Tracks – The Train Set Game Review

Tracks the train set game an Indie simulator developed by Whoop Games. This nostalgic toy box train set game will have children and train loving adults reaching for their controllers and letting their imaginations create the train set of their dreams. As I write this review, I will try and stay on track and not lose my train of thought.

The game is split into 2 clear modes, Sandbox creative and passenger. The Sandbox mode allows you to choose from several scenarios which enables you to create your train track around different environments. An array of railway infrastructure is at your disposal, as well as plants, trees and other miscellaneous items. The vast choice available gives you scope to place either the most sensible, or absurd creations possible. I personally enjoyed trying to make the most dangerous route I could. I’m sure my passengers enjoyed jumping over a vast chasm with only acres of forest to be seen for miles around.

The passenger mode is set around 2 levels and follows a very similar pattern of creating a platform for stranded passengers and moving them safely to the indicated station. The starting location of the group is varied on each play through. There is no requirement to do anything other than move from A to B, so the track layout can be pretty bland, all of a sudden the creative fun is removed and as the player you are centrally focused on completing the simplest task in front of you. It would have been nice if the developers had added further challenges such as; you must transport the group through a city, or past a forest, or lake. This would have added a creative flair alongside the task driven goal.

The game is very relaxed and even the passenger levels have no pressure, business style passengers have a time target, but you are not penalised if you miss this goal. This left me slightly confused and I felt the timer was not necessary if there was no penalty. While you play the sandbox mode, you have the freedom to place decorations where you wish, you really feel empowered to create the railway of your dreams.

Learning the basic fundamentals of the gameplay is very simple and the tutorial is straight forward and clear. If there is a time where you forget how to complete a task you can reset the tutorial, or you can view the button mapping easily.

The controls are easy and all sub-menus are simply navigated. I would feel confident that I could leave my kids to play the game and they would easily be able to progress without any guidance.

Graphics are nice and colourful, the colour palette used gives the game a retro feel, and everything utilised in the game is clearly identifiable.

That being said, it doesn’t mean that it is perfect by any stretch. When driving the train it constantly merges between the track and the edge of the blocks, this is most notable when you are moving along a curve. It doesn’t ruin the game, or cause it to crash, but it is unfortunately obvious and does reflect its unpolished finish.

Glitches continue throughout the passenger mode. If you were to reset a challenge halfway through completion all the passengers disappear, this forces you to reset the whole level. This for me was game breaking and extremely frustrating.

The music really compliments the atmosphere that the developers wanted to create, it has a familiar feel and is reminiscent of both Harvest Moon and Minecraft. The calming piano music gently plays in the background whilst your creation unfolds in front of your eyes. Jump in your train and move around your delightful creation, fill yourself with giddy delight as you sound your horn to announce your timely arrival to your waiting passengers.

If you are one of the many achievement hunters that looks for simple 1000 gamerscore games then this is for you. Free on gamepass and with less than 1 hour of gameplay required it really is an easy 1000G.

At the time of typing this review, the developers have recently released a winter update. This allows you to create a festive season specific railway. This addition of content fills me with hope that the game will receive continued support, and will increase the longevity of the title for its core base of fans.

Tracks the train set game do I “Choo Choo Choose you?” I’m on the fence with this one, I’ll explain why; as a quest based game that gives you structured goals, it’s very lacking. Once you’ve completed the 2 stages the game is technically completed. As a sandbox game, it excels. With so many choices and numerous possibilities it has you wanting to keep playing and coming back for more.

If you have children and you enjoy building their train track sets, then you will love this, all the freedom in the world and without their little hands destroying your wonderful creations. On the whole I’d certainly say you cannot lose by trying this game, currently it is free on gamepass and its relaxed nostalgic vibes will have you and your children smiling.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to editor@bonusstage.co.uk.

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Tracks - The Train Set Game Review
  • Gameplay - 6/10
    6/10
  • Graphics - 7/10
    7/10
  • Sound - 7/10
    7/10
  • Replay Value - 8/10
    8/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)
Overall
7/10

Summary

In this sandbox world build the train set of your dreams, where the only limitation is your imagination.

Pros

Sandbox mode keeps you coming back for more.
Easy to learn controls.
A large range of decorative items to select.
Great fun to play with the family.

Cons

Short story mode.
No penalty for failing the mission’s aims.
Graphics can suffer glitches.
Missions can also suffer glitches.