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Islands & Trains looks like Townscaper but with trains - and that's perfect

A no-stress transport sandbox

It's been a good few years for relaxing, sandbox building games, and Islands & Trains looks to fit right in. Its name also does most of my job for me: this is a game about constructing islands, right? And then you build trains on them, yeah? It's "coming soon" and it looks delightful in GIFs the developer has been posting on Twitter.

I spotted GIFs of the game going round Twitter last night, but Alice0 beat me to it, including Islands & Trains in Screenshot Saturady Mondays. I think it's worth its own post anyway.

Or here's another:

And here's another with a bigger island. Check the little sheep!

Like many of its inspirations, there's apparently no goal to Islands & Trains. It's a zero-stress building sandbox about making something you find satisfying to look at.

I played a lot of Townscaper, whiling away the hours by tinkering with port towns of my own design. I enjoyed it partly because it provides a procedural partner to your construction work, which helps to turn your simple clicks into surprising and delightful architectural creations . Islands & Trains looks like it offers simpler asset placement, by comparison.

But then, it's got trains. Whenever I felt my town was fully scaped in Townscaper, there was no reason to keep watching it. Trains solve that. I've also had enough fun clicking together Ikea train tracks with my son to know that I'll enjoy clicking together virtual tracks, and I don't need a Transport Tycoon economic simulation or a Cosmic Express puzzle to make that interesting. I do hope Islands & Trains goes so far as to let me set up little track switches, though.

Islands & Trains is the work of Fabian Smith, whose Twitter bio says he's both a game developer and kindergarten teacher. Perhaps he too has spent time clicking together Ikea train tracks. You can wishlist the game and find more screenshots over on Steam.

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