There is a certain sense of control and omnipotence inherent in the spirit of the collector, which is well associated with that typical of strategic and management video games. For this reason, when trains are added to a mechanics based on the control of resources and the management of communication and transport lines, the combination can be explosive, as demonstrated by the numerous games of the genre that have come out over the years. The various railway Tycoons have long been the exclusive prerogative of the PC sector but lately they have also made their way widely on mobile platforms, where they can already count on numerous alternatives even if often dangerously entangled with the various monetary mechanics related to free-to-play. and possibly pay to win. Among the most interesting proposals of this period we can consider Trainstation 2: Railway Empire for iOS and Android, subject of this review.
The aim of the game is the management of a wide railway network, divided into various geographical regions and mainly focused on the control of individual trains and on the logistics of travel. There structure it is greatly streamlined and simplified compared to certain deep simulations that can be found on PC, to meet the control system and the typical use of games on mobile platforms, however the elements to be kept under control are different and progressively increase in quantity and stratification , making Trainstation 2 a rather profound title, albeit always very clear and easy to approach. There are three main floors to keep under control: the construction of the fleet of trains, with the conquest of new locomotives and wagons and their continuous improvement, the logistics of transport, usually satisfying various requests from one station to another and finally the construction of the stations themselves and the corresponding urban agglomerations, which adds an element almost to be city builder to the whole mechanism of the game.
The train of desires
In most cases we find ourselves sending trains from one place to another trying to satisfy requests of various kinds: usually it involves transporting materials previously stored by the mines and then transformed through the factories that can be built and expanded at the central station , but there can be several "quests", such as simple passenger transport which usually results in good amounts of coins to be earned. Every mission completed loot door, represented by gems (the most important currency), coins and materials for upgrading trains or for trade, but also experience points that allow you to level up, an indispensable element to unlock new slots for the construction of factories and facilities in the station or opening up new opportunities for trade. There is also a kind of history which illustrates the progressive opening of the various regions in which it is possible to open new routes, each characterized by different environments and slightly different situations, but each separated from the other as a sort of levels with well-separated compartments. There is therefore no real expansion of the game world as much as the possibility of passing cleanly from one setting to another and carrying out missions on different places but without the possibility of communication between one and the other.
Trainstation 2 is a management software designed specifically for mobile platforms, therefore the interface is well thought out to be visible and optimally usable with the touch screen. It also follows a certain simplicity in terms of menus and submenus, which are well associated with a graphic characterization that points more to a good stylization in an almost cartoonish style than to a realistic representation, but everything is still presented in an excellent style. and with a remarkable level of detail. Being a free-to-play, it is clear where the typical traps of the monetization system lurk on a game based essentially on transport and construction: waiting times. Each journey requires a certain period of time to be completed and the most advanced and important missions extend these times considerably, reaching several minutes of waiting to be completed. It follows that it becomes necessary to interrupt the game and resume it later (the game continues the missions already started in idle, fortunately) or to spend the gems required to compress the times, but these are conquered in very limited quantities during the game and can be more easily bought with real money.
CommentTested version Android, iPad 1.7.0 Digital Delivery App Store, Google Play Price Free Resources4Gaming.com
The reduction and streamlining work carried out by Pixel Federation to build a railway management system capable of optimally adapting to the interface and style of mobile use such as TrainStation 2 is truly appreciable. The game is captivating, able to combine the spirit well. collectible on trains and the sense of control typical of management, also combining eclectic elements such as those relating to the city builder. The problem derives from the slightly too mechanical dynamics with which the missions are carried out, with an almost obligatory progression and little space left for choice and improvisation, in addition to the excessive use of expectations that often seems to push towards micro-transactions.
- Good mix of management, collection and construction elements
- Excellent interface and graphic characterization
- Constant progression on different environments
- A little too mechanical and not very free in the advancement
- Long and frequent waits seem to push micro-transactions