Put on your best travelling clothes for a journey through a strange land by train, boat, and cable car in The Endless Express [Itch page]. It's the full follow up to a game jam game I really enjoyed in 2014, building on the idea of a strange multi-change train journey run to a real-time timetable, or... it was supposed to be. The developers today announced they've stopped making it but they have released their work-in-progress version for free.
The Endless Express is a walking simulator travelling home through swamps, forests, and shores, little zones connected by several train lines which run to a real-time timetable. Hop off, see where you've ended up and meet the strange people and creatures there. It's awfully pretty and lovely to poke around. I enjoy the moments of checking my watch (left-clicking raises your arm to look, obvs) to be sure I don't wander too far then making snap decisions about whether I'd like to stay longer or dash to catch the train just pulling in.
So what went wrong? The devs explain:
"This game was intended as our first commercial game, after making the 2014 game jam game we thought it'd be cool to expand on the concept and try to put in all the ideas we had for the game jam. The project ended up being a bit too big for us to actually properly finish, we wanted to do so much more with the concept! Our team just wasn't experienced enough in making vidgams."
Which is a shame! This is a lovely place. I don't like the dialogue, which jars with the tone of everything else, but I've no idea how early that was - this is an unfinished game, after all. And I do like that the menus are within a magical room through a portal opening up wherever you please, which also has a nice little bathroom. I'm sorry I won't see the game this might have become.
The Endless Express is pay-what-you-want for Windows, Mac, and Linux from Itch.