Choo Choo! Train Valley Leaves Early Access

Train Valley [official site] is not the deepest or most serious train management game around, but it’s not meant to be. Marsh enjoyed playing the Early Access version, laying lines and directing trains and suffering disasters and bankruptcy, and I know Adam has enjoyed it too. If you’re put off by Steam Early Access, though, good news: Train Valley has just graduated to a properly-released game after five months.

Marsh clearly knows more about this than me, so here’s some of what he said:

“… it is hugely enjoyable. (Maybe that’s why First Great Western still exist – they just seem to having so much fun no one can bear to end their contract.) And not just enjoyable, but exciting, too. Even though the game lets you pause time at any moment – to flip signals, give trains instructions, or designate areas for track to be laid – the game quickly requires intense concentration as you micromanage your choo-choos, ensuring that the blue one stops just long enough for the red one to nip past, before you flip the signal and shunt it onto the track just in front of the yellow one, which leaves its tramshed just in time for the purple one to enter. Or, more likely in my case: everyone dies and I console myself by paying myself a gigantic bonus and hiking fare prices. Suck it up, peasants!”

Sounds pretty good, that!

Train Valley is now properly out for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can find it on Steam for £7 or DRM-free on the Humble Store with a Steam key too. Impressively, it’s the work of three chaps – Alexey Davydov, Sergey Dvoynikov, and Timofey Shargorodskiy. Steam and its site have a demo, though I believe it may be from an old version (?).


  1. jonfitt says:

    It looks like Transport Tycoon (with just trains) on a small map. Can anyone speak to that point?

    • trjp says:

      There’s no economics to it – it’s a game of getting trains from A-B (or C or D) as quickly as possible without crashing

      There are objectives for most levels but you can just keep-on playing – they’re supposed to have included a highscore system for people doing that – they promised that so it should be there.

      It’s really Mini Metro with signalling rather than anything like TT

  2. trjp says:

    I played the demo quite a bit – but there seem to be some bugs which the developer has gone to a lot of trouble to completely ignore.

    Not sure if it’s a language thing – they just come-in and brush-off people who point-them-out, it doesn’t give me confidence that they’ll tweak the game to the point it’s REALLY good

    That said I like it and encourage people to try the demo at least

  3. Montuckian says:

    I choo- choo – chose to back this in early access and wasn’t disappointed.

    It’s really more of a timing game than a strategy game a la “Cook, Serve, Delicious”, or maybe “Diner Dash”. There are some strategic decisions to be made in laying the track especially after playing a map a time or two and it can be fun to bring efficiency into a system.

    It’d be worth the $10 or whatever that would be in the Queen’s money if you like this sort of gameplay.

    • trjp says:

      The thing which annoyed me (and which I think is a bug or a bad design choice) is that there are 3 types of train in the game

      1 – the ones which appear on the timer
      2 – the ones you summon manually for extra points
      3 – “special” trains which leave from certain stations at given times

      Nowhere are the (3) trains explained (other than in response to bug reports) but if there’s a train waiting to leave that station, it will be despatched whether you like it or not (likely head-on into another train)

      That’s a stupid feature IMO – a train control game which takes the control away from the controller – it kinda irked me – it makes no sense.

      • trjp says:

        p.s. it also auto-despatches trains if all stations are full – which makes more sense but is also kinda annoying

        I do agree it’s a decent game to play tho, just don’t be surprised when you need to rebuild stuff cos the game chose to ignore you and send-out a train anyway ;0

  4. Assaf says:

    Friends, what’s a good train game for a guy that like building model railroads?

    • Assaf says:

      For a guy that likes*

      • Overload-J says:

        Trainz is often cited as the best of the railroad games if you want to build your own layouts.

        link to

        • Assaf says:

          Thanks. Which edition of Trainz you think is the best?
          Also, I should have probably mentioned it’s for my father, who doesn’t play video games very much… So ideally it shouldn’t be something too much sophisticated

          • trjp says:

            Trainz is certainly a ‘railway layout’ game – Train Simulator requires MUCH more work to make your own stuff.

            Be careful tho – Trainz is an OLD game which has scary system requirements/really shoddy performance even on modern PCs (and that’s before they did the ‘New Age’ version which is apparently WORSE)

            Trainz is regularly thrown into bundles (Bundle Stars regularly do a Trainz-only bundle) – so it should be cheap to track down a copy if you’re patient?

  5. racccoon says:

    Gets rather boring after a few minutes. –price change, 1 dollar or free to play! possibly..but still you wont play it for long.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      Steam says I’ve played the demo for 8 hours cumulatively. Now I’m no statistician, but to me this suggests… that not everyone is you.

      It’s an elegant little train-themed puzzle game. So it might just be great for people who want, say, an elegant little train-themed puzzle game.

      Lucky those people: there’s a demo!