If there's a niche games haven't really filled, it's lazy Sunday morning telly. Something for when your gran's round, with a hot cuppa and the gentle patter of a light shower tapping against the windows. This week, Dovetail Games are flicking the channel over to Great British Railway Journeys, a Train Simulator spin-off that's delivering Michael Portillo's frightfully English BBC Two series to Steam on March 5th.
Ooh, it's all so awfully Tory, isn't it? Pass the biscuits, Michael.
Great British Railway Journeys is a licensed spin-off from Dovetail's Train Simulator series. But rather than painstakingly recreating every last cab, carriage and commuter line in Britain, GBRJ has hand-picked five routes from the George Bradshaw’s Handbook, a "comprehensive tourist guide" of the country's railways released in 1840 and the impetus behind the show's escapades.
Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like presenter Michael Portillo will provide dulcet commentary of your digital journeys himself. His involvement begins and ends with a PR soundbite, praising the "level of realism and extraordinary detail" of GBRJ, making it feel "exactly like being in the driving seat of a train."
I'd bloody well hope so, Michael. It's a train simulator.
Never really understood what's so great about British train rides, myself. Oh, we've got some lovely views out there, but they're no exactly cheap. Costs me thrice as much to catch a train down to London as it does to fly, and that's when we're not getting turned around at Berwick-Upon-Tweed because of all the flooding. Even then, half the routes in the English North are still using pacers, effectively an ancient steel bus with some rail wheels slapped on.
Pending sheep on the line or further flooding, Great British Railway Journeys will pull into Steam's station on Wednesday 4th.