Train Station Renovation Review

Published by Ultimate Games and developed by Live Motion Games, Train Station Renovation is a simple time killer of a game that tasks players with the excitement of restoring old abandoned train stations back to their former glory.  Generally I don’t play games in this genre but having reviewed Car Mechanic Simulator Classic and actually enjoying it I thought I’d give this a try.

Visually I’d say the game looks like an early Xbox 360 or Xbox Live Arcade title. But for the low, low price if $15.99 that’s to be expected. Trains look like trains, trees look like trees, and waterfalls look like waterfalls. Everything just lacks the level of detail, polish, and texture that has now become the norm for higher priced mainstream titles. But, as my Great Great Grandpa used to say after a night at the pub, looks aren’t everything. 
On the audio side of things, Train Station Renovation features a relaxing soundtrack with both music and ambient sound effects. Perhaps a little too relaxing as my first attempt at playing found me snoozing on the sofa with controller in hand. All of the sound effects are appropriate but often repetitive as every time you put a glass bottle in your garbage bag the clinking noise you get is exactly the same. And you pick up a lot of bottles… A lot… A few more sound samples could have helped in this area and not just with the bottles but all of the trash you clean up. Did I mention there are a lot of bottles?

So how does it play you ask? Well , the game uses your typical First Person control scheme. You’ll always know what to do as button prompts appear on screen whenever your cursor hovers over anything that you can interact with.  Press A to jump, etc. You can bring up a selection wheel to choose the various tools you’ll be using to clean up the place which to me just felt like an unnecessary layer to try and add on to gameplay as each tool you use is pretty much used in exactly the same manner whether you’re pushing a broom or turning a wrench. This brings me to some other concerns about the developers choices in tool selection for particular tasks. Can somebody tell me in what world is a wrench the appropriate tool to fix a light switch?

After the clean up phase is complete you’ll need to furnish and decorate  the various buildings of the station. This is done by purchasing the various elements required  using your trusty tablet. Placing the items exactly where you want can be a little finicky sometimes. Another questionable choice is that you’re the owner of a restoration company; why are you working by yourself? The ability to hire and train employees to assign to certain tasks would have been a great way to combat the tedium. A multiplayer mode could benefit this game as well. As my daughter is fond of saying, “Teamwork makes the Dream work”. Local multiplayer please, at the very least.

Conclusion

Overall, Train Station Renovation hits all the marks that it aims for, but sadly those marks weren’t set very high. It is a lonely, solitary experience that just isn’t very fun. As with all reviews this is just one man’s opinion. Personally it does nothing for me. I don’t dislike it but the whole premise of Train Station Renovation I find to be uninteresting. Achievement hunters can easily pad their Gamerscore. Other than that I just don’t see repeated playthroughs of this game.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by publisher.
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Good
  • Somewhat relaxing to play
  • Controls are simple to pick up
Bad
  • Slow gameplay pace
  • Very repetitive, very quickly
  • Solo play only
  • Visuals are bland and uninteresting
4.5
Poor
Gameplay - 5
Graphics - 6
Audio - 6
Longevity - 1
Written by
Born in New Jersey across the Hudson from Manhattan, I've been playing games for over 30 years. I can confidently say that I've played at least one game on every console ever made. An accomplished Forza artist, I enjoy racing games, platformer/puzzlers, adventure/RPG's, sports titles, and arcade shooters, although I have been known to play some FPS's on occasion. Pep AMG on Xbox and Pep_AMG on Twitch, feel free to add or give me a follow.

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