Choose the train that’s perfect for your playing style and taste.
Know what it’s like to be the Train Engineer as you travel to various destinations with your load of cargo or passengers.
Encounter and deal with the different situations that can happen to a train as it travels from station to station.
When the first full scale locomotive was built by Richard Trevithick in 1804, people where excited that a new form of travel and an easier way to carry heavy loads back and forth had become a reality. Today, the Train is something we almost take for granted.
Whether be on your way to work, traveling to a vacation spot or visiting relatives in the country, the Train is usually one of the most popular if not convenient way to do that. One gets on the Train, finds ones seat and either enjoys the scenery or falls into deep thought as the train travels its way along the track.
Unfortunately for a lot of us, especially those who live in the cities, the Train is overcrowded and you have to stand on the isles with the crowd so to speak. Whenever the Train lurches forward or comes to a stop, better hold on to the handles or be thrown back or forward causing a commotion and blaming the driver for it.
Train Simulator15 aka Train Driver15 places you in the Train Driver’s seat. Though it can’t really be like the real thing, Train Driver15 does a really good job in simulating the tasks and responsibilities of a Train Engineer. The game is Free2Play and though used to be available in Facebook, can now be downloaded for either Android or iOS mobile platforms.
The game starts by giving you the choice to drive a passenger or freight train. It then lets you choose the Locomotive model itself. However, not all models will be available to you but you can unlock them all by paying real cash via a micro-transaction. After choosing a model, you then proceed to the maps.
Maps selections vary from the basic tutorial map to Country maps like the US and Germany. The tutorial map is just that, it teaches you the basics of running the simulator. Country maps will provide an all-weather railway travel simulation in that particular country. Weather and the time of day can be chosen via the button selection found just below the map.
Once a map has been chosen, you then start your mission…err voyage. The controls are displayed on screen and are simple as the train seems to be mostly automated requiring human intervention for specific decision making tasks. The control panel at the bottom shows your speed in Kilometers per Hour, as well as experience points and travel time. The speed limit is shown with a red circle. Control icons like headlights and the Train Horn among others are also shown as buttons.
The slider at the left moves the point-of-view or Train orientation. While the multi-colored one at the right accelerates or decelerates your locomotive. Choose the arrows to move forward or reverse. Of course the controls have been made as simple as possible since a Real Train Engineer will have to deal with several control levers, switches and gauges not to mention the dead-man pedal or alerter as well.
You then go chug chug chug towards your destination and as you approach the Train Station, don't forget to Toot Toot Toot with your horn before finally halting to let people off, then load new passengers.
When stopping at a Train Station, one of the games challenges is to calculate your deceleration for the train to hit the virtual Stop mark. You can't miss it, its like a blue neon sign in the middle of the station on the tracks. The tendency is to overshoot specially when the train is running fast as inertia will prevent the train from decelerating right away. Should you overshoot, just hit the reverse arrow and accelerate-decelerate accordingly to get to the stop. Lucky for you though it's just a simulation or the people on the station would either be laughing their hearts out or shouting expletives at you.
The weather adds to the realism of the journey. A winter foggy night would really cloud your vision as a sunny day would give you all the opportunity to admire the countryside. Realistic situations like coming to a crossroad with passing automobiles have to be dealt with as well as forking railways that have to be taken to complete your route.
Don't forget to toot your horn as you pass by the intersection to make sure the automobile drivers hear you in case those automatic railway barriers don't go down or the night watchman fell asleep. If your driving a passenger train, you can vary the POV to see the inside of the couches and the passengers there. Make sure to keep your eye on the tracks for signal lights and signage that indicate the forks, stops, intersections, speed limits and any other factors that can cause a railway incident that can be blamed on the engineer.
Objects and people you pass by are animated adding to the realism of the game. The view is awesome, mountains, rivers, roads and though the graphics seem moderate by today's standards, the game has the tendency to immerse you in deep thought just like when your riding on a train or bus to work in real life.
The music is really awesome. Kind of a cross country-rock ballad with a soothing and relaxing rhythm that can be listened to on your music player when one needs to relax and get some sleep. Sound effects are well done and good enough as you can really hear the train accelerate, decelerate and chug along the great country tracks.
The game will definitely provide hours of train driving fun but at certain routes the surroundings can get kind of lonely at times in which case, one can try to whistle a tune or sing a song...
"Choo choo train, tuckin’ down the track,
Gotta travel on, never comin’ back
Got a one way ticket to the blues…"
(Ticketgal Productions - One Way Ticket To The Blues)