Trainyard Review

Any fan of puzzle games would do well to own an iPhone or iPod Touch. Not only is the touch screen an ideal way to play many types of puzzlers, but the number of stand-out titles on the App Store– from Angry Birds to Zentomino– is astounding. Well, it’s about time we added Trainyard to that list.

Trainyard, which came out a while ago but recently had a big update, is about laying tracks in the right places so trains can get from their starting point to their ending point without any disasters occurring along the way. Like any good puzzler, it starts off easy and gradually becomes more difficult and complex as you work through the levels. Brief tutorials kick in whenever a new gameplay element is introduced, so you’re never left floundering.

Each level, set up on a grid, consists of at least one outlet station (where your train starts) and one goal station (where it needs to end up). You draw the tracks and then push a button to make the trains go. The challenge starts to kick in once you’re given multiple trains and multiple ending points. It gets even more complicated once colors are introduced. Soon you’ll feel like an expert engineer, guiding trains on and off of tracks, merging trains to create new colors, and sending them where to their proper destinations.

Come on ride the train’¦ hey, ride it.

Later on, you’ll run into plenty of levels that will strain even the cleverest of players. If you stick with it and work through them, you’ll feel like a modern day Isaac Newton. But if you get stumped, you can go to the developer’s website, where you can watch user-submitted solutions, or post your own.

The game’s graphics are clean and appealing, with crisp lines and black backgrounds. They look particularly good on Retina displays. There’s even a color blind mode that uses symbols instead of colors to differentiate between the trains. Unfortunately, there’s no music in the game, but you can play your own tunes in the background.

As puzzle games go, Trainyard is right up there with other App Store greats like Helsing’s Fire and PathPix Pro. With 140 levels, Trainyard will keep you puzzling for a long time, but you might want to start with the free version, Trainyard Express, which contains 60 unique levels. Either way, if you like well-made puzzle games, Trainyard is one to check out.

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