Too Much Free Time

Discussion and reviews of games for NES, Intellivision, DOS, and others.

First Impressions: A Ressha de Ikou

Posted by Tracy Poff on December 8, 2006

A search on Wikipedia tells me that Maxis released this game in the US as A-Train, and it is a simulator in which you build a railway system.

Well, I like the old SimCity games, so I like Maxis, so I should like this, right? Let’s see:

Well, it doesn’t look bad so much as it doesn’t seem to have any interface. Playing with the buttons didn’t seem to do anything, but not to worry; there is a help screen:

Unfortunately, the help screen isn’t very helpful. Still, I persevered, pressing buttons at random on the theory that a million monkeys playing a million copies of A-Train will eventually figure out the controls. The biggest change I made was causing it turn turn to night:

Actually, I’m pretty sure that that was either timed, or just based on how many buttons I’d pressed, rather than any particular action of mine. I couldn’t work out what to do with this before my patience ran out, so I quit. Japanese people play pachinko games too, but that doesn’t make them good games; it’s no surprise that this game was a dismal failure in the US, despite its huge success in Japan. Avoid it.

2 Responses to “First Impressions: A Ressha de Ikou”

  1. Rowan Lipkovits said

    “it’s no surprise that this game was a dismal failure in the US, despite its huge success in Japan” — That’s a bit harsh; I’m sure if the Japanese players had been hobbled by English-only instructions, they probably would have enjoyed it less. (And were you playing a Maxis-released language-localized North American port, you might well have gotten more out of it 8)

  2. Tracy Poff said

    Fair enough. Had I access to the English version, I’d have tried it; I’d hate to unfairly malign the game. Still, I did a bit more looking after playing and before posting my review, and it didn’t seem like the sort of game I’d enjoy even if I’d understood it. To each his own, I guess.

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