Pocket Trains review

There’s something altogether soothing in the way NimbleBit’s locomotives speed along. Scenery passes in a blur, a wonderful contrast to the beautifully crisp pixel art. You’ll marvel at the variety of cargo: everything from sushi bars manned by ninjas to plants, wind turbines and mobile discos. Enjoy it while it lasts, because once they arrive at their destination, the fun’s over.

As with Pocket Planes, your job is to develop your transport empire, but while sending trains on their merry way is a simple process – tap train, tap destination, wait – expansion is painfully slow. You’ll earn cash each time your cargo reaches its intended terminus, which pays for additional lines and eventually expansions into other continents. But to unlock extra train parts – that’s parts, mind you, not entire trains – you’ll need to open crates, at ten Bux a time. You start with 20.

While certain jobs earn you Bux rather than coins, they’re uncommon enough to force an early visit to the in-game shop. Crates are even more rare, and though you’ll obtain a few from levelling up, their contents are random. You might be chasing the last piece of a National Express, only to get five Vanilla Steamer parts in a row. And while spares can at least be sold to raise more cash, random events will force you to shell out for repairs unless you’ve held some parts back.

With no meaningful equivalent to the communal goals and tactical layovers that gave Planes a stay of execution, once the paywall stalls your progress like leaves on the line, there’s little reason to continue. Even for those who’ve ‘supported’ NimbleBit with regular IAP donations, you suspect the Bux stop here.

Pocket Trains is out now on for iOS and Android devices.

5
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