Posting about interesting-looking Russian bleak ’em up 35MM this week, I was curious to see what creator Sergey Noskov’s other games were like. Having now played The Train, I’m surprised such a pretty free horror game passed me by when he released it a year ago. It’s a nightmarish journey telling a story of a life through little vignettes and light puzzle-solving, with a cracking mood. Discovering the right mouse button is dedicated to closing your eyes filled me with dire foreboding.
The Train’s split between wandering through an increasingly spooky train, solving very gentle backtrack-y puzzles, and reliving little playable scenes from the protagonist’s life. It’s all metaphorical and psychological in a Silent Hill-ish sort of way, of course. It has jump scares it doesn’t need, and its puzzles are either backtracking to find things or repeating sections until you nail timings, but it’s a pleasant enough experience. It’s moody, it’s pretty, it’s ugly, I really dig the swirly smoke effect, and the grinding soundscapes are pretty great. And I was not at all happy when I discovered why I’d need to close my eyes.
Small details like being an able to drop coins into a busker’s hat, which isn’t signposted and seemingly has no purpose, are pleasing to me. I’m keen to see more of 35MM now, and will be playing Noskov’s more explore-y The Light tonight too.
Annoyingly, The Train doesn’t seem to have much of an official online presence I could point you at, beyond the free download on Noskov’s Dropbox and this here trailer:
Oh! And the second option in the menu is the settings – you can set the language to English there.