I have been a fan of NimbleBit software for a few years — I first got into them with their brilliant and often imitated iPhone app, Tiny Tower. Their next big hit with me, at least for awhile, was Pocket Planes. I got a bit fed up with playing that after awhile because the action felt incredibly repetitive. When I saw that they were advertising a new game called Pocket Trains, I just had to go for it — chiefly because I love trains. I have that in common with my two and a half year old son.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward. You start off with a few basic train lines, and are given assignments — take cargo from one city to another. Unlike in Pocket Planes, where any plane could go to any city that is reachable (planes can only fly so far on a tank of fuel, after all,) trains can only travel along their own unique train line. However, it is quickly deduced (only took me a few days of playing… maybe I’m just slow) that just because two cities cannot be directly connected by one train line does not mean that you cannot get cargo between those two cities. Each city has a yard in which you can leave wagons. While you have to keep track of it yourself (mentally or otherwise) you can take cargo to a city, unload it, and then have another train from a second train line go to that city and pick it up and deliver it to the target city. Sounds like a lot of work — but it really becomes intuitive quickly.
There are two forms of currency in the game — coins and cash. The cash can be purchased with an instore purchase for real money, but it can also be won through missions and certain cargo transport jobs. Expanding your line of trains and building newer and better (faster, able to haul more cargo) trains requires the cash, but you don’t need to spend real money to enjoy the game — it just speeds things along. If you have no patience (I seem to have an infinite amount with this game and its beautiful cousin Tiny Tower) then you can of course spend real money. I suppose one could say that if you want to support the developer, spending a few dollars to get in game cash would surely be appreciated by NimbleBit.
Lastly, I would like to mention the in game missions. The missions come in two varieties — get a lot of one kind of cargo to one target city, or get a lot of it out of that city. In the example below, the city of Helsinki need copper.
When I played that day, I found that there was lots of copper to be found in cities that were not directly connectable to Helsinki — and so I ended up spending a lot of time sending trains to one linked city that happened to be almost a hub — a port with multiple lines going into it.
This game certainly isn’t for everyone but if you love trains as much as I do, get it! It is available for both Android and iOS based devices.