NimbleBit, creators of hits Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes released a trailer for their latest sim on 11th September. Those of you who've seen the Excited train guy video on YouTube will recognise the voice, the emotion, the bell, the horn. Not since the days of Railroad Tycoon and A-Train on the Amiga have I wanted to break out the digital train set and live my own personal Network Rail dream.
Building the empire
Like all NimbleBit's games, Pocket Trains is a freebie, there are some in app purchase options but we'll come to those later. The (mandatory) intro tutorial is a nice feature; you start with a couple of trains, a stretch of line in Europe and a few 'Bux'. The tutorial will show you the ropes that you'll be going through until you're bored of the game.
As you make more money through jobs you'll be able to afford more engines and stretches of track, the track links the cities. Once you've completed Europe and earned 50,000 coins, you may expand to another 'Licence'. There are 6 Licences available; North and South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
The gameplay itself is rather simple:
- Your train is in a station
- You get a list of jobs
- Select the jobs to take
- Direct your train to the desired city and tap 'Depart'
Rinse and repeat for the rest of your engines
This is the kind of gameplay that lends itself well to casual playing. Push Notification gameplay is great when your in an office and can't be seen to be enjoying yourself. Whats more, you can install it on your iPad and Game Centre will sync the game across your devices.
If you feel that you want things to go faster then you can dig into your own pockets and buy more 'Bux'. This premium NimbleBit currency makes an appearance in Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes. In Pocket Trains it allows you to instantly complete jobs, get more coins and open crates. You can earn them in the game by levelling up and doing jobs that reward Bux. The important thing about this game is that you DON'T need to buy them to enjoy it or rise to the top of the ranks.
Like so many phone games, Pocket Trains is Push notification driven, jump in, jump out feel good fun time. Theres no Mass Effect sized story or Skyrim sized world to explore. Theres just trains, on tracks, with jobs to do and a relaxing soundtrack.
NimbleBit has found a good formula with these 'pocket' games. My only problem is that Pocket Trains is pretty much Pocket Planes with trains. If thats a problem for you then stick with Pocket Planes. If you're in the mood for something new then try this one.
We've got Planes, Trains... How are they going to do Automobiles... I've got it, Pocket Taxi!!