If you’re made of braver stuff than Alan and were intrigued by his review of A-Train HX, you might be interested to know that it’s successor The Train Giant comes out for release tomorrow on Steam.

Despite the name, The Train Giant does not let you play as a huge mechanised transport robot with cargo carriages for arms and a buffet car for a head. This left me slightly disappointed, but I got over it. The main aim of this title is to build a transport infrastructure for your chosen city, and like any good capitalist, make a bucket load of cash in the process.

Trains. Serious business.

First impressions instantly draw comparisons with classic genre titles like Sim City or the Tycoon series, but this game hides a depth and level of control that will either have you licking your lips with nerdish glee or leave you crying in the corner wailing about bus schedules. There’s an option to tweak almost every aspect of your city. You can lay tracks and roads for your trains and buses, build simple stops or huge transport stations or even control the individual routes of each vehicle. I’m sure at one point I found a tick box to put the bus drivers on nicotine patches so they don’t have to stop for smoke breaks.

It’s also had a significant graphical overhaul, retaining the simple styling of previous versions but with a nice new high definition polish. There’s an option to follow an individual vehicle at ground level, which affords a beautiful view of your city, even if it’s made slightly eerie by the complete lack of people. You can spend an incredible amount of time just watching your bus/train/van trundling around the city and its shows off the new graphics wonderfully.

The preview code we were shown featured a distinct lack of tutorial or help options, preferring to drop us straight into our role as transport tycoon (sorry) and it made for a rather intimidating start. Once in the game it became a little more apparent what we were doing…EVERYTHING. This isn’t just a train simulator, you need to worry about your cash-flow, the efficiency of your transport routes, tourism, industry, manufacturing materials and delivery routes to your building sites. There is so much to keep track of it made me think that it would be easier to be an actual transportation engineer, at least then I could delegate some of these tasks.

When I went in, these things were still running on steam!

If looking at bus routes, graphs and profit projections gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling then this will be the game for you. This isn’t just a management sim, it’s a micro-management sim. This is a game for the serious management-sim enthusiast.

If, like me, you’re the kind of person that plays Sim City 4 and turns most of the decisions to automatic, you will probably get lost in the menus and re-appear years later looking like Robin Williams in Jumanji.

The Train Giant will be available on PC in Gamersgate, Steam and retail forms from the 30th March.

Categories: Features, Previews
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