Railways: Train Simulator is a soothing, colorful puzzle game that's perfect for when you just want something casual and enjoyable to play. It's challenging enough to keep you focused while calming enough to put you in an almost meditative state.
Title: Railways: Train Simulator
Release Date: July 7, 2022
Price: Varies by platform, between $1.99 and $4.99
Suggested Audience Age: Rated E for Everyone by the ESRB
Availability: Switch, Google Play, App Store
Recommended for fans of: Trains, puzzles, and maybe Snakey Bus.
Geek to Geek Media was provided with a review copy of this title.
Direct Train Traffic
Each level in Railways: Train Simulator is made of a few tracks and some colorful scenery. A train, this one blue, wants to pick up the blue passengers. So you tell the train to change tracks so it's on the same one as the passengers. And that sounds easy. But the game adds more brightly colored trains and more tracks. And soon keeping all the different trains switching to the tracks their passengers are on without colliding becomes a real challenge.
One cool thing is the trains are identifiable by not only their color but also their symbol. This is great for accessibility for people with vision problems.
After the first couple of levels, I thought the game was too easy. But like any good puzzle game, it was just teaching me the basics. Then it got hectic.
The trouble is that when you make a train switch tracks it can collide with the train already on that track. And because there is a delay when changing tracks it's easy to think a move is safe when it isn't. Still, you could easily beat every level if you had all day to play it. Of course, you don't have all day though…there's a timer on each level. If you want the highest score you have to go fast. And that's where it gets hard.
Then It Gets Harder
To make things even trickier Railroads: Train Simulator arranges the tracks in creative ways. You aren't just switching between the top, middle, and bottom track anymore. Now you're switching all over the place. This was when I turned off the show I was listening to while playing because I needed to focus.
There are lots of puzzle games on Switch. But what I love about this one is the meditative state it put me in. I think it's the movement of the trains down the tracks. I've always loved trains. Something about the way they move and flow is beautiful to me. The bright colors and music make this game calm and fun and pleasant. Despite what I said about the challenge it isn't frustrating, its difficulty is just right. For a fairly cheap, mobile puzzle game I think it's really great.