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Grab your engineer’s cap and blow that whistle, it’s time to conquer the iron road with Train Valley.  At first glance and after playing tycoon games with vast maps it’s easy to think this game is for the youngWe were challenged within the third level, losing trains and going bankrupt.

The maps fit on one screen but they’re populated with random buildings, rocks, debris and treesThis means that if you fail your mission and reload the map, you may still need to layout different routes.

Train ValleyLaying track and connecting the stations that are built for you is the first step, then comes the highlight of Train Valley.  When trains are ready to depart, a bell is sounded and an icon shows at a station indicating which station it wants to go toYou need to organise a route and click the station to send it on its wayYou could be brave and juggle multiple trains on a route, we did and found a train we thought was clear crashing into another.

Sending trains on their way, you are in control of the points they will crossAs a train you’ve previously sent heads over tracks in the opposing direction, it’ll change automatically so as not to de-railThis is where we found ourselves thinking a route was fine but didn’t take into account other trains already on routeNext thing we knew there were trains going in the wrong direction or crashing into each other.

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This logistical nightmare is just so much fun and you’ll find the stress of managing so much lingering in your chestYou don’t need to worry where the stations go, Train Valley handles that for youStations, tunnels and bridges will appear as the level progressesStations don’t always pop up in the same order either, further forcing each play through to be different.

Train ValleyThere are four countries each with six areas to playThe first five will have goals like earning a certain amount of money, avoiding crashes and moreThe sixth area is a free-for-all where your only goal is to finish with as much money as you canTake all that you’ve practised and juggle the demand of each train for a determined amount of time.

The time you’re given in each area is shown as a month/year on a progress barThis changes depending on the area, but as each year finishes you’re hit with an annual taxThis is where we came unstuck again, besides being surprised by two trains collidingIf you spend too much money laying track and destroying scenery the tax could send you bankruptIf you go bankrupt, the area fails and you’ll have to give it another go.

The financial restriction is a great little mechanic because a train may not make it to a station in time to provide the income you needThis forces you to use the track you’ve laid so far and make decisions on which trains you’ll set in motion.

Another train based game you might like - Mini Metro Review

Train ValleyThe longer a train takes to get to its station the less money it’s worthAs time progresses so does the power and speed of trains, but faster trains will lose money faster as wellSo, leaving these trains in the station will cost you more than you expected.  Train Valley doesn’t indicate what type of train will be pulling out of the stationAs it leaves, that’s when you’ll find out how fast it’ll be travellingYou may need to stop a train momentarily to stop it from crashing into a slower train.

You can stop trains at almost any moment and tell it to reverse direction or continue on once it’s stoppedIt takes a small distance to stop but it can be enough for a panic move to not work and you’ll lose both trainsSometimes we were forced to lay track in a way that a train needed to go over a set of points then reverse into the station.

The only real criticism that we have for this game is the musicIt’s nice but it gets repetitive really quicklyWe played with the music off from the second level onwardsThis didn’t really detract from the game and we didn’t expect a full orchestral set for a game this size so don’t let it sway your decision.

Train ValleyTrain Valley doesn’t have or need difficulty settings, it’s a set of challenges that’s left to you to fixLoading is fast and when we failed, we wanted to get right back into it and try againAlso when we didn’t complete all the goals, those goals are now on our to-do listIf you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, you can pause the game at any timeThis allows you to look at what’s going on and make decisions at your own paceThat being said a surprising crash or incorrect station will always happen.

Train Valley is only $9.99 USD ($13 AUD) this game is easily worth $20 USD in our books.  It’s a bargain price and you’ll re-visit this over and over.  Amazing effort from the 3 man team.

Official Train Valley Website

Train Valley

Train Valley
9

Enjoyment

10/10

    Gameplay

    10/10

      Visual

      9/10

        Audio

        8/10

          Pros

          • Addictive
          • Feels like a logistical juggle
          • Great goals
          • Intuitive
          • Levels change on each start

          Cons

          • Music got repetitive fast
          • No camera rotation