Simulations are a tricky genre. It’s a fine line between realism and turning a fun game into a chore. Rail Road Train Simulator ’16 (available now on the Play Store) developed by Indian indie devs Seven Summit Studios, hopes to achieve that balance in this mobile train sim.
The premise of the game is simple as can be: you take control of a locomotive, and direct it on the railroad between stations, controlling speed and track changes. There are a number of “missions” to complete, comprising various types of railroad navigation, and an array of engines to unlock, from the American Switcher steam locomotive to the mighty Mikado, ‘Emperor of Japan,’ to the Euro Bullet Train, as well as passenger and transport locomotives.
What’s notable in the game, is the attention to detail that is necessary for a sim stand out from the rest. Particularly on mobile devices, sims are more often than not, misses rather than hits, and to have an enjoyable sim on these devices is quite the achievement. Developer Asar Dhandala of Seven Summit Studios explains that Rail Road Train Simulator ’16 seeks to address “several shortcomings among the already available sims in the mobile marketplace” and includes a host of unique features, such as over 100k trees, track changing system, decoupling and coupling, selecting wagons to go with the engines (mix and match).
The controls appear as on-screen buttons, but avoid clutter, such that the locomotive itself is front-and-centre. The controls themselves have a certain weight to them, which make for engaging gameplay, and certainly feels like a sim, rather than an arcade drive-the-train game. Managing your speed and tracks can be an involved experience, lest you go crashing off the track. The visuals, while not incredible, provide a satisfying scenery to your travels, with stretches of scenery and a pretty good draw distance, while the realistic audio adds to the immersion.
Combined with the great replay value, thanks to the free roam mode, Rail Road Train Simulator ’16 is a game that railway enthusiasts and gamers alike can dig into. But considering the relative dearth of railway sims, particularly on mobile, the genre seems like an intriguing choice. But as Asar explains it, he was confident that this game would set itself apart, saying
I play plenty of train simulators both on PC and mobiles and I noticed that not a lot of mobile sims offer realistic track changing, choosing any wagons to go with the engines and free roam mode alongside few more standard features that you may find on a PC game – so I decided to make a sim addressing all those.
Rail Road Train Simulator ’16 is a standout effort by an Indian dev, and a noteworthy addition to the list of railway sims. If you fancy riding the train through the great outdoors, or simply want a break from the congested roads we traverse everyday, this is a game well worth your time.
Rail Road Train Simulator ’16 is out for Android now.