Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell-trains!!
Train Fever is the latest Simulator game to enter the fray and has been developed by Urban Games and is the first game to be released by the studio. Pitting itself against similar games like Railroad Tycoon, OpenTTD and other simulator games that have hit the market recently, Train Fever aims to make a name for itself in what seem to be an oversaturated genre. Let’s get our Train Driver hats on and pull into this review!
The game starts you off in the year of 1850, just recently deciding to start up a transportation company, what seems to be a monopoly for you as no one else seems to have had this idea beforehand. You start off with simple bus routes within a few small towns and villages to setting up train lines between the cities themselves, however trains are a bit out of your price range at the beginning.
As you grow you Transportation Empire you gain both money from the business you do and experience from the challenges and achievements that you complete. The money you gain will then be either used to pay off your loan or to improve your lines and add more vehicles, with the majority of the game leaving you waiting on full speed to gain enough money to set up a better system.
Train Fever is open ended, but getting from year 1850 to year 1900 on full speed will take around 3-4 hours. The game life-span can also be shortened somewhat as you can choose the starting year on the new game menu, only if you have reached that time beforehand.
Gameplay in Train Fever is very similar to other simulations games, you are given a birds-eye view of the world and control almost the entire game with the mouse. Moving about is easy, right click and drag to move around the world with the middle mouse to pivot your view as well as zoom in and out, left clicking allows you to select any object in the world be it building or vehicle.
The game’s main mechanic is building the varying routes your transports will use, from bus stops and the order they go through them in, tramways and their lines on the roads to the train lines that span over the farm and hillsides of the map. Whether you place or drag the lines down the system is quite easy to use with the snapping and auto-creation mechanic which can basically do an entire line for you.
While the main purpose of the game is to create these transportations lines, for people or for goods, you might be spending the vast majority of your time waiting for the money to start coming in, sometime for years on end as the maintenance costs of buildings and the replacing of old vehicles will definitely send you back some, not to mention some trains start at $450k and you might barely scratch together around $50-100k a year in profits.
Overall thoughts and Feelings
The game has a vast selection of music on offer, with an inbuilt music player where you can adjust the volume, skip to another song or stop it all together, which is a welcome feature to have. The music itself is very calming and feels that is in the right place within the game and it’s setting, though with the tracks sounding so similar to each other you might decide to turn them music off and have your own as the hours draw on.
The game is very smooth, even with all its procedurally generated buildings and continuing expansion therewithin, I only ever notice frame drops when starting up the game and after that I find no problems with it. Besides its solid frames the game is very good looking in the graphic department, the buildings look detailed just like the transport systems, however you might not decide to zoom in to find that out.
Overall I give Train Fever a 3/5, it is without a doubt from of the better train simulators I have played and is very detailed for the first game by a studio. The game becomes too boring after a while though, with half the game being a waiting game for a profit to start being made. Fans of the genre will enjoy this game but if you have little patience you might want to give this one a miss.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.