Train Mechanic Simulator is a game in which you, as the name suggest, are a train mechanic. Find locomotives around the game world that need your help and repair them in one of your 3 workshops. There are workshops for diesel, electrical and steam locomotives.
The game takes place in an open world-ish map where you can drive around in your tow train and go look for broken trains. You get objectives that tell you in what cluster of the map the broken train is located, so you don't have to go look everywhere in the 25 square kilometers map.
The game is developed by Si7 Studio and published by PlayWay S.A. – a developer popular mainly for different simulator titles, such as Car Mechanic Simulator 2015, Helicopter: Natural Disasters, Truck Mechanic 2015 or Farm Mechanic Simulator 2015.
I must say, I really like these types of games. Sitting around at home with nothing else to do, in the mood for a fun and casual game. So I was rather excited when this game turned up on the list of games that need to be reviewed.
Train Mechanic Simulator 2017 will be available on Steam for about $ 15.00, released on March 23rd.
As you would have guessed, you play a train mechanic in this game. Having been dumped into an empty garage, you walk up to the computer in your office and you notice that you have a work order waiting for you. You read it, click on accept and a cutscene starts playing, showing you a train rolling into your workshop. Waiting for you to grab your toolbox and begin an examination. The game is very in-depth and although I must admit; I don't know what components are "under the hood" of a train, there are is a lot of stuff put in there by the developer of this game, Si7 Studio. But before you know it, you learn a lot about the workings of a train.
The game starts you off gently with a great tutorial, telling you exactly what is wrong with each train, but soon begins to hand you jobs with more "vague" problems like 'the breaking is off' or 'the engine is too loud' and expects you to work out what needs to be done. As you become more and more comfortable with the tasks at hand, you learn to quickly find the problems, and solutions, based on nothing but these complaints. And you learn that there are a hell of a lot of screws in one single train!
After a train rolls into the shop. You check the job listing to see what’s wrong with it. You disassemble a ton of parts—occasionally simulating a socket wrench by holding the mouse down over bolts and screws. You remove the broken parts. You repair or buy new versions of those parts on your tablet. You install the new parts. You put everything back together. That's the grand scheme of the game, in a nutshell.
Luckily that last step is made easy with a ghost-image of each part you need to assemble. And luckily the game doesn’t allow you to assemble parts in the wrong order. Imagine having a dissembled train laying at your feet and not knowing how to put the darn thing back together.
Some missions ask you to go outside in your tow train and go look for a broken down or derailed locomotive. You have to drive around, switching the tracks from inside your map menu and go look for it in a certain quadrant of the map. This isn't very challenging as most quadrants only have one or two train tracks going through them. Driving around in your train isn't that challenging, I moved through the turns in the tracks at full speed and nothing happened. I found this "mini-game" rather tedious than a fun change of scenery. A good try, but a big bust. So if you are going to play this game, hoping to find mechanics like Train Simulator you are out of luck on this one!
A big downside of this game is the movement, though. Everything moves very slowly. As if you have set the mouse sensitivity of a game to half what it's supposed to be. When you want to turn left, the game delays a bit and when you stop turning left, the game continues to turn a bit. Now I know train workers like to drink in their off time, but it felt like I was "well oiled" so to speak. Once you get used to that, though, the controls are the game are like any other game. Move around with W, A, S, D and look around with your mouse.
The controls while in repair mode are slightly odd as well. You interact with the left mouse button, nothing strange there, but you look around with the right mouse button and move freely while holding down the mouse wheel. In my mind, those latter two should've been switched around.
The game runs pretty smoothly on almost any new PC. The recommended specs tell us why.
The minimum specs for running this game are a Pentium Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of internal memory and a Geforce GT560. The recommended specs for running this game are a Pentium Quad Core processor, 8 GB of internal memory and a Geforce GT950 or better. I think the majority of gamers these days have something in between these specs, or even better!
sound and graphics
On the other hand, the soundtrack has some really catchy tunes! I caught myself humming along to some of the songs pretty often. I was only playing this game for a little over two hours, though, so that says something about the amount of songs on the soundtrack.
Overall the sounds and music in this game are pretty average.
The graphics in this game are stunning! The images you see in this article are images of in-game footage. There has been a lot of improvement since the last mechanic simulator game I have played, which was one of the car mechanic simulator titles. With each train being well-modelled from the bodywork down to the smallest nuts and bolts of its innards, which is fortunate since you'll spend a lot of time in there!
Train Mechanic Simulator 2017 has some flaws, but nothing game breaking. Overall it's a decent and fun game. I played around for a couple of hours and I had a hard time pulling myself away from this game. It never froze up on me or crashed, which is a big plus on a test version of any game.
I only wish the developers hadn't put in the "go look for the broken train" mini-game. It is just an annoyance and when I had the chance to pick a work order, these once were always dead last on the list. Driving around in a map that's just way too big. Don't get me wrong, they let you know exactly where the darn thing is. But getting there takes some time. Pulling it up with your crane takes more time, and then you have to get it back to your workshop. That is just to much time that I could have been spending repairing trains. And you can't even skip these work orders! By the looks of it, I'm the only train mechanic in the 25 square kilometers region.
But if you are a collector of these types of simulation games, Train Mechanic Simulator 2017 is one of the games you can't miss out on! On the other hand, if you are looking for a game to drive trains, better skip this station and move on to the next one!
|+ Fun casual game with no time pressure||– Missed the ball on the "Find the Train mini-game|
|+ Great graphics||– Repetitive sounds|
|+ Easy to understand||– Odd controls|
|+ Great tutorial||– Weird mouse sensitivity|