Pandemic Train – Review
Follow Genre: Strategy, Action
Developer: Trigger Labs
Publisher: Trigger Labs, Games Operators, PlayWay
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Pandemic Train – Review

Site Score
Good: Has the basics for a nice management and action game
Bad: Does not do anything with the basics
User Score
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Zombie games never get old. Tons of them came out over the years and that train isn’t slowing down. Every story tries to spin it differently though. Zombies, Infected, Ridden, Walkers, Shamblers, you name it and it has been used. The cause of the “doom of humanity” is also different each time. So far we’ve seen a virus, a plague, mutations, armageddon, religious mishaps, and more. This is why, what really matters in zombie stories is either the unique stories from survivors’ perspectives or how original or fun gameplay can be. We feel like Pandemic Train originally set out with this in mind but sadly failed to deliver.


In the case of Pandemic Train the world is ending with a plague. Luckily, there’s still a “League of Survivors” that has some very smart scientists who are trying to find a cure. Some survived the plague and are thriving in a violent environment, letting anarchy rain as they crown themselves king. The player is tasked to find those survivors by going on a train and fighting themselves through multiple landscapes alongside the locomotive’s tracks. During this time you encounter many hostiles, both human and non-human, while you need to keep your people on the train alive and healthy. There are not a lot of cutscenes present, but the flow of the story does allow for some in-game conversations with NPCs that give a tiny bit of backstory or objectives with unique rewards.


We did appreciate the game’s graphics, where especially as you get further along, the game grows moodier and therefore more visually interesting. The UI of the game can be described as a gritty graphic novel style with large portraits of characters when you talk with them. The other graphics of the game consist of some simple but efficient 3D models that can feel a bit empty as you roam similar locations on certain parts of the map, but mostly this empty feeling is created by a lack of gameplay. There’s not much wrong with the graphics, it’s mainly how they are used, which we will discuss in the gameplay section.


The sound design is not bad, but the quality could have been quite a bit better. As with many indie games, you often get the sense that the developer hired “amateurish professionals”, or people who just can’t create top-tier audio. The voice acting is a bit off at times but this can be overlooked. What’s more annoying is that while the background music is reasonably alright it’s also very repetitive. It’s the same loop over and over again, and it changes to a different loop of the same quality when the player gets in a combat situation. The sound effects are probably the part we found the least annoying, as the gunshots, train sounds, and more sound pretty good.


The biggest issue we had with Pandemic Train is the gameplay. This is a game that tries to incorporate some management elements and essentially is a top-down action adventure, but none of the elements are fleshed out properly. To properly explain, we will explain how the game is divided. Part of the game you will ride a train from location to location, and during this time you need to give your personnel on the train some tasks to keep food and water stocks maintained, build new stuff such as a gun workshop, and eventually try to find things to counter the plague effects. While it’s a system that can work well and has some good examples in more entertaining titles such as the popular mobile game Fallout Shelter, in Pandemic Train it does not feel right. None of your choices really matter for the survival of those on board the train as it’s rather easy, and tasks make up a list of mundane chores that you do by clicking around a bit. What’s even more infuriating is that the space in the train is really limited for the amount of options the game gives you to build, so you will just have to get rid of other stuff for no good reason.

This is also the synopsis for the rest of the gameplay. When you are not on the train maintaining your crew, you are stopping on a small map for some resources that you get by fighting your way through a confined area. In this area, you can sneak your way past some enemies to backstab them, or shoot some others that you can’t avoid. Getting attacked and dodging these attacks, especially melee, is really easy and barely makes a difference even if you do get hit. It’s not hard to heal up with the resources that you get or the train rooms that can heal you. Due to this, the game once again becomes a boring list of tasks where you need to click from point A to B on the map as you easily wade through the corpses of enemy NPCs with poor AI.

These lackluster gameplay elements make other elements, such as choosing your next destination where one might give you more food and the other might give you water, also feel pointless. We think that Pandemic Train actually has a lot of basic game elements that are fine for what they are, but that the developers stopped developing at the crucial point to actually go further from a functional game to a fun game.


While Pandemic Train has alright graphics and sound, and the story could be interesting, it’s mostly the gameplay that’s boring and stopped us from wanting to play any further. The repetitive actions, poor AI, and most of all the fact that none of your choices seem to matter are what makes Pandemic Train not so fun.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 3.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Pandemic Train - Review, 3.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

I'm a game designer, developer, and reviewer. I've been reviewing for since 2017.

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