Train Conductor

Universal Rating: 4+

Train Conductor is a game from The Voxel Agents, originally released 18th December, 2009


Recent posts about Train Conductor

New Train Conductor Levels Coming With Next Update

In a free update coming in late April, the Australian time-management strategy game Train Conductor will introduce three new levels set in the United States. We got to play two of these levels at GDC: New York City’s subways and tracks that span the Grand Canyon.

In the New York levels, large pillars will block off certain sections of the track, preventing you from crossing your trains over at certain points in time. In the Grand Canyon, the entire central section of the track is missing, so you have to be extra careful when crossing tracks over each other. A third USA track has not been revealed yet, and there may be more USA tracks available as downloadable extras.

Check out our hands-on video of the Train Conductor update at GDC, and you can read our review here.

Train Conductor Review

Path-drawing games usually allow the player to create any path they desire. If you change this aspect to predetermined paths, you get what we call the traffic management sub-genre. Train Conductor falls into this category, and despite how well the game works from a control standpoint, it doesn’t offer the long-term value essential to such simple concepts.

Train Conductor puts you in charge of four stations across Australia, guiding trains between tracks by drawing intersections to help them reach their target destinations. The catch is that in order to complete your shift you must complete your task without a single crash. Sending a train to the wrong track will deduct points, while playing with the fast forward button on lets you rack up points quickly.

Just go ahead and back that up to my McDuck money tower.

Two modes are available in the game: day and graveyard. Day is the normal mode we just described, while graveyard makes some major changes. Here there are ghost trains, which look like ghastly fish and do not collide into each other. However, they go extremely fast, making this a test of your speed rather than strategy. You also need to keep an eye out for phantom trains, which are faster than ghost trains and must reach their destination without fail. Otherwise, it’s game over.

Later levels have more tracks and unique elements, such as extremely long gold mining trains, breaks in the track, and more. Unfortunately, the graveyard mode never changes beyond adding new tracks, which was disappointing, as we preferred this style of gameplay more.

Zombie trains hurt people.

Train Conductor’s biggest flaw, which is devastating to its value after beating the entire game in an hour, is the lack of an endless mode. The time limit and progression of each track never changes, so those who have mastered playing with the fast forward button on will get the same top score every time. This makes the inclusion of Plus+ leaderboards pointless.

We did enjoy playing through the campaign of Train Conductor, but there simply is not enough of a reason to continue playing afterward. Until this is addressed, we recommend holding off on this game.