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Tiny Rails Review

Tiny Rails is a management game for those looking to play something in the background while relaxing.

Developer: Tiny Titan Studios
Publisher: Tiny Titan Studios
Release Date: August 8th (For PC)
Platforms: PC, Mac | Also available on Android and iOS devices
Platform Reviewed on: PC, key was provided for a review.

 

Tiny Rails is a casual and relaxing management game.  It starts like most other games in this genre, the player is given a small business and needs to grow it into a large multi-nation operation. It’s a very simple plot but let’s face it, we don’t play management games for the amazing plots they have.

Now it’s important to note that this is a port. Tiny Rails was originally a mobile game and very little has been changed to the actual 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 set up their train in a way that they’re happy with, it’s possible to sit back and relax while the game continues going by itself. It does still require some player interaction however to depart from train stations and collect money from the different carriages.

It certainly feels like a very casual game which you can play while listening to a podcast or watching a TV show. There’s nothing particularly bad about this but those looking for a more engaging management game might want to give this one a miss. While it doesn’t feel that engaging, there’s actually a lot to do in this game which allows players to take a much more active role. 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 why they want to go
  • Take on special jobs
  • Map out the train route

So clearly then, it’s not just another passive game. It allows players to decide how they want to play the game as both methods will still result in good progress. In addition to this, transporting passengers is a big part of the game and you will need to customize the train to increase their happiness if you want to remain fully booked. This is done by customizing 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 minigame which is interesting but doesn’t add too much to the game.

While the gameplay is the most important thing in a management game, it’s also worth noting 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 game to earn a special coin bonus. The game is beautiful in its own way 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. Thankfully, there’s a way to upgrade the speed of the train but sometimes even this is not enough which can be a little frustrating. There’s still things to do while the train is traveling however such as collect money, upgrade carriages and purchase new ones. But, it’s easy to run out of things to do on the long trips. Thankfully, the amazing environments can mask this slightly and make the journey a lot less painful.

Tiny Rails is an entertaining little management game and while it may not seem very engaging, there’s actually plenty to do in the 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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