Saturday, November 23, 2019

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 146 - Tracks: The Train Set Game

When Tracks: The Train Set Game was shown at the X019 show I'm sure a lot of gamers rolled their eyes and took a big swig of Doritos flavored Mountain Dew because it was so far below their hardcore gaming sensibilities. Not us. Not me. Not Eric of Eric Vs. 365. Tracks was a bright shining beacon of hope. It looked fun as heck so we instantly downloaded it (thanks, Game Pass) and have been having an amazing time with it. Read more and watch gameplay after the jump.

Ever since I was a little kid I always wanted a train set. I'd ask for it every year for Christmas but never got one. The closest I ever got was Micro Machines trains, which were cool and I liked them, but I wanted to real H/O scale Lionel fancy pants trains. Of course, as an adult I discovered that all of that stuff is stupidly expensive, so even at age 36 I've still never gotten a real train set. 

Tracks: The Train Set Game isn't quite exactly what I wanted - it's simiple wooden trains and not Lionel replicas - but the joy of laying down tracks, building a world of little scale models, and watching your little train drive around here definitely scratches that same itch. It's really, really impressive, actually.

At first, Tracks seems like a very simple experience of laying out basic tracks and not much else. Then you start digging and find all sorts of neat tools to play with. You can put down roads and landscaping and buildings of all kinds. You can place water and grass and tons of environmental objects. You can make very complicated track systems with multiple lines and turn tables and switches and tunnels. You can make giant maps where your tracks spread around a huge play area and even vertically high into the sky. You can populate your world with vehicles and people. You can get lost for hours and hours and hours in this game just building anything you can imagine. You can even build ramps and jumps and put in speed boosters so you train gains infinite speed. It's like Minecraft with trains.

It's a little janky. It was a PC game originally, and definitely seems like a mouse would make things easier. You do eventually get used to the Xbox controller controls, though. It isn't super intuitive, either, which is kind of strange considering it's simple wooden trains, but by experimenting you do figure some things out. 

While I was recording the video I was discovering all sorts of stuff and it was really satisfying. When I'm not crazy busy with a million other things I'm definitely going to keep coming back to Tracks to keep building my cozy little town and it's death train that just keeps going faster and never stops. 

I love Tracks: The Train Set Game and I hope other people give it a chance. It's really well done and fun to play.