I’m back, my people!
Oh wow, it’s been quite some times since I posted anything here. Have no fear, I’m back now! And I also got a much longer and heavier post ready to be published. In the meanwhile, I hope this light post on the latest game I’ve been playing would whet your appetite.
So, what is Pocket Trains? Is it some sort of Tamagotchi game where you raise train that grows longer and longer? Well, the truth isn’t far off, because instead of raising a train, you’re managing a network of railroads that grows larger and larger.
Pocket Trains is the latest game from Nimble Bit, a game studio known for its addicting timer-based game Tiny Tower. So as you might expect, Pocket Trains is another one of their attempt at the casual, timer-based simulation genre. On Pocket Trains, you will send various trains across the world, wait for them to arrive at their destination, and then proceed to collect the reward. The reward you get can be used to grow your railroad empire by purchasing track to another city or building a new train you can use.
Despite being a timer-based game, Pocket Trains isn’t one of those games where you can advance by just mindlessly tapping stuff on the screen. For each train you have, you must manually choose which stuff the train will deliver. Since different jobs have different reward, there’s some sort of tactical aspect to the game where player must choose the best route and jobs to attain the best reward possible.
To be honest though, I still can’t decide wheter this tactical layer a bad thing or a good thing. It sure brings more depth to the game, but it also brings more complexity.
In addition to the standard delivery job, Pocket Trains also has daily events to spice things up. Every day (real life day) you will get a new random goal to deliver stuff to (or from) a certain location. I really like the addition of daily goals on this type of game. It gives a smaller goal that player can chase everyday so they won’t just play around aimless.
Speaking of aimlessness, despite the addition of daily events, progression (or the lack of it) is a major problem in Pocket Trains. Yes, your railroad empire gets bigger and you also have more trains to manage, but the game does a really poor job of conveying this growth. The railroads isn’t getting more used, the stuff you deliver stays the same, even the stations aren’t getting more crowded.
Part of the problem with the progression is the low amount of available upgrades. You can only upgrade the train fuel capacity and how much stuff it could carry. So no, you can’t make your trains go faster or use the fuel more efficient or any other upgrades you can think of. I mean, it’s called Pocket Trains for god’s sake, so why can’t I tinker with those trains?
I may have been a bit harsh on Pocket Trains on my writing here (still, Nimble Bit has shown that they can do better), but it’s still a game I’d easily recommend to anyone. Despite all its flaws, Pocket Trains is still a good game that you can easily get into when you found yourself with a tiny bit of free time. And it’s free too!
For the time being though, I’m still waiting for that Tiny Deathstar 😉