Last year, NimbleBit released Pocket Planes, an entertaining simulation for mobile devices that essentially let you run your own airline business, opening up airports and routes while accumulating money. Now the developer is back with Pocket Trains, which essentially reuses the Pocket Planes template.
You'll start out small, with just a handful of trains and so many destinations to haul cargo to, including Rome, Milan and Paris. As you progress, you open the map with new routes and worldwide locations to visit, along with purchasing new trains and parts to keep things running smoothly.
Like Pocket Planes, this game runs as a full-blown simulation. That's not to say it isn't entertaining, because it is, but it's also limited. You'll send trains on their merry little way, able to track their progress on the fly, but you never take full control of these locomotives.
In addition, the management angle may prove problematic for casual players and kids. Managing trains, building new tracks and opening new business venues could be overwhelming. That said, more skilled players - especially those savvy with Pocket Planes - should have no problem getting into it.
Pocket Trains is free-to-play, though if you want premium parts right away, you can spend real cash. It's completely optional and you can spend hours raking in the dough from jobs. Even better, the game doesn't have to run to get from point A to point B. Pop-up messages will indicate when a train completes its trip. This is helpful, especially if you're busy.
This game also benefits from a charming presentation. The real-time train design and movement compliments adorable 8-bit "Bitizen" character designs and locomotives. It's a neat effect that works really well. The music is also good, and the classic train sound effects, like the tooting of a horn, will fill enthusiasts with joy.
While it would've been nice to have some form of train control or situations to resolve, Pocket Trains is a well-polished simulation that fans of this sort of game will enjoy.
What's Hot:Excellent business simulation, plenty of trains for enthusiasts to purchase, you make progress away from the game, cute retro-style presentation complete with "Bitizens," free-to-play.
What's Not:You can't control trains directly, management can be overwhelming for rookie players and kids, you may need to drop real cash for premium parts.