Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★½☆☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

As much as I hate to say it, point and click adventure games usually suck me in and don’t let go until the ending credits. I just can’t help myself when I play them, and when I can’t figure something out it drives me nuts. The Train Episode 1 drives me nuts.

Like any other point and click adventure game, The Train has you scouring still screens in a hunt to continue to the next scene. All the elements of a fine game are there, including a nice cast of characters, a decent enough storyline, and wonderful hand-drawn graphics. The problem is that the whole game feels chunky, and not in a good chunky peanut butter sort of way.

The chunkyness and awkward nature of the game really starts in the opening moments. The very first thing to greet you in The Train Episode 1 is a screen telling you to go to the developers website to view the fully animated version of the intro movie. You are then shown a slideshow version of it, complete with a few slides that show action, but don’t actually move. Couldn’t the intro movie just be made into a Quicktime movie and shown as such… like almost every other game intro on the market?

After the movie, you are thrown into a nice looking game that is implemented in a very strange way. The controls are all handled by touching the screen and using an extremely sticky joystick, and moving from screen to screen is all handled by touch. What the game doesn’t tell you is that in order to go backwards you must first look as far down as you can and then touch at the lowest point on the screen.

Also annoying were the missed puzzles that send you back to the beginning of the scene, complete with a short period of loading. Talk to someone at the wrong time and you’ll go back to a loading screen, incorrectly use certain items and you are back to a loading screen. The loading screens only take a second or two to pass, but the constant breaks in the game really hamper the flow. Even worse is the multitude of scenes that auto-pan the room before you can really do anything. I appreciate the game showing me what’s in the room, but this auto-pan is another second or two of flow killing annoyance.

Fans of point and click adventure games, particularly those that enjoy the Myst series, will definitely get some fun out of the game. Again, it’s pretty enough to hold your attention, but it needs to work out its many kinks before it deserves universal praise.

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