I’ll tell you of a man I knew, who claimed he came from Timbuktu.
We’ve seen a lot of games about trains lately here on Gamezebo. And what’s not to love? Train tracks just seem to be the perfect element to complement a puzzle game. Conversely, we’ve also seen a disappointing lack of games to feature the West African setting of Timbuktu. But thankfully, Last Train to Timbuktu, the debut brain-teasing puzzler from Green-Eyes Games is here to bring us the best of both worlds!
At its core, Last Train to Timbuktu is a tile-sliding puzzle game, but the catch is that every move will rotate an entire row or column of tiles, whether you want it to or not! The goal of each puzzle is to slide these tiles to complete a circuit of train tracks, and connect two train stations together so you can get to Timbuktu on time. This will result in some seriously head-scratching puzzles, as the tracks gradually start to get longer, with more complex pathways, and the ticking clock becomes a serious factor.
The simple graphics are a nice throwback to those early computer games of old, and while they’re nothing too fancy, it puts the emphasis squarely on the tile-sliding gameplay. What’s even more impressive is that Green-Eyed Games is a one-man game studio, and Last Train to Timbuktu was made entirely on the weekends, or whenever the developer had a free moment to spare.
The game features five levels of difficulty spread out across four different game modes. In addition to the main puzzles where you race a devious red car to the Timbuktu station, you can also test your conductor skills over two exciting challenge modes, which add some tricky gameplay restraints, like a 5-minute time limit, or having to complete a puzzle in fewer than 50 moves. That might seem like a lot of leeway at first, but I’m sure on some of the higher difficulties, you’ll need to make every one of those moves count. You’ll also find special power-ups in these challenge puzzles, where collecting bonus stations will award you with extra time or moves, and collecting flowers will work wonders towards boosting that high score. Another perk of Last Train to Timbuktu is that every puzzle in the game is randomly generated, so you’ll have an endless track worth of puzzles to enjoy.
Last Train to Timbuktu is scheduled to pull into the station on March 2 for Windows platforms, but Mac and mobile support is also being planned for the months down the road. You can sign up now on the game’s website to be notified the second that Last Train to Timbuktu arrives, so you can make sure that your suitcase is packed and all ready to go. But what’s waiting for you when you get there is still anyone’s guess!