If you’ve never heard of Train Conductor before, picture a puzzle game where the aim is to send numerous trains to the correct track based on colour, whilst avoiding collisions as the trains come from all directions. Both previous entries in the series picked up various awards via the Freeplay Festival and the Independent Games Festival China dating back to 2010, so it’s no surprise that the newest entry in the series is here to pick up the fun where Melbourne’s The Voxel Agents left off.
Titled Train Conductor World, this new free to play game amps up the look and feel of the series. Gone are the simple 2D sprites, replaced with 3D models with a ton of character and a world that wouldn’t feel out of place as a learning tool on Sesame Street. It goes to show how far the team has come since those early days six years ago that the level of detail has grown exponentially.
At first, everything gameplay wise seems much the same as before. You’re set the task of guiding incoming trains to their destinations, and so on and so forth, but you’ll notice as you go on that things aren’t quite as they seem. Trains don’t just stop on a dime, they brake as they would in real life, and it doesn’t take too long for unique puzzle elements or more than three trains to appear at the same time. If anything, my early play through so far has shown me far more through the opening levels that I can remember from the original in such a small space of time, and I like that. No messing about here, despite some initial handholding.
Each new level acts as a high score challenge, but to unlock other train stations and levels you’ll need to earn coins which eventually unlock train track pieces. You’ll then place these pieces on the world map to connect everything together, and from the looks of it there’s plenty of other stations to get to. It’s a neat little not to one of the Voxel Agents’ other titles, Puzzle Retreat, in that these pieces are tiles that you manually drop and can move around at any point, though you’ll need plenty of coins to get it right.
I’ve only been playing Train Conductor World for a few hours now (it dropped onto the iOS store yesterday), so I’ve a little ways to go before I see everything I need to see, but so far it’s been an enjoyable ride. I’ll have a full review up soon but in the meantime go check it out and let us know what you think.
Mark Isaacson is a freelance writer and gamer who still believes Ringo was the best Thomas the Tank Engine.