Wednesday, 15 April 2020
REVIEW: STATIONflow by Tak Fujii Launches TODAY on Steam
Review by Jon Donnis
I was kindly sent a copy of STATIONflow by DMM GAMES LLC for review, the basic premise of the game is you build up a train station pretty much from scratch, and as your level increases you unlock more in game features.
It is a simple premise and one that is the staple of pretty much all sim games of the past, all the way back to Sim City. And although graphics change and things become more detailed, the main premise always remains the same, you build something up, the game throws obstacle in your way and you try to overcome them.
STATIONflow visually takes on an almost unique approach, it's minimalistic graphics give a real sense of something unique, and as you build more and more complex 3D layouts for your station, you really need to keep on top of things if you want to keep your passengers happy. All of this along with the usual budget restrictions, management reviewing you every day, progress reports etc, make this a fun game, if a bit frustrating at times.
You can play the preset maps, or create your own, and although the preset maps are interesting, the create your own ones are the best, each play through you will realise better and more interesting ways to lay things out, you will probably start (as I did) making everything as easy as possible, but then on the next play through you will find yourself becoming more and more creative, and now that the game is live on STEAM, you can now share and download maps from people all over the world on Steam Workshop.
So what's good and what's not so good about the game.
Well the good first, it works as a sim game, it had the addictive nature that makes you want to start over, and then over again, as you come up with more creative ideas. The graphics are simple but detailed, and you will find yourself fully immersed in the game.
As for the bad, sometimes things can get to "busy" on screen, and I don't mean the passengers, you will find that your view is obstructed by the very thing you are building, the arrow signs are guilty of this, sometimes lining up corridors with other buildings, staircases etc can be a pain, and if you are off by one pixel they wont connect, although the game brags that you are not constrained by grids, in fact a grid system here would probably help. The control system for moving around also seems a bit poorly made, although you do soon get used to it. There should be a way to easily update directional queues like the arrows or tops and bottoms of stairs, instead of having to do each one manually.
These are little gripes I had when I first started the game, but I soon got used to them and worked around them, I do think the game makers could improve these things and perhaps they will if enough people are complaining about the same issues. But please do not let these things put you off.
This is a fun game, I've spent hours and hours playing it, much more than I needed to play just for the review, I enjoy this game, and perhaps the little issues I have will be fixed and then I will enjoy it even more.
I do recommend this game. And I score it 7/10
Review by Jon Donnis