. You never had enough rails to make the track that you wanted and you always had to improvise with tunnels and bridges. Luckily thanks to science and huge IT companies we can now solve these problems by creating digital worlds. Because in the digital world we never ever run out of rails.

Story

Train Valley 2 is a puzzle game and it contains about as much story as the national average for story in puzzle games, being not a whole lot. The game is not focused on bringing a story, but it does contain some elements that could tell a story. The levels of the game take you from the early steam train days to the future of magnetic high-speed trains. By collecting stars in the various levels, you can unlock new types of trains. In conclusion Train Valley 2 doesn’t have any story to speak of but does offer an insight in the evolution of the train. This lack of story is not an issue as it not often expected in the puzzle game genre.

Graphics

The game has a very beautiful low poly style. While in the old days low poly was the only way to go, now it’s making a comeback as a style. If you’re not familiar with these older games, you might also compare the style to church windows, the images portrayed in the window are made from a small amount of shapes making them look blocky. It suits the game very well, it makes sure you’re not distracted by things that don’t matter as well as making it suitable to run on all platforms even less performant as smartphones. The overall textures are very colorful giving the game a very bright and happy feel. While the game contains dozens of levels they do look distinct enough.

Sound

The game features an upbeat electronic sound with a hint of instruments. While the music itself isn’t bad it is not super memorable. Since the levels are short and require a lot of focus, the non-intrusive music is actually a plus. The sound effects are relatively simple and limited but they fit the overall style of the game. Important sounds, like trains leaving the station, are very distinct and to help when things get more complicated. Overall the music and sound effects are minimalistic but serve their purpose and don’t distract.

Gameplay

Train Valley 2 is a puzzle-strategy train simulator. We can divide that in two to make it a little clearer. The train simulation part is focused on the management aspect of the trains you put on the tracks while the puzzle-strategy is all about building the tracks in the most efficient way as possible. The game features about fifty levels, solving the first level will unlock the next one and so on. Each level is a self-contained puzzle with specific objectives. During each level you can earn five stars, each star is linked to an objective. Three of the objectives are time based. For example, complete the level in five minutes, seven minutes and nine minutes. So depending on your speed you can already gain zero to three stars. The other two objectives can be a variety of different things like a spending limit, a limit to how much tracks you can build or whether you are allowed to buy upgrades. These objectives make each level just a little different from the previous one.

The main goal of each puzzle is to connect various buildings with train tracks and transport a specific amount of goods between the buildings. There are two types of buildings. Each map will have one or more towns. These towns continuously produce workers and require several products like glass, bricks and cows to be delivered to in order to finish the level. On the other hand, there are mines and factories. They both require workers to be able to produce something. A sand quarry just requires workers to produce sand, but a glass factory will need sand as well as workers to produce glass. Building tracks is done by clicking on an already existing track and dragging in the direction you want. This not always smooth and sometimes has strange behavior. This is relatively minor if you are aware of it since as long as you don’t release the left mouse button you can right click to cancel the track. What is more annoying is when the tracks didn’t connect to create a switch, meaning you created a dead end with realizing it cause the first train to reach the spot explodes. All in all most of these nuisances can be avoided by staying focused but are certainly worth mentioning.

To tackle these problems, you have two resources at your disposal; money and trains. Both are limited. With the money you can build track, bridges, tunnels, buildings, repair trains, upgrade trains and clear land. With the trains you can transport the goods between stations and once a train delivers its load you can reuse it for the next trip. Upgrading trains make them faster and able to carry more resources. A train starts with a capacity of two and can be upgraded several times. When a train delivers goods at a building or town you earn money. Sending a train doesn’t cost anything. This is your only means of income. You can dispatch a train with resources by clicking the icon on the station when it becomes available.

What makes the game challenging is that you build a single track that can be used by trains in both directions, meaning you always need to be careful of collisions. This gets more difficult when tracks start to cross each other, and you have switches that you need to manage. Something that wasn’t clearly explained in the sporadic popups is that trains can be stopped and turned around by clicking on them. As long as you keep focused you can prevent accidents, as they cause the trains involved to be disabled until repaired which cost money, causes a delay and might destroy tracks in the process. A handy feature is the pause button as there is no way to save the game.

Conclussion

Train Valley 2 is a beautiful looking puzzle game. The puzzles grow increasingly difficult and the five star system adds an incentive to replay the levels you didn’t get five stars on before. Considering the levels take between ten and thirty minutes to solve, it will keep you entertained for a while. You will run into strange behavior sometimes when you are dragging to create tracks. This behavior may or may not ruin your experience of this fun puzzle game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Train Valley 2 - Review, 8.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Rex
Rex


I am an Illustrator/Artist who studies Concept Art and Game Design in my free time. Designing things is in my blood and I am always very curious in making games. Motivated and dedicated to become better in every way I can. You only live once and I intend to fully enjoy it! As for gaming itself I do prefer to play the following games: FPS, RPG, Action Adventure Games, Fighting Games, Hack and Slash.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.