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Tiny Rails (PC port) Review – Choo Choo!

Tiny Rails is a management game for those people who want to play something casually in the background.

 

Developer: Tiny Titan Studios
Publisher: Tiny Titan Studios
Release Date: August 8th (For PC)
Platforms: PC (Windows and Mac) | Originally available on Android and iOS devices
Platform Reviewed on: PC (Windows)

 

Tiny Rails is a casual and relaxing management game.  It starts like most other games in this genre, the player is given control of a small business and is tasked to grow it into a large multinational operation. A simple premise, but expected for games of this genre.

It’s important to note that this version of the game is a port. Tiny Rails was originally a mobile game, and unfortunately not much has been changed in regards to the overall gameplay. Players must manage and care for their train by fixing and cleaning the different carriages as they take damage throughout the game. Once the player has customised their train to their liking, the player interaction can easily be minimised. It does still require some player interaction, however, to depart from train stations and collect money from the different carriages.

The gameplay is indeed very basic, this is the kind of game to play while doing something else in the background. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but those looking for a more engaging experience might want to look elsewhere. While it doesn’t feel that engaging, players are given the opportunity to take a more proactive role in their experience. Players can:

  • Upgrade and customise their trains and carriages
  • Unlock new carriages through a unique minigame
  • Trade supplies around the world through buying and selling
  • Purchase depots and stations around the globe
  • Deliver passengers to where they want to go
  • Take on special jobs
  • Map out the train route

The player is given full liberty on how they wish to play this game, both the laid-back and the hardcore approaches will still result in good progress. Transportation of passengers is also a big part of the game, thus you will need to customise the train to increase their happiness if you want to remain fully booked. This is done by customising the carriages on the train to include things such as food carts, toilets and even parks. More carriages are unlocked as the game progresses which can provide for the different needs of your passengers. They’re unlocked in a strange little mini-game, and while it is interesting, it doesn’t add too much to the overall experience.

While the gameplay is the most important aspect of a management simulator, it would be doing the game a major disservice to not draw attention to the incredible graphics and environment design. The game is designed so that each region on the map has a different type of weather and environmental backgrounds. It makes just watching Tiny Rails run itself very entertaining. There are also special landmarks that pop up every so often as the player travels to certain locations. These landmarks can be photographed in the game to earn a special coin bonus. The game can catch you unawares at times in regards to how beautiful it is, and it’s easy to lose minutes just watching the game progress to a new station.

However, being a mobile port does come with a small downside. There’s lots of waiting around. Players are forced to wait several minutes while their train travels to the next station. There is a way to upgrade the speed of the train, but even this is not enough to offset the frustration sometimes, which is a bit disappointing. There are still things to do while the train is travelling, however, such as collect money, upgrade carriages and purchase new ones. Unfortunately, there is not enough to sustain yourself on a long trip. The detailed environments are often enough to mask this slightly and make the journey a lot less arduous.

Tiny Rails is an entertaining little management game and while it may not seem very engaging, there’s actually a surprising amount to do in this game. As a result, it’s a great addition to the collection of management games on PC.

 

Pros

  • Great environments
  • Able to play both actively and passively
  • Nice range of things to do

Cons

  • Lots of waiting around
  • Not much engaging gameplay/gameplay may be too passive for some users
  • Minigame doesn’t add very much to the overall game
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