Train Crisis HD: First Class or Train Wreck?

There’s a diverse range of puzzle games on Android, and Train Crisis is my latest favourite. U-Play has developed another snazzy looking game that will have you gripping your phone intensely! It’s a particularly good strategy game that requires quick thinking, quick reflexes and the ability to hold your temper – it can get quite difficult. So put down Angry Birds and hop on board…

Gameplay

See the coloured square pieces of track in the screenshot below?

All aboard!

You need to tap these as the trains approach to lead each one to its colour-coded destination. Besides that, you’ll need to destroy boulders, adjust the track, stopping the trains in their tracks, and so on.

Although its not technically the most complicated of games to understand, there’s still plenty of challenge in actually playing it: you’ve got to be fast to deal with all the obstacles on time; you have to be vigilant to avoid causing collisions; and you need to pay attention to where all the tunnels lead if there are more than one. Another interesting addition to make it that much more complicated is the ghost trains, which appear in certain levels. These trains are faster than the normal train and don’t have a place to stop. It all gets very hectic and can make you feel somewhat irate, so be warned.

The only problem I see is that there aren’t enough levels. I do how the trains’ models get updated as you move through the levels, as though you were progressing through time – it’s a clever touch. It would have been a lot better if they added a few more worlds, but I feel you get your money’s worth.

Graphics

The game was developed using Unity, so we should not be surprised that it’s a very pretty game with few graphical flaws. U-Play has pulled out all the stops to create a visual spectacle. Plenty of attention to detail has gone into this game; even the menu has a nice little motion background to give the user an idea of what to expect.

Whoops. Bit of an accident.

However when the train crashes in the tiny puff of smoke and fire it seems to glitch a tiny bit, and when a train goes through a tunnel the smoke from the funnel can go through the roof. But overall the graphics are nearly perfect.

Trouble Ahead?

There is a small hitch to all of this: if you get the Lite version there are a few things that might put you off – most notably the adverts. These do block some of the view of the track, and in one instance when I played I couldn’t click on the track to change the line so it crashed over and over again. But never fear; U-Play has designed a way to let you play more levels, ad-free, on two worlds without buying the game.

But this irritated me still. They say you can use coins to buy one world’s worth of levels ad-free, but to actually get the coins you need to download more games. It works out that you have to download and play three games to get enough coins to unlock one demo world ad-free; it would have been much better if it unlocked both. Six games to unlock all the levels in the demo feels like too much hassle for what it’s worth – after all, the game isn’t even a dollar.

Just what I didn't want

My advice is to just buy the game, rather than downloading six games you might not even want to play. Other than that, there is no bad side to this game, just this small annoyance which only crops up in the Lite version.

Similar Games

The idea behind this game has been bounced about the internet for years; I even had a Wallace and Gromit game that was very similar back in the ’90s. However the 3D game style and the unique tile selection makes this unique on Android.

There are some other puzzle games that have the same concept, such as Unblock Train and Rail Master, but they are not done with nearly as much as class and style. Unblock Train is about moving trains so that the train can reach its destination, while Rail Master is basically a pipe-laying game in which you guide the train to the tunnel by laying track that is randomly generated.

Conclusion

One of the most graphically enhanced puzzle games on the market. Download the free version and play a few levels, and then if you like it buy it. The game itself is generally quite addictive – to the point of frustration, which makes it so gripping. It is a worthwhile game: it’s the one time that trains will be good fun for everyone.


Summary

Great looking puzzle game with some unique features to its genre. A short supply of levels and irritating ad placement in the Lite version are the only flaws I can see.

8
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