Is it worth chugging away at this rough journey?
Train Fever has an excellent premise: it’s a transport sim that begins in 1850 and develops over the next 200 years. You’re presented with a map dotted with towns and cargo centres, and a text-heavy tutorial that explains how to use the many menus to set up train and bus route.
Mundane achievements act as the only objectives – you’re given no guidance. Aim to link up the different parts of the map in a costefficient way then, we guess, or you’ll never be able to afford that LNER Class A4 come 1935.
Trains were more romantic in the days of steam; it’s a joy to watch a green Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn puff its way through the green hills. Stilted animations, however, leave townsfolk walking around looking like they’re carrying invisible objects under their armpits.
The inconsistency in quality makes Train Fever feel like an earlyaccess game, especially given that it seems to need a more powerful machine than its requirements suggest. Its vehicles and buildings are beautiful, but textures are flat; its citizens are individually simulated, but there are few character models (and they don’t always match the timeframe well). Roads and tracks curve and snap onto each other, but vague error messages abound. The simulation is complex, but the game is so unwieldy that only passionate and patient fans will find it enjoyable. Jordan Erica Webber
A complex simulation that can look picturesque, but will put off novices and fail to impress experts.
Train Fever is surprisingly demanding on your system.