Developer: Ladia Group
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Evil bankers and railroads go together like coal and smoke. Next Stop, a mobile port of a PC time-management game by Ladia, has plenty of both.

Next Stop takes place on a long stretch of railroad track that has, frankly, seen better days. The dilapidated railroad is on the verge of going bankrupt, and a mustache-twirling banker is in the wings just waiting to buy it all up as payments for outstanding debts. Players take the role of a business-smart southern belle who’s not about to let that happen. It’s time to save the farm – er, save the railroad.

nextstop_04Each level of Next Stop contains a set of tasks that need to be completed within a certain amount of time (unless the player opts to do away with the timer through the game’s “Relaxed Mode”). Under the player’s guidance, tiny workers zip back and forth across the screen while they repair damaged sections of track, fetch water to refill steam engines, clear tracks of debris, and grab the rent payments and mail for the money necessary to fund all the ongoing labor.

The mechanics of Next Stop should be familiar for anyone that enjoys Realore games like Roads of Rome or Northern Tale. Watching the workers dart back and forth to carry out their tasks brings a curious sense of satisfaction, even though the player doesn’t do much aside from tap the screen to queue up the jobs that need to be done. It’s also nice to have the option to play at a relaxed pace, or under pressure.

nextstop_03There is, however, very little variance between Next Stop and the aforementioned Realore titles. In other words, people that have never experienced this particular breed of time-management game are in for a treat; Next Stop is a great starter. Established fans of the genre will also want to add this train to their collection.

All that said, uninterested parties that have already had their fill of running around won’t miss much if they chug on by Next Stop.

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