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30 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
It has been a while since I have played a good action RPG, so when Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition came across my desk, I just had to check it out.

Set in a world of "dark fantasy", you step into the shoes of Couriers, as they "discover the tale behind the mysterious Dark Mist."

"Centuries ago, the sun sank into the sea, leading to the Dark Mist enveloping the lands. At the same time, great, towering beings began to appear. These were the Colossus. They brought light to the areas surrounding them and in turn, humanity found its last and only refuge.

Thousands of years after the Colossi appeared, a mysterious illness beset these creatures of the light and they began to fall...

Following the trail of the falling Colossi, Terrence the Courier and his companions embark on an arduous journey. They will encounter figures benevolent and evil, seal or witness their fate, and unveil the truth behind the dark world."

Now you know the story, how does the game play, you will eventually get to control and hopefully master 5 different characters, each character has their own unique abilities and fighting styles. Now although I like a good Action RPG, I am also not the most skilled of gamers in this genre, luckily there is a casual mode available, that makes everything a bit easier, and allows the player a bit more freedom, and that is something I need. With that said, the game is still challenging in the casual mode, but there is a harder mode for the more experienced Action RPG gamer.

As mentioned, you take on the role of the Couriers, they have to find out the truth behind what has caused the land of Solas to fall into darkness once again. What happened to the giant Colossi that brough safety and light to people.

As you play you will see plenty of familiar sights if you have played this kind of game before, Altars to rest and replenish your energy as well as save your gameplay, your character will have a light and heavy attack, on the Switch these are performed by pressing the right trigger buttons, you can dodge attacks, block and so on. You also have a stamina bar that you need to keep an eye on, luckily in Casual Mode it doesn't run out too quick.

Enemies are your usual weird looking creatures, and combat is as you would expect, you can even creep up on enemies and get that first shot in. And as you progress you can buy throwing knives and other projectile weapons, to help you hit that slightly out of range enemy.

As well as your stamina, you also have a rage and a sanity meter, as you attack enemies you rage meter gets charged, and as that gets powered up it allows you to make bigger hits, now the Sanity meter, that is a whole different thing, as you fight and beat opponents you sanity meter will start to empty, eventually it will reach "abnormal" stage and finally "lunatic" stage. At abnormal you will see auras around the enemy, this will also power up your enemies and adjust their attack patterns, so you need to keep an eye on your sanity levels, and make sure to drink potions to keep it in the safe level. In the boss fights however sanity level drops faster, so you really need to be on top of your game, but Luckly when fighting bosses like this they will drop extra items, so it has its benefits too.

There are also the usual skill points for levelling up the characters, a skill tree to upgrade across 4 different branches, which might change up how much you can carry, give you new attacks and so on.

Throw in craft-able items which you can then equip which give you various advantages, the usual side quests and extra boss fights and there is plenty to keep you busy.

As mentioned, you will eventually add extra characters to your group, which you can switch between when not in a fight, or if your character dies in a fight you will automatically take control over another of the group. The different characters have different weapons and attack styles. All different and fun to master.

The story is told through people you meet, diaries you will pick up, as well as conversations with your group.

The game plays very well on a Nintendo Switch Lite, the controls are pretty easy to pick up, the in-game menu for selecting items, equipping things etc can be a bit tricky to get used to at first, but soon enough you will be getting everything the way you want.

The levels are easy to navigate, and you won't find yourself getting lost either.

As this is the Definitive Edition, you get the DLC from the PC release thrown in, the most important one being the Obsession Challenge mode, which is basically a fight against the bosses you find in the game, while starting in Lunatic mode from the start, as well as character clothing and a new area to play.

The Good
A good story, easy to learn, a fun game to play even on the small screen.

The Bad
The levels might seem a bit too linear for the more hardcore Action RPG gamer, but I found them fine.

Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch is a fun game to play, many hours of gameplay, that never gets tedious, I enjoyed playing it and highly recommend it.

I score Pascal's Wager: Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch a solid 8.5/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch

27 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Race Me Now - PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
With the tagline "Race Fast, Race others, Race Me Now!" we have a release from a solo game developer, Werys Game Studio. Any time a solo developer manages to get a game to final release, it is something that should be applauded, as often a lot more than just time goes into such projects, a lot of care and love for the game too.

Let's take a look at the synopsis.

"Race sneaky opponents in beautiful surroundings. Races are fast and ruthless, other drivers will try to push you out of the road to take your place. Will you be able to push them out first? Will you be able to beat them all? Will you become the champion?"

There are 40 cars to unlock, which is a pretty decent amount, and 4 separate car categories.
There are 4 tracks that feature in the game, and although that might not seem a lot, it is a fair start, and I hope in future updates the developer will release more.

As you can see from the screengrabs, the game features a very retro look, but plays like any modern game, the graphics are very smooth, and gameplay is fun. With different difficulty settings, the game does offer up quite a challenge, especially if you are an achievement collector.

The Good
A fun little game from a solo developer, and despite the lack of tracks, it is an impressive achievement, and one we should applaud.
A good selection of cars as well is quite impressive.

The Bad
We have to be honest and fair, and the fact there are only 4 tracks is a big downer, but as I mentioned, hopefully the developer will release more in the future.

Perhaps a little pricey for what it is, but there is a fun racing game here, and if it means supporting independent developers, sometimes we should be prepared to pay. 

I score Race Me Now on PC (Steam) a fair but honest 7/10. Give us more tracks and I can up that score!

Out now on Steam

26 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Robby's Adventure on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Are rage inducing side scrolling platformers your thing? If you answered yes, then Robby's Adventure might be the game for you.

Robby came to earth from another planet, a young boy found him in a field and made friends with him. But one day Robby was broken, so the boy's parents gave Robby to a factory to fix it, but the factory manager quickly realised that Robby was more than just a regular toy, so decided to keep Robby so he could research him with the hope being he could clone the alien robot.

And that is where our game starts.

Robby finds himself in a box in the factory, he realises that his only hope is to fix himself so he can return home.

Gameplay revolves around traversing levels, looking for parts that you can use to fix yourself. But things are never as easy as they sound.

At the start of this review I noted that this was a rage inducing platform game, and when I say that I really mean it.

Now whether that rage is induced on purpose by the developers, whether it is a biproduct of a game they made, it really doesn't matter. This is a very very tough game. Controls are super tough to master, and even then pinpoint accuracy is needed, and because of the tough controls, this is where the rage will hit you.

The graphics are a bit basic, but perfectly fine for what it is. As mentioned controls are a bit tough to get used to, but that is part of the pull of the game, you know what you need to do, you know how to do it, but to then actually do it, is pretty damn tough.

A decent amount of levels, which when completed can be replayed whenever you like.

The Good
Well laid out levels, with lots to collect, and replayability factor is strong to try and collect everything.

The Bad
One of the toughest 2D side scrolling platformers I have ever played, controls are just so hard to master, everything from needing to run a bit before being able to make a jump, then finding yourself stuck in areas where you cant get a run up, this level of dificulty will put off casual gamers.

At £1.79 on Nintendo Switch if you don't like the game, you haven't lost much money, so if you want to add another title to your switch, and you like a super challenging platformer, then why not give this a go.

I score Robby's Adventure on Nintendo Switch a rage inducing 7/10

Released on 30th August 2022

25 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Train Valley: Console Edition - On PC and Consoles

Review by Jon Donnis
Although Train Valley has been available on PC for quite a while, the developers have finally released the game on consoles.

The concept is simple. You play on a single screen map and start with a couple of train stations. (You can zoom in and out). The problem is that there is no track. That is your job, connect the Stations, so that the trains can travel from one point to another. But of course, things aren't that easy. For a start you have a strict budget, and you have to pay taxes every in-game year.

When laying tracks across empty areas, they cost just $1000 per piece of track laid, but if there is a tree in the way then the cost doubles, oh and if there is a house in the way that price goes up. The bigger the obstacle the more it costs, so the clever builder will avoid obstacles. And that creates it's own set of problems.

As you play the game and time passes, more train stations will appear. Everything is colour coded, and it needs to be, because now trains will need to go to specific stations, so you not only need to make sure the tracks are laid correctly, but you also have to control switches.

Luckily you can choose when and which train leaves which station, but the longer you wait, the less money you will make from the journey completing, and wait too long, and the train will just set off.

Throw in AI controlled super trains, which will cross your paths, as well as my favourite, random planes bombing your tracks in the Germany level, and you have quite the challenge in front of you if you wish to complete a level.

The levels themselves are done as part of a book, each page represents a different country and time period. As you complete a level you will be rewarded stamps in your book, and if you complete the added level challenges you will get more stamps. Challenges usually include setting off an additional number of trains, extra to those set by the level. Avoiding crashes, completing the level without pausing, making sure no trains arrive at the wrong station and so on.

And to complete a "season" you will also have to play a final level with no challenges as such other than to survive without going bankrupt, as more stations and trains appear over time.

The 5 "seasons" include, Europe (1830–1980), America (1840–1960), USSR (1880–1980), Japan (1900–2020) and Germany (1830-2020).

While playing these "seasons" they will feature real life events like the Gold Rush of 1849, the construction of the Florida Overseas Railroad, World War II, the Cold War, the launch of the first manned space flight Vostok 1, the fall of the Berlin Wall etc.

There are different modes you can play, mainly story mode and sandbox mode. 

For train fans there are over 30 different trains to see, from early steam-powered locomotives to modern high-speed trains, as well as 18 different kinds of "car" from old-time passenger cars to hoppers and cisterns and to military-use tank and gun platforms.

I am not a big train fan, but this is a great game. It has a simple concept, is super easy to get into and learn, and surprisingly addictive, especially the need to complete the objectives on a level and got those valuable 3 stamps.

Now I have played the PC version, so I can't comment on the console releases, but I am assured they are direct ports and even include the bonus Germany DLC from the PC version.

The Good
Simple, addictive gameplay that got me hooked pretty quickly. Don't be fooled by the simple graphics either, this is a deep game that will grab your attention and refuse to let go.

The Bad
Give me more levels! Is it a bad thing to want more of the same? I think there is more "juice" to have in the original Train Valley release.

I really am surprised how much I enjoyed this game. It just delivers on what it promises. Which is so rare these days. 

An almost perfect simple arcade style Train game. I really can't say more than that.

I score Train Valley a near perfect 9/10. It only misses out on the 10 because I completed the game, and want more!

Out now on PC and Consoles

22 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Lost in Play on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Lost in Play is one of those games you know you are going to love, even after only playing it for 10 minutes. And that is exactly how I felt after a short time after loading it up on my Nintendo Switch Lite.

Similar in style to classic point and click games, this uses a slightly different type of interface to interact with onscreen objects than just pointing and clicking, playing more like an interactive 2D cartoon, you play as a brother and sister Toto and Gal, as they explore their dreams, befriend magical creatures, and of course solve lots of puzzles along the way.

This game is based on the imagination of children, something that as adults we lose, but can still remember those crazy adventures we had as kids, when we didn't have computer games or endless screens to look at, instead we had to use our imagination.

"Between reality and fantasy, the siblings explore the enchanted forest of a horned beast, start a rebellion in a goblin village, and help a team of frogs free a sword from a stone."

On the Switch version of the game, as you approach objects an onscreen icon will alert you to if you can interact with it. You will need to pick things up, add to your inventory, and if needed they will automatically combine to help you further your progress. So, although it looks very much like a point and click game, the interface is simplified, which makes interaction easier, but the game itself still needs you to work out the solutions to puzzles. Luckily there is a handy visual hint you can activate if you get stuck.

As well as the general puzzles that help you progress through an area, there are also mini games, and stand-alone on-screen puzzles that need to be solved. These can range from simple sliding puzzles, to picture puzzles, as well as all manner of mini games and challenges. There is a lot of variety with the puzzles, and you will never feel as if you are doing the same thing over and over.

"Challenge a pirate seagull to a game of clicking crabs, serve magical tea to a royal toad, and collect pieces to build a flying machine."

I am a fan of point and click games, but one of my frustrations with such games is when you do get stuck, you are endlessly clicking everywhere on the screen trying to find something you have missed, going backwards and forwards from location to location, or if you need to combine items but you are not sure which, so you just play trial and error until you get it right. Lost in Play eliminates all of these frustrations, without taking anything away from the gameplay or the experience. And this is something that will please many gamers, especially the casual gamer. I wonder if the hardcore point and click gamers will dislike the simplified system?

The Good
This is a really good game, the 2D animated cartoon like graphics are beautiful, everything plays really smoothly, the puzzles have a good learning curve, and at no point did I want to throw my Switch at the wall. This is a really well-made game, with well thought out puzzles.

The Bad
Humour is child based, so for those looking for something with more of an edge, you might be disappointed.

A really lovely little game that will entertain people of all ages. I am so glad I was asked to review this game; it truly is a gem.

I score Lost in Play a near perfect 9.5/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch

20 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Spinny's Journey on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Although it's been out for a while, I was asked to check out Spinny's Journey on PC.

You play as "Spinny" an alien explorer the size of a peanut, who has come to visit earth. Due to his small size, and the small size of his spacecraft, he finds himself attacked by a sparrow, which leaves him with just his emergency propellers to go find the lost parts of his ship so he can rebuild it.

General gameplay has you trying to navigate maze like levels with the spinning propellers, bit like a spinning matchstick. You have to dodge traps and navigate the course, all the while using the spin of your propellers to your advantage to pass through the course. This is much harder than it first sounds.

With over 50 challenging levels to master, including the classic 3 stars rating system. (don't hit anything, pass the level as quick as you can), there is enough to keep any puzzle fan busy for a while.

Everything is hand drawn and looks great.

The Good
I enjoy a challenging puzzle game, and although it is basically a clone of classic Kururin/KuruKuru type games, it has its own story.

The Bad
The controls are tough to master. Like really tough. Like smash your head repeatedly against the wall in frustration tough. Not impossible, but close to.

At £5 it is a bit expensive for what it is, but price aside it is a fun little puzzle game.

I score Spinny's Journey on PC (Steam) a fair 7/10

Out Now on PC Steam

18 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Tower of Fantasy (Mobile Version)

Review by Jon Donnis
I was lucky enough to be invited to take part in the closed beta test of open-world RPG Tower of Fantasy, and now the game has been officially released I thought I would share my thoughts.

"Set hundreds of years in the future on the distant planet of Aida, the shared open-world MMORPG, anime-infused sci-fi adventure Tower of Fantasy from developer Hotta Studio and publisher Level Infinite, is now available on PC and mobile platforms globally. Players will be able to experience an anime-inspired post-apocalyptic sci-fi art style, freeform character development, and exciting combat through thrilling battles and exciting open-world exploration.

In Tower of Fantasy, dwindling resources and a lack of energy have forced mankind to leave earth and migrate to Aida, a lush and habitable alien world. There, they observed the comet Mara and discovered an unknown but powerful energy called "Omnium" contained in it. They built the Omnium Tower to capture Mara, but due to the influence of Omnium radiation, a catastrophic disaster occurred on their new homeworld."

You play as a newcomer to a small settlement, and since this is the future, we have robots, monsters and all sorts of crazy post-apocalyptic things we all love and enjoy. As you play you quickly learn who your friends are, mainly due to being pulled into battles against those monsters and robots I mentioned earlier.

Gameplay revolves around you having to complete simple tasks, to fighting enemies, to collecting items, fixing things and so on, and as you level up your character you will also get better weapons, which you can upgrade, not to mention the cool jetpack which is a lot of fun. Also after completing battles you can also teleport to set points which makes travel even easier.

So what is causing the problems, that something is called Omnium, which for some reason transforms anything living into monsters, and unless you have a suppressor equipped you can end up changing too.

I deliberately chose to play the mobile version, as it is clear to see that the PC version will be relatively easy to play, and sometimes mobile versions of games can struggle.

Controls are a bit tricky, you control movement of your character with an on screen "joystick" on the left of the screen, choosing weapons and using them is by pressing on parts of the screen on the bottom right, and then you also need to control the camera by dragging on the top right of the screen. And on a 5- or 6-inch mobile screen, this can become rather chaotic, especially in the middle of a fight, where you are trying to run, jump, attack and do all sorts, and still trying to see the screen. I can only imagine this would be much easier if using a mobile attachment to add physical controls. This game seems made for a Nintendo Switch Lite type system. But alas only mobile and PC for now.

There are plenty of story missions to complete as well as side quests to waste time on. The world is beautifully animated, and ran well on my 5-year-old phone. And there always feels like plenty to see and do.

The game feels very big, and for sure offers countless hours of gameplay.

Warning, it is quite a hefty download for a mobile game, an initial 1 gb download, plus another 7 gb once you start the game, so make sure your data is turned off and your wifi is on!

Check it out.
and Windows

14 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Voyage on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
From Ratalaika Games and Venturous comes a new side scrolling adventure game in Voyage.

You play as two survivors on an unknown planet, with beautiful hand drawn graphics, you must keep moving forward and try to overcome whatever obstacles stand in your way so you can find your way home as well as understand about the world you are on.

Played best as a co-op game, this can also be played solo, whereby you can switch between characters where needed. A bit like "Another Sight" but your characters tend to stay much closer together.

Main gameplay involves pushing and pulling things, using each character to help the other reach places, activating "Statue Scenes" and so on. Communication is basic between the two characters, and you can switch between characters at will. If playing solo, the character you are not controlling will generally just follow you, so you may need to tell them to stay put, or to follow. You can even hug each other which is nice.

The game plays in one long continuous adventure, chapters/levels are mainly separated by the aesthetics of the scenes you are in, for example, sunlit ruins, windy grasslands, sandstorm filled desserts, swamps, misty forests, mossy forests, caves, underwater, a spaceship etc.

The game itself is more about the narrative than solving puzzles, so it is more of an experience, than something you need to think too hard about. So pretty much anyone can play this. As mentioned, the communication between the characters is basic, and in general there are no voices, no text dialog, just soothing music to listen to as you play.

The Good
A very relaxing experience, and although you will finish the game pretty quickly (a few hours), you will want to play it again just so you can pay closer attention to certain details.

The Bad
If you want more of a puzzle platform type game, then you will be disappointed.

Voyage is a pretty cool little game, a fun experience, excellent soundtrack that does pull you in, and quite an emotional experience as a whole, which is quite the feat considering the lack of dialog. A wonderful story told in a beautiful way.

I score Voyage a strong 8/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch

12 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Arcade Paradise on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
When I was first asked to review Arcade Paradise, just looking at the press material I assumed this would be something similar to the recent Capcom Arcade Stadium releases, but although sharing elements with that game, this does things a little different.

You play as Ashley, and your job is to run the tedious day to day business of a launderette after your father Gerald, has gone to the Riviera.

Now what has any of this got to do with Arcade games I hear you ask, well in the back of the launderette is a room full of Arcade games. General gameplay starts with you entering the launderette, you will clean up rubbish from the floor, pull chewing gum from seats and when your rubbish bag is full you will take it outside and put in the large trash. Back inside you will pick up dirty clothes, put in washing machines, and then in the dryer. Do this all in quick time and you will get a score based on that.

Doing these tedious tasks earn you money, which in turn you can use on the computer in the office to unlock new arcade games.

The arcade games themselves are the kind of games you would literally have found in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

The ultimate aim of the game is to upgrade and buy better machines and create your "Arcade Paradise".

The management part of the game, the picking up rubbish, unclogging the toilet, washing clothes etc, is fine, but what you are most interested in are the actual arcade games, unfortunately these are not actual classic games, but instead "clones" or variations on classic games, There are about 30 games to unlock. And they all look the part, they play the part and could easily have been made in the past. Obviously to licence real games and their trademarks would be expensive for an independent developer to do, so they had to make their own versions. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it also isn't the perfect experience you might expect.

At times the game feels like too much of a chore, when in reality you just want to play some retro style games, and I wonder if the game would have been better if it just offered up a straightforward experience like the Capcom Arcade Stadium, but then if they did that, people would moan that the games are just the same as freeware games or browser games you can play online.

The Good
It is an interesting and original idea, and some of the Arcade Games I did enjoy playing.

The Bad
Sometimes the game feels too much like actually doing chores in a launderette.

I appreciate any attempt at an original idea, and there are some fun retro style arcade games to play.

I score Arcade Paradise a fair 6/10

Out now on Xbox

11 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Before We Leave - Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
I originally reviewed Before We Leave for its original PC release, so I was looking forward to seeing how well this game would port to a Nintendo Switch, well wait no longer it is here, and I am checking it out on a Switch Lite.

"Before We Leave is a non-violent city building game set in a cozy corner of the universe."

As with all city builders, your job is to create a society, and help it grow, and expand. Your people are known as "Peeps", and they have spent generations underground, since their civilisation is lost, you will slowly help them grow, expand the settlements, discover new as well as lost ancient technologies and eventually even leave the planet and colonise new and wonderful places.

Everything is very laid back, the mechanics of the game are very simple, the planet your play on is based on hexagonal tiles, each tile represents an area you can build on. You start off with everything very basic, and as you go along, you will find that you can research new ways to do things, everything from the way you build roads, to the buildings and so on.

One of the things that makes Before We Leave stand out, is the look of the game, as I said you play on the whole planet which has kind of been shrunk down, you will start on small islands, create shipping routes to other islands, and eventually leave the planet and go to the next.

You will start off playing with a pretty cool and detailed tutorial that will help teach you everything you could possibly need to know. It does this in steps, and at no point will you feel overwhelmed.

Since I originally played the PC version I already had a good understanding of the game, and where as originally I was slightly frustrated with the tutorial, and the placement of some buildings that had to be put in specific places, I had a good idea of what to do, so those frustrations are gone, but it is worth mentioning as not everyone will have played the game before.

City Builders are practically always developed to be played with, with a mouse, obviously with a Switch Lite there is no mouse, so it is the available joystick and buttons only, since the worlds are based on hexagonal areas that you can build on, this actually made control slightly easier than it would have been otherwise, so this was a big positive. However one slight negative was the camera angle control using the bumper/trigger buttons, zooming in and out is easy enough, but that accurate control you get on a PC is just not possible on a Switch Lite. Not a massive problem, but for perfectionists trying to get the exact camera angle you want is a bit of a pain.

As city building games go, this is pretty cool, it looks great, it sounds great, it has some original touches, it is easy to pick up and play, and things do get more complicated and detailed as you grow, that it keeps the challenge going.

The Good
Looks great, easy to play and learn. Works well on the small screen, perhaps better than I expected.

The Bad
The camera angle is a pain, as I mentioned.

A Fun city builder, that fans of the genre will love.

I scored the original PC version a solid 8/10, I give the Switch release a 7.5/10, a few small issues with the camera angle, as well as trying to read very small writing on the screen takes the score down slightly, but other than that a very good City Builder game.

Review by Jon Donnis

Out Now on Nintendo Switch 

10 Aug 2022

REVIEW: Sweet Transit (Early Access) on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Sweet Transit is an intricate city builder where the railway is the king and the solution to all your city problems.

We have had hundreds if not thousands of city builder games over the years, and quite a few of them have been based around railways, and this is exactly where Sweet Transit sits. Although the railway system is the centre point of the game, it is much more than just about laying tracks, you also have to build a city, you have to create production lines, turn small villages into thriving modern cities.

You start off with a simple warehouse, and as you grow your village you will also grow your railway network.

As I mentioned earlier this is an intricate city builder, if layman's terms that means this is a detailed simulation. Perhaps a little too detailed and intricate for some hoping for more of an arcade experience.

Instead of just jumping straight into the game, you really need to start off with the tutorials, so you can get an understanding of how to get going. If you jump straight into the game, you will quickly get stuck and have no idea what you are doing. The onscreen display is not the best and I hope improves massively as the game further develops.

The tutorials themselves are ok, but also need improvement, especially when it comes to placing signal signs so the trains know where to go, that is beyond confusing and the tutorial does nothing to really help you understand it. In fact, I only got through that part of the tutorial by chance, and just trying to click everywhere until something worked.

And this I feel is the biggest problem with the game. Instead of creating a simple game which they could then slowly add to, and make more detailed and complicated, they seemingly have started with a ridiculously complicated system, and are now trying to work backwards in helping people understand how it works.

If you are only interested in attracting hardcore city builder enthusiasts, then that is fine, but if you want the casual gamer, then this is the worst possible way to go.

The idea of the game is great, start with basic trains, move through the steam era to the coal era and beyond, create production lines, keep the people happy and busy. But perhaps what they have done so far with this game is just make it way too overwhelming for the casual gamer.

I would suggest a simplified mode to work alongside the full-on simulation mode. Something that a player can pretty much start to play without having to spend ages trying to understand the mechanics of the game. This is where Sim City hit perfection. You could start off with no real idea of what you were doing, but as you built your city you learnt from your mistakes, restarted and got better each time.

The Good
I like the idea of the game; the graphics are decent and I rather liked the music too.

The Bad
The controls are poor, the tutorial is not great, and the on-screen options are confusing and just get in the way.

You can excuse a lot in an early access game, the developers are still figuring things out, and I appreciate the fact they are honest in wanting to create an intricate city builder sim here, but one of the biggest problems I have noticed with developers is that they never take a step back and look at the game from a fresh viewpoint. You can spend years and years making the perfect super detailed sim, but then at the end of all that time and effort, if hardly anyone purchases it, was it worth it? Keep things simple, grab the attention of the casual gamer first, and then go as intricate and detailed as your heart's desire. Help people fall in love with the game, and then give them everything they ask for.

No score for Sweet Transit since it is only easy access, and I am interested to see where the game goes in the future. If the developers will keep on the track they are currently on and just iron out the issues, or if they will try to appeal to a casual gamer, and ultimately sell a whole lot more copies of the game. It is not impossible to do both either, it is not one or the other. Arcade mode and Simulation mode. Side by side. I know personally I would enjoy this game much more playing it in an arcade mode where I could just have fun building fancy cities and railway networks.

Time will tell.

Out now on Easy Access