CHOOCHOO, all aboard! I have reviewed several train related games for P2R over the years but haven’t played one quite like this. From simulators to side scrolling shooters, the train themed games have all come around, but nothing like Tracks has ever hit my console before. Tracks is an open environment where you the player control not only the train, but how the tracks are laid out and the construction of the cities you travel through.
The basic idea of Tracks is you have to take passengers from their pick up point to a train station. Where this gets tricky is figuring out the best route to lay your tracks and how to get them back to the station. This is because the levels have varying heights and obstacles you have to navigate through. For instance, one level is a bedroom that has a bunk bend, desks, and shelves. You have to pick up passengers from under, on the first bed, and on the second bunk bed the drop them off on the desk where the train station is located. This has many height changes and trying to connect all your tracks together can get quite complex.
I was worried about how the controls for the train and the track layout were going to run but I was surprised everything is very streamlined the switching between controlling the train and laying track is quick. The highlighting where your next piece is going to land is easy to understand and the switching of track directions shows directional arrows making it easy. Although sometimes even when highlighted one direction the train will go another. The object menu is vast and has many different objects from buildings, plants, cars, people, and even terrain editing. The placement is easy with gridlines so you know right where the item is going. There is some very cool placeable items such as a turntable to switch trains around, tunnels and corkscrew track pieces. With all of the vast placeable set pieces you can really make any style of train set you want. You can make chaotic train routes or more simplistic city designs, the choice is yours.
All in all Tracks is a great, easy going game where you control everything and can make a chaotic layout that goes all around the level, or make a super realistic model train set. This game is very solid, so I had a hard time finding any flaws for the review. One that jumps out is if you get a little reckless and your train derails it can be hard to place tracks to get the train back on track. No sort of train master reset button is available, which can be frustrating. In addition, there is no multiplayer or track sharing. This would have been really cool to be able to share layouts that you have made or download other maps . Designing your own train layout really brings me back to days of playing with Thomas the train engine. Now you can build as much as you want without your mom yelling at you.
*Note: A copy of the title was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 8/10
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