All aboard! Trainyard is a five star puzzle experience whose rails everyone should ride.
There seems to be an inordinate amount of train themed games in the App Store. At first glance this might seem weird, but I think the “train on the track” aspect is perfectly suited to the touch screen, whether we’re guiding trains or drawing track. Of all those games there are some very good ones to be sure, but what we have here is a serious contender to be the best of them all… Trainyard.
If you’d like to save yourselves some time, read the following sentence and then follow its advice: Go buy Trainyard… now. This is a 5 star game if I’ve ever seen one. If you’d like to know why, read on to enjoy a review of a game that has zero shortcomings.
The object of Trainyard is to get trains to their respective destinations by drawing track. You have the ability to draw as much track as you like on the screen, erasing and re-drawing to your hearts’ content. Once you think you’ve solved it, you can unleash the trains and watch how it all works out.
The beauty of the game is how it lets you take as much time as you need to get your solutions down, and how the game doesn’t penalize you for messing up. This isn’t a game about getting it right the first time, it’s just about getting it right – and Trainyard puts numerous tools at your disposal to help work it out.
For instance, if you start the trains but something goes wrong, there’s a button to take you “back to the drawing board.” This lets you work with your existing track, not forcing to you to start over as most puzzle games would. The other great tool is being able to speed up or slow down the trains as they run their paths, which is fantastic when you get to later levels and have trains crossing over or combining together. Some things happen in a split second, and being able to see things unfold square by square is simply awesome.
The game starts out pretty easy. There’s a start and end station that you’ll need to connect with a track. As the game progresses, there are multiple stations of different colors that you’ll have to connect to their like-colored ends (red to red, yellow to yellow, etc). You’ll then see three different colors, and the challenge becomes making sure the trains cross over each other without crashing.
That’s when things get interesting. You’ll have a yellow and blue start station and one green end station, well that means you need to combine the two trains at the same time to create one green train. Or maybe there are two green stations, which means your yellow and blue trains need to pass over each other instead of combine, thus creating two green trains. You can see what I’m getting at – there are tons of different puzzle combinations the game throws your way.
Trainyard is a sublime puzzler that gets more and more difficult with each of its 150 stages, but at such a gentle and pleasurable pace that it never feels unfair. Like all great games, it leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction after each and every level. Trainyard is that rare breed of puzzle game that I wouldn’t hesitate to call a must-own.