Nintendojo.com
Member Log In or Register
Nintendojo.com

Home
News
Previews
Reviews

Columns & Editorials
Interviews
Specials
Podcast (RSS)

Forums
Twitter Feed
Contact
Hiring

reviews info and tools





Lionel Trains on Track Package Art
GENRE
Simulation
DEVELOPER
Black Lantern Studios
PUBLISHER
Destination Software, Inc.
LOCAL WIRELESS
MULTI-PLAY
No
Wi-Fi/GLOBAL ONLINE
MULTI-PLAY
No
MICROPHONE
No
BUY NOW AT

Lionel Trains on Track

Lionel Trains has been a well-known brand among model train enthusiasts for decades. The realistic scale and impressive craftsmanship have set Lionel Trains apart and made them first among collectors. Now, Black Lantern Studios and Destination Software bring the familiar series of models to DS in Lionel Trains on Track.

visuals

Basically, the graphics in Lionel Trains on Track are grid-based. Each map is divided into square segments, and the map can be viewed from close up or far away. Cities are represented by a larger square, replete with houses and trees; these appear more as small suburban outposts and less as fully-developed cities. The trains are somewhat hard to see, even when zoomed in and with the simulation on the slowest speed setting.

audio

The familiar whistle of a chugging train will fill the DS speakers each time a locomotive is ready to set off on a journey. Aside from this, the sound effects in Lionel Trains on Track are nearly nonexistent. Somewhat pleasant background music fills the environs; although this remains the same for nearly all of the playing experience and can get tiresome.

gameplay

Constructing railroads and a fleet of trains is what Lionel Trains are all about, and the DS game is no exception. Railroads and trains must be purchased with funds. Money can be made by shipping passengers and cargo throughout the different routes, which in most cases will be planned out by the player. Each specific train can have a predetermined number of destinations and cargo containers. Each model costs a different amount to purchase and are based on models currently in production by Lionel.

Lionel Trains features three different gameplay modes, each based around the same basic principles. While the developers intended the Campaign mode -- which gives specific goals to achieve -- to serve as the tutorial, it is the Sandbox mode that really lets players grasp the way that the game works. Sandbox is also the closest to the physical Lionel Trains experience, since it alone has no monetary limits. The Campaign and Free Play modes both feature real-world simulations, which involve the spending and amassing of capital in order to build and grow a railroad empire.

Players can interface with either the face buttons or the touchscreen. Neither seems to work particularly well. Had the developers committed to either one or the other, the menu interface likely would have turned out better. Controlling the game with only the face buttons would have led to a less cluttered screen, while using touch control as the primary interface could have made laying tracks and allotting cargo much easier with a drag and drop system. Instead, the system is unintuitive no matter which control style one chooses.

multiplayer

N/A

overall

With a deep simulation system and a large stable of locomotives, Lionel Trains on Track will definitely appeal to fans of the Lionel Train models and to those fond of games like Sim City and Civilization. While this title doesn't offer as deep an experience as do the others mentioned, it nevertheless can offer some entertainment to fans of the genre.

Unfortunately, the game's uncomfortable controls keep it from being a winning experience and can make it downright unenjoyable at times. A more fully-realized control system and a better menu interface could have made this game far more playable. As it is, Lionel Trains on Track shapes up to be something far less than it could have been.

final score 5.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Aaron Roberts
Staff Profile | Email
"HISSHO! BURAIKEN!!!!!"


DOJO TECH
Bookmark and Share
This Story in Printer Friendly Format

E-Mail This Story

Search Our Website:



All original content 1996 - 2010 Nintendojo.com Nintendojo is an independent website and is not affiliated with Nintendo of America or Nintendo Co. Ltd. All third party images, characters, and names are property of their original creators. About | Contact | Hiring