Train Valley – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle, Casual
Developer: Alexey Davydov, Sergey Dvoynikov, Timofey Shargorodskiy
Publisher: Flazm
Platform: PC
Tested On: PC

Train Valley – Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Very addictive, yet relaxing at the same time.
Bad: Fairly simple.
User Score
8.0
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Do you like Trains? Do you like Puzzles? Do you like slamming two passenger trains into each other at high speed whilst laughing manically? Yeah, uh me neither… Then you’ll love Train Valley, the train management puzzle game. It may be have been released a year ago, but it has certainly not lost any of its shine. It’s time to get your hard hat on and your dynamite ready as you prepare to lay your track. So lets stoke the boiler, grease the rails and take the old beauty out for a spin.20161212204753_1Story

You are put in charge of a railway network at the dawn of the age of railroads, and progress through Europe and then the rest of the world. The trains and terrain will change as you go, in order to match the location and the time-frame that you are in. Your progress is displayed through a book with stamps marking each location and with each page being dedicated to a particular continent or area. That’s really about all there is to it. As a puzzle game, there isn’t really much in the way of story and to be honest, you don’t need any more than that.20161211193525_1Graphics

The graphics are all in quite cartoony in style but are actually pretty good and the backgrounds are varied and full of life. The game is displayed in standard top-down style, although you can zoom in and out as required. As you progress through different countries, you get a real feel for the culture and landscape from the surrounding environment and backgrounds. The trains also change dramatically as you progress through time, which is a really nice touch. Expect to see everything from passenger trains, to ore hauling trains, to bullet trains.20161212205120_1Sound

The music is great, really fun, and keeps in the theme of each level’s location and aesthetic. It’s very upbeat throughout and adds to the laid-back feel of the whole title, which really helps you relax and just lose yourself in puzzling out your train routes and timings. The sound effects are likewise fun and entertaining, and you will soon find yourself scanning your stations frantically whenever you hear the telltale ding of a train really to be deployed from the station.20161212205345_1Gameplay

Whilst the pictures and aesthetic may make this title seem to be something of a train company management game, this is not really the case. Train Valley is actually a laid back, casual puzzle game. When the level begins you are generally shown two or more unlinked train stations and you are given free reign over building railroads, with each piece of track generally costing $1000, although it costs more to go through obstacles like farms, trees and homes.20161211200225_1Trains will then start to appear in random stations with a target station displayed. You can click on a train at any time to dispatch it, but the sooner you get the train to its destination, the more money it makes you. You will also get hit with a harsh tax every year, so it’s important to ensure that you have enough cash on hand to pay up. The aim of the game is to ensure that as many of your trains as possible reach their destinations, without you going bankrupt. As you play, more and more train stations will appear around the map and your trains will run faster and it becomes more and more difficult to keep all your trains running without a hitch or delays. It’s all too easy to slightly mistime a route and suddenly have a head-on collision on your hands.

You are generally forced to use as much as the same track as possible because laying more is so expensive. Running tracks together automatically creates railroad switches so you can manually swap between lines and choose where each passing train will be directed. You can also pause time while you plan your routes, or speed it up if things are moving along too slowly.20161211202043_1As you progress you will also often come across natural barriers that block the route between your stations, such as rivers or mountains that you will need to use a bridge or tunnel to cross. The addition of choke-points like this also helps to ramp up the difficulty as you progress through the game. If merely beating each level isn’t enough, there are also usually three optional objectives per level (such as never sending a train to the wrong station, or having no crashes) which earn you stamps for your “book”.

Whilst the game is really quite easy in the beginning, the difficulty really starts to ramp up as you progress and you will have to keep coming up with new ways to keep your trains running but not colliding. Something that we didn’t realise at first is that you can actually stop your trains mid-line and reverse them for a small charge, which is something that can make the difference between a giant train wreck or not.20161211195234_1That’s really all there is to it. Trains appear randomly around the map and you click on them to set them rolling whilst building track and using switches to ensure that they reach their destinations without a crash or delay. Each level offers a new challenge and backdrop, and the constant addition of new layouts, natural barriers and trains helps to keep things fresh throughout.

Conclusion

If you pick up this game expecting it to be a rail tycoon-esque management game then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Train valley is nothing like those particular type of games, but if you gave it a chance, you would be pleasantly surprised when you find yourself addicted to this fun little puzzle game. At it’s base, that is all there is to it, a simple yet very fun and addictive casual puzzler that keeps on giving and is great to relax to at the end of a long day. Plus for the price, it is cracking value.20161211202055_1

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Rating: 8.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Train Valley - Review, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

2 Comments

  1. […] successor to the well received Train Valley is almost under us! Featuring six different generations of locomotives spread over 50 levels, this […]

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  2. […] Fans of the popular Train Valley 2 game can start blowing their whistle, the game will release with the level editor the developers use themselves to create the game. The level editor will be fully integrated with Steam Workshop so you can share your levels with the world. Currently the game is in early access on Steam. Below you’ll find the first of three clips in which the developers explain how to use the editor. The game is a train tycoon management puzzle game in which you build and manage railroads across the world between 1830 and 2020. Some countries who shall not be named could learn a thing or two about running trains on a tight schedule.You can find our review of the first game right here. […]

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