Also on: PC, Xbox Series X, Xbox One
Publisher: Baltoro Games
Developer: Baltoro Games
A couple of years ago, Baltoro Games released Urban Flow, a game in which you managed traffic lights and tried to avoid car crashes. We liked it. It wasn’t the most original game, to be sure, but it did what it set out to do fairly well.
Now Baltoro has returned to the traffic light management genre with Train Traffic Manager, and…well, it’s basically the same game, just substituting trains for cars.
The bad news about that is that the two games are practically identical, save for the train/car substitution. You have tracks instead of roads, and a western theme instead of a city theme, but beyond that, there’s hardly any difference. If it weren’t for the different theme, Train Traffic Manager feels like it just could’ve been DLC for Urban Flow.
The good news, of course, is also that the two games are practically identical, and that if you pick the game up on deep discount – as you can do at the time of this writing, when it’s down to $2 – you shouldn’t care too much whether it’s a standalone game or DLC.
See, as I wrote up top, Urban Flow was a solid game, which means that Baltoro knows what they’re doing when they apply the same formula to trains. Like that first game, Train Traffic Manager may not win awards for originality, but it still captures everything that made the first game so fun and so stressful. The basic premise is simple, but the more you play, the more you see all the different combinations trains, track switchers, and traffic lights can make. It may start off seeming easy, but it’s not long before you have trains coming at different speeds from all directions on the screen, and you only have short moments to decide which way to send them.
To be sure, you could quibble about how little Train Traffic Manager differs from Urban Flow, but that would be missing the point of the game. Like any good puzzler, Train Traffic Manager is easily approachable, and it knows how to sink its hooks into you quickly.
Baltoro Games provided us with a Train Traffic Manager Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.