App description: *** Limited Time Offer - 50% OFF! ***

Introducing Rails, the official remake of Shortline Railroad, one of biggest and most addictive gaming sensations of the 90s! You're controlling the railroad today! Build tracks and guide trains to their stations, keeping the rail yard collision-free. Control the railroad switches and signals to lead trains from Point A to Point B, raking in money and earning achievements along the way.

You'll be on your toes with the 12 different train types. Trains with a long line of cargo, those with time bombs, vigilante trains that won't stop, and many others!

You can also play Rails on your Mac.

Key Features:

12 types of trains
30 achievements
60 unique levels
3 seasons
Compete with others in the Game Center
Ready for the iPad with Retina display

CzarCastic's comments:

I came across this game on AppShopper a couple of days ago, so I put it on my wishlist. It looks like it could have potential, but I don't know anything about it or the developers. Has anybody had a chance to try it out? It's a little out of my normal impulse buy price range, so I was hoping that someone here had already TOFTT'd it. The app description indicates it's currently on sale for 50% off, but I can't imagine it would succeed at a $10 price point unless there's something that I'm missing.
01-09-2013, 11:06 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Redding, CA, USA
Posts: 11,150
Game Impressions

I grabbed it, and although it has me pulling out my hair in frustration at times, I'm loving it!

As opposed to being seen like any sort of REAL train or business sim, this is much more a fun train themed traffic routing puzzler.

Using Chapter 1 as my example here, you start off with 120 bucks and 2 unconnected stations on a randomly generated map.

You'll need to connect the two stations which can often be trickier than it might first appear. Adding an individual track section is incredibly intuitive and even allows one to quickly add vast sections of track all at once BUT, as all of these rail pieces must properly fit into the game's prescribed track pieces, there can be a lot of cases where there is no simple way to add in a new track that will properly fit into your existing system. This can force you at times to create labyrinthine track sections where the only way to connect a couple of nearby stations might mean having the train to go in the completely wrong direction of your destined station and hit a complex pattern of switches just to get back to a station right next to where you started your route (look at Sanuku's video above at about the 8:50 mark to see what I'm talking about here). Add on top of that the fact that at any moment a new train is likely to spring up as you're trying to route that first train around the world and back, often enough COMING from the very station you're trying to route the first guy to on these single lane tracks! If this weren't scary enough you also need to factor in how not only will the trains start spawning at quicker rates as the game continues, but many of these maps will add entirely new stations mid game.

Your score in a chapter is simply the cash you have remaining at the end of the scenario. You lose money over time, when you need to remove houses/trees to make a track (which I think otherwise are free to create), and a LOT in the case of a collision. The only real way to make money is to deliver trains to their destinations (not sure if the reward for each train is fixed simply by train type or something that factors in the distance, time taken, and car length).

Each map also comes with its own selection of power-ups to help you in your adventures. Things like turbo boost, debris removal, ability to simply remove a train, and a number of others. These power-ups are completely free to use BUT have significant cool-down periods after they're used in a session the cool-down is just for the given session, once you start a new game everything is reset, of course). Do you save them until just the right moment or use them early on just so that they're likely to be regenerated by the time you'll really need them later on and now get twice the benefit from them?

So while I stated earlier, I finally finished the first chapter without any accidents (still MANY incredibly close calls) and over half of the trains ended up reaching their destinations driving in reverse, I'm really enjoying this game and the production values are incredibly top notch!


UPDATE: If searching for this title in the AppStore, search by the company name, "Belight", as using the word "Rails" will bring up DOZENS of hits!

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
OpenFeint, Plus+, & Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, Crystal, & iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews

Last edited by LordGek; 01-09-2013 at 11:29 AM.
01-09-2013, 11:31 AM
Glad I didn't steer you wrong, LG. I'm really enjoying it as well. I've only successfully completed the first 2 levels. There's definitely a frantic pace to the action and I'm sure that I'll get more accustomed to routing traffic the longer I play. As you said, it's challenging without being frustrating...yet. There's still a ton of game to complete.

Xbox Gamertag & Game Center: CzarCastic

01-09-2013, 12:21 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,288
After reading the 2 great reviews, I am in doubt.
What holds me is the time limit.
01-09-2013, 01:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Redding, CA, USA
Posts: 11,150
I love how they track your top score on each level (not just the top star rating). Sadly, due to Apple's arbitrary limit on leaderboards in a single app, they're forced to just give combined level scores per chapter in GC.

Looking at the Trainpedia, it's clear these guys choose fun puzzle elements over realistic simulation with stuff like the deadly Kamikaze Trains!

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
OpenFeint, Plus+, & Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, Crystal, & iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews
01-09-2013, 08:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 266
Whoa. This is way too expensive.for this type of game.
04-01-2013, 06:17 PM
On sale for $0.99!

If you're a fan of challenging line drawing and/or traffic control games, then you definitely need to check this game out. It's super polished and well worth one dollar. It definitely didn't get the attention it deserved.

Xbox Gamertag & Game Center: CzarCastic
04-01-2013, 06:54 PM
Originally Posted by iPadisGreat View Post
What is the closest thing to Railroad Tycoon on the iPad?
Nothing that I can find

I adored RT1 and would happily drop 10 for it if it appeared on ios.
04-01-2013, 10:10 PM
Delighted: (more or less) Sold!

Statement: Star Wars has 2 characters with strange use of grammar: Yoda and HK-47. I pick HK-47 for it is meaner.

Honestly, I was never terribly good at games. - Finch (PoI S2E16)
04-02-2013, 10:14 AM
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Redding, CA, USA
Posts: 11,150
Originally Posted by currymutton View Post
Delighted: (more or less) Sold!
The track placement, at least for me, could be a little frustrating, but it is a very fun routing based puzzler that clearly is not taking the sim aspect too seriously (how often have you heard about the dangers of kamikaze trains in real life?).

Tim "Lord Gek" Jordan, Game Consultant
OpenFeint, Plus+, & Twitter: LordGek
GameCenter, Crystal, & iTunes: Lord Gek
My iTunes Reviews

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