A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism – Review
Follow Genre: Simulation
Developer: Artdink
Publisher: Artdink
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism – Review

Site Score
6.0
Good: Deep and engaging gameplay
Bad: Horrible tutorials, Input lag, Switch is not capable of running the game smoothly, Dated graphics
User Score
5.6
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.6/10 (5 votes cast)

Simulation games are now more in than ever. The ‘simulation genre’ squeezes out many releases per year, some ranging from impressive racing games to real-life experiences and of course also silly games such as Goat Simulator. That being said, in the past we had many games such as this along the lines of Transport Tycoon, Railroad Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon (you may see a recurring trend in their names), and it seems this old-school format is gaining traction again. We have had a proper zoo simulator experience in Planet Zoo, but even Jurassic World Evolution was well received by simulation enthusiasts. Now, we dive back into a more traditional setting where being the head of a railroad company also meant you would shape and develop the towns around your stations.

Story

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism’s story is in fact quite simple. You’re the new head of a big railroad company, and you will have to meet expectations and achieve goals to succeed in this business. If you don’t? You’ll be replaced faster than an HSR gets to full speed.

The narrative is basically just a small red thread to hold onto, while actually just playing a complete management and simulation experience. The game will introduce you to different characters, who mainly serve to guide you through the (very long) basics of the game and to get that engine going.

Graphics

Graphically, A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism looks quite horrible if we have to be completely honest. Sure, the game has some personality, and it’s nice to see the surrounding areas flourish and turn into big cities, it’s also clearly visible that this game looks dated from every point of view. As the maps can be quite large, and there are a lot of structures that have to be spawned, the Switch cannot process the game at all. You’ll have constant texture popping, draw distance issues, and so on. If you wish to enhance the settings, the game will run even worse.

The UI is quite clear, albeit sometimes a bit cluttered with too many available icons. These icons do represent what they do quite clearly, and some also indicate what button you need to press to access or perform them. Pressing them, however, does not mean that game will respond, which is one of the biggest issues in terms of gameplay.

Sound

The sound design of the game is actually quite decent. While nothing overly special happens in the music department, the game has a relaxing atmosphere. It would have been nice, however, to have voice acting for the many tutorials that are thrown in your face.

Gameplay

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism is actually a very traditional simulation game that is very engaging and expansive, but also a bit stuck in the past of when games like Transport Tycoon reigned supreme. Nonetheless, the core loop is quite interesting, and there’s a lot more to do than manage a few stations and trains. The success of your company also makes the surrounding cities bloom and grow further, demanding even more of your assets. The game will guide you through lengthy and bland tutorials before you can power up your engines. We do feel like the game should have opted to give you small tutorials, let you come to grips with the mechanics that were just shown and then present you with a new tutorial, rather than a fully loaded train of tutorials before diving into the actual substance of the game.

When looking at the controls, we were pleasantly surprised to see that touch-screen functionalities have been fully embedded into the experience. For navigating menus, when playing handheld, this was a mighty big convenience. When actually having to build stations and lay tracks (or stops and roads), we enjoyed using the controller much more.

The biggest issue with the game is not the fact that you almost need a bachelor’s degree to figure things out, but the fact that it doesn’t really run all that smoothly on the Switch. More than often we had to go through loading screens, while nothing was happening, or commands didn’t register for them to suddenly trigger seven times in a row, etc.

Conclusion

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism is actually a great and engaging sim game if you can overcome the initial threshold and the many issues it has on the Nintendo Switch. The overall game has a lot to offer, with fairly intricate and complex mechanics that go beyond just building a functional transportation system to connect different towns or cities. While the overall content is quite nice, this game is made for a PC experience as the Switch’s hardware struggles to cope with what is being rendered, even with the low quality of graphics on display. Sim and management fans will get a kick out of A-Train if they can wade through the extremely long tutorials and buy the game at a hefty discount. The current price tag may be justifiable for the content the game has to offer, but not for the quality that seems to dip more often than not.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.6/10 (5 votes cast)
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A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism - Review, 5.6 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
Ibuki


Aspiring ninja.

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