Train Valley 2 is a puzzle game that blends micromanaging with figuring out how to use your limited resources to complete your mission in as short a time as possible.
Each level provides you with a map on which is at least one town and one or more resource buildings are scattered around. Some of these buildings are pre-constructed, others you will need to spend money on before it will produce anything. You also start each level with a set amount of money. You buy tracks, laying them down between the town and the various buildings around the map.
In order to complete each level you must fulfill the needs of your town. The town may request six loads of wood or cows and glass for example. You send workers by train from the town to the resource buildings, and once the resources are complete you send them back again to town. Sometimes you will need to send the resources onto another building in order to process it into whatever is the final product the town wants. When you make a delivery where it’s needed, you earn money.
You can micromanage the trains, changing the switches on the track wherever it splits into two directions, pausing trains, or even sending them back the way they came. If you’re not careful, trains can even crash into each other and be destroyed and it costs money to replace them.
If you were a fan of the first game the sequel, while using many of the same basic principles, sets itself apart sufficiently to keep it from being just more of the same. No more do trains tell you where they want to go and when they’re leaving. You control all of this, strengthening the micromanagement elements of the first game.
While all it takes to beat a level is to make the required deliveries successfully without running out of funds to complete your goals, each level has various extra goals you can accomplish to achieve a higher star rating, which gives you incentive to play levels over and over again. These goals often involve beating the level under a certain amount of time, using no more than a certain number of tracks, or never allowing a train to arrive at the wrong station. These goals are often not easy to achieve, particularly some of the time ones, and this is where the puzzle aspects of Train Valley 2 are at their strongest. You need to carefully consider all your resources as well as the lay out of the map and the most effective ways to use your trains.
As the game continues the maps get more complex and your goals more difficult to achieve. There is also nicely satisfying sense of progression to the game and new concepts are introduced such as bridges and tunnels.
Train Valley 2 starts in the steam age, and allows you to play through the industrial revolution. This allows new trains to be introduced as you play along and adds a new facet to the game as you have to decide when to use your money to upgrade your trains, allowing them to carry more and move faster.
If you enjoy micromanagement with puzzle aspects, you’re going to have a lot of fun with Train Valley 2. It’s challenging, colorful, and casual. With twenty levels, each with replay value if you’re after a perfect score on all of them, the core game has a lot to keep you playing for a while. But even should you get tired of those twenty levels, there are plenty of fan-made ones to bring you back to Train Valley.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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