New on Steam Early Access from Oroboro games is Train Valley. It’s a game that rides the line between simplicity and complexity. Let’s just call it sophisticated. Yeeaaaaah, sophisticated.
So what do you do in Train Valley? Well, you manage trains, as the title might have suggested. Most of game play is spent demolishing obstacles and laying down tracks to get your trains from point A to point B. Sounds simple right? It is… at first. But soon you’ll have to worry about making sure you have enough track routes for multiple trains to travel simultaneously. You’ll be watching your budget to make sure you have enough money to keep operating your tracks without going bankrupt. You’ll be personally controlling the track switches to make sure the trains are going to the correct stations. You’ll be actively telling the trains to stop, go or, reverse to ensure they reach their destinations without crashing into each other and without taking up too much precious, expensive time.
Eventually you’ll be doing all of these things at the same time which could be daunting if you were thrown straight into the deep end. Fortunately you aren’t, Train Valley does a good job of gradually introducing you to different mechanics before melding them all together into the kind of experience that makes the simple complex.
This game is for anyone who likes trains or puzzles. The former should be fairly obvious but the latter may not be. Each stage has objectives that need to be accomplished and accomplishing all of them at once is definitely a puzzle. From what I’ve played, it appears that the puzzles never have just a single solution.
This is shaping up to be a wonderful game and I’m eager to see how the final release version looks. What’s on offer now is a game with just the right amount of modes (just story and sandbox at present), mechanics, locales and train types without any superfluous fluff to get in the way of what the game does best. It’s simple enough to be relaxing when you want it to be, but multifaceted enough to be a serious challenge as well. One really can’t ask for much more from a good game.
You can follow Train Valley’s tracks here if this sounds like a game for you.