PCMACGame Reviews

Train Valley 2 looks easy at first glance, until its elaborate puzzle mechanics kick in

A railroad puzzle game revisited

Train Valley 2 looks like an easy game at first glance, but its side quests and ranking scores will not give you peace as you keep on playing it.

Train Valley 2’s playtime is highly controllable, allowing the player to have a good grip on how to build the railways and how to control the trains.

This makes the game easy at first glance, but there is a set of mechanics to make things more challenging, such as side quests and result ranking that generate money for the player while allowing them to buy new locomotives and redo levels more efficiently.

We have a puzzle game for every possible theme these days. From games involving popular literary works  and movies, to more abstract games involving algorithms, colors and numbers. Train Valley is in the midst of this paradigm, using railroad construction to solve problems at each phase.

Scene in Train Valley 2

The first Train Valley was a surprise to me, because I was looking for a railroad simulator, similar to Railroad Tycoon, and found a puzzle that focuses on building the most optimized railroad to accomplish simple missions, such as creating a merchant system between a city, a logger and a forest.

Unlike a simulator where the focus is on building the railways and letting the trains run automatically, in Train Valley 2, the player can control the departure of the station trains as well as the intersections between different lines. Sounds simple, although its complexity increases as the player needs to create intricate railways with very little money, leaving little room for error.

Snow Scene in Train Valley 2

This mechanics were the very thing that got me enjoying the first Train Valley, where trains left stations randomly, making the game something like Flight Control but with trains instead of airplanes. Train Valley 2’s playtime is highly controllable, allowing the player to have a good grip on how to build the railways and how to control the trains.

This makes the game easy at first glance, but there is a set of mechanics to make things more challenging, such as side quests and ranking scores that generate money for the player while allowing them to buy new locomotives and redo levels more efficiently.

The game has 50 levels covering all types of terrain, from flat and urbanized terrain to mountainous snow scenes. On Steam, you can download various levels and other elements to increase game content via Workshop.

The graphics are great and very colorful, with a wide range of visuals that help on immersing the player with the scenery. Perhaps the only problem is the positioning of the camera, which is fixed and does not allow the player to rotate it, which makes things hard when the player wants to build rails on hills.

 

The soundtrack is light, serves its purpose very well, but it is not memorable. The sound effects are simple but straight to the point. Controls are simple and generally functional, but sometimes rail construction can be a bit confusing, forcing the player to spend more money than they would need to build the railroad. This usually occurs when cornering is required, especially on rough terrains.

Overall, Train Valley 2 – developed by Flazm –  is the ideal game for those looking for a more elaborate puzzle game than the first Train Valley. This game is available for PC, MacOS and Linux via Steam and GOG.

 

Bottom Line

Gameplay - 8.5
Graphics - 9.8
Art - 10
Music - 6
Balance - 6.5
Fun - 8.5
Immersion - 9.5

8.4

Train Valley 2 looks like an easy game at first glance, but its side quests and ranking scores will not give you peace as you keep on playing it.

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Guilherme Costa

Brazilian indie dev and writer.

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