The gameplay is the real winner in Train Valley, as it manages to be both frustrating and addictive, but also incredibly rewarding once you finally complete the mission with all the objectives.
Train Valley has surprised in so many ways. An interesting, challenging and detailed game in a lovingly small and pleasing package. Offering hours of track building and train crashing in what seems like it should be a basic package. Pure proof that pumping a product full of extra features, that prove extraneous at best, isn't the way to go.
A puzzling management sim where you direct trains through history and across the globe.
Even though my initial experience was soured with technical problems (which the score is affected by), Train Valley is at least a fairly good puzzle game that gets by with its pleasing aesthetics and easy to understand mechanics, but still manages to supply a challenging and enjoyable game within its limited scope.
The game feels like kit-bashed mechanics wrapped in clean and inoffensive modelling and UI design. The core design of the game is pleasant enough, but it is not accompanied by interesting creative tools or mechanical challenges. I like the idea of placing players in different eras and locations, giving them unique tools appropriate to the setting, and seeing what they can do, but at the moment there is just not the depth of play in Train Valley to support that idea.
Overall I'd have to say Train Valley is one of the more enjoyable puzzle games in recent years, combining logical thought with time management, all at a pseudo-relaxing pace.
Slight niggles aside, Train Valley 2 is very easy to recommend to anyone wanting a laid-back management simulator. It’s a beautifully executed hybrid of puzzle game and tycoon sim that charms and challenges in equal measure.
Players will be caught up in the wonders of Train Valley as quickly as they learn how to work its mechanics and lay tracks like a rail tycoon, all thanks to its accessible nature and engaging gameplay. The experience gets more challenging over the course of the 24 levels, yet the optional objectives and sandbox mode mean that it caters to a range of skills, so any budding train managers can play without fear of being overwhelmed or bored. The low price of £6.99 means that there is fantastic value of money for pretty much anyone who picks it up as it is easy to quickly get hooked on making the most lucrative and efficient rail networks possible to finish not only all 24 levels, but also all of the optional objectives. Anyone who remains to be convinced should try the free demo on Steam - it is highly likely that it will soon be followed by a purchase of the full version.
Don't get me wrong, this is a fine, challenging little game, but I emphasise 'little'. This kind of game seems to befit the phone a tad more. Still, what we have here is good – up until you crash trains, that is...