App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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In Colt Express, multiple players face off in a competitive, wild west train heist board game. The core idea of competitive heisting makes the game sound great, but it boils down to being a mostly straightforward experience that has a remarkably poor multiplayer system.
Hands to the sky
Every player in Colt Express plays as a train robber who must try to get more loot than all of their opponents before a certain amount of turns have transpired. This is done by queuing up actions using a hand of cards you draw every turn. Once every player has queued up a certain amount of actions, they are then revealed and executed in order.
This queuing of turns results in some crazy situations that can have you end up on an unexpected part of the train and punching at air while your opponents are lining their pockets with money.
Colt Express is based off of a board game, and this re-creation seems to be totally faithful while also adding in a lot of things to help make it shine in a digital format. The most noticeable of these changes come with the game's visuals which inject a lot of liveliness into the action with its animations, but the most important addition is Colt Express's single-player mode.
Aside from just having the ability to play Colt Express against AI bots, the game offers a set of specific scenarios for each character, which also tell a story in the form of an unlockable comic book. It's not the flashiest storytelling around, but provides some satisfaction in beating your AI opponents, who do not seem to be very good at playing Colt Express competently.
As much as you'll want to play Colt Express with others, doing so is actually quite hard thanks to what seems to be either a poorly designed multiplayer system, a small player base, or some combination of the two.
As of this writing, I have yet to get into a full game of Colt Express, and I don't seem to be the only one. There is a global chat for online players in which most complain about how they cannot get into games.
This leaves you with the option to just play Colt Express's kind of neat–but ultimately unsatisfying–single-player content or waiting until you can get in a match. There isn't even a pass-and-play mode that allows you to bring friends together and play which is really disappointing.
The bottom line
The potential chaos that Colt Express is designed to have you enjoy isn't satisfying when it's just you versus the computer. In its current state though, that's just about the only way you can play the game at all. As a result, Colt Express is a pretty frustrating package.