I remember times when all kinds of simulators seemed “exciting” to me. The apparent monotony and the low-involvement gameplay soothed my mind, allowing me a break from the rush of serious and action-packed productions. Only a year has passed since then, and my approach to PlayWay games has changed dramatically. I welcome the next simulators not with enthusiasm, but with a heavy sigh, because I know that for the next few hours I will be surprised by absolutely nothing. Well, because what would surprise me would be the railway skin for House Flipper, which turned out to be Train Station Renovation from Live Motion Games.
Train Station Flipper
The assumptions in both productions are almost identical. Instead of houses, we clean and renovate railway stations. The trick, however, is that the Train Station Renovation has been deprived of the buying and selling mechanics. We are not a young entrepreneur or enthusiast who, out of love for railways, has chosen to restore their former glory to other stations and depots, but only an ordinary Mr. Waldek hired for renovation. So while Train Station Renovation replicates the House Flipper gameplay fairly faithfully, it does not engage the player in the same way. The progression is linear here, and the next levels are unlocked by “covering” the preceding station by only 50%, which is tantamount to receiving one star. We can get a maximum of five of them, but the only reward for the extra-curricular effort are additional funds, which we will have more than we need without it. The stars themselves can also be spent on more efficient equipment. This is basically the only sensible incentive to “max” the next levels. The problem is, it still kind of misses the point, because while we perfect one station to get more stars, we could easily complete three more using only the basic equipment.
This sponge is just for scrubbing the eyes.
In Train Station Renovation, you cannot actually turn off and drive on autopilot, because during the “fun” you have to constantly juggle between a dozen tools with almost identical properties. Both the crowbar and the ax are used to destroy items cluttering the area with stations, but only specific types of them. With a crowbar, we can destroy, among others, broken benches, dilapidated machines and washbasins, but to destroy a wooden box or a plastic chair, you should reach for an ax. And in turn, such barrels, for example, cannot be destroyed at all and should be thrown into the trash (here you can also buy one of the two types – segregated and mixed, the use of which results in financial penalties).In addition, you need to add a mop, brush, wrench and sandpaper to remove rust. Considering that absolutely each of the stations is littered with collectable garbage, demolished furniture, cobwebs, graffiti and other such muck, the juggling mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph is by no means a hyperbole.
Lord, who is it to you …
I saw a lot of potential in the mechanics of retrofitting and decorating the interiors of renovated railway stations. After all, it was this aspect that was one of the most enjoyable elements of House Flipper. Unfortunately, Train Station Renovation does not deliver here either. Theoretically, everything is fine, but, again, the mechanics have a lot of minor annoyances that effectively discourage you from using it. Oh, for example, the fact that the furniture cannot be turned by 45 degrees. Combined with the lack of any precision of the analog knobs, it made the vast majority of equipment ask me crookedly, because I didn’t want to fight this aspect of the game anymore. The buying menu is also not the most intuitive. Because, will someone be able to explain to me why washbasins and toilet equipment are two different categories? Or why were clocks not an electrical appliance? Or at least decorations, because this category offers all kinds of plants, as well as cork boards, and even barriers. I don’t even want to go into detail about painting walls and floors, because I managed to do it once during the tutorial and never managed to repeat this feat, although I tried many times. So at some point, I just stopped playing as an interior decorator and loaded whatever and wherever I could, just to check off all the items from the room equipment list. The positioning and the visual aspect of the station do not have any impact on the final score.
The amount of blood indicates that Tarantino himself supervised the football match.
That’s the climate we have
On the plus side, there are additional “story” tasks, in which each station is equipped with the set. For example, at the station there was a football match some time ago, so apart from standard repairs, blood should also be wiped off. Another time, due to a flood, the metro station was completely flooded, so we have to take a special pump with us to get rid of this water. There are also looser moments, such as a short ride in a trolley, washing the train at the car wash or even collecting mushrooms for dinner. You know, by the way.At times, one might even think that it was them, and not the Kutno train station, that Kazik sang in the song “Polska”. I really felt my eyes were cracking at the sight of them. Sure, it didn’t have to be a revolutionary beautiful production, but Train Station Renovation smells like kiosk titles from fifteen years ago. And not only because of the graphics, but also because of the technical condition as such. Some tasks, despite their theoretical completion, were not completed. When playing on a pad, rotation around its axis takes a good dozen, if not tens of seconds. Our hero is notoriously ahead of the items he is carrying, which results in dropping them. You can easily walk through the wall of one of the stations and go beyond the map. The game can ignore a piece of furniture placed by us and not include it as a room equipment – sometimes it is enough to pick it up and put it back, sometimes you have to buy a completely new one. I was also stuck in a spider web under the ceiling once.
Contrary to appearances, this is not Half-Life 3.
Is it worth buying Train Station Renovation?
Train Station Renovation killed in me the remnants of the love for this type of simulators initiated by last year’s Tank Mechanic Simulator. This title has all of their worst features – poor design, non-engaging and monotonous gameplay, as well as poor, self-identity graphic design. Admittedly, there are glimpses of potential here, for example in the level design and some pretty nice music. However, this does not change the fact that Train Station Renovation is a painfully reproductive and vague title that can only be recommended to the biggest fans of PlayWay games. I am not one, so I made a decision – I get off at the next station. Let this simulator train go on without me …