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Review: Train Conductor 2: USA - Universal App - Chugging Across America

July 14, 2010


Train Conductor is a new take on the path drawing genre where you connect train tracks to direct trains to the right track. The original Train Conductor had all its tracks in Australia, so Train Conductor 2 brings the train madness to the USA. Now you can direct metro rails in Miami, subway trains in New York, and steam engines over the Grand Canyon.


There are five maps in total with the three listed above as well as two night tracks in Nashville and Las Vegas. In Nashville you direct ghost trains that don’t crash as well as demon trains that you have to deliver correctly. In Las Vegas you flick purple and green ghosts to the top and bottom in their respective color groups.

The Good

The game is simple fast paced fun you’ll be playing over and over again. You simply draw between horizontal tracks to lead the trains to the right destination. There are multiple trains on screen at once going both directions so you need to be ready at all times. There are multiple types of trains that move at different speeds, and have different lengths. Therefore the strategy is constantly changing, but thankfully you can stop any trains with a tap for those very sticky situations. When you’re adding in new tracks there is high probability of crashing, either from crossing trains or trains coming from other tracks. The three new day tracks are great with the monorails, subway, and steam engines. The New York subway is especially complex as numbers are changed into the names of the different lines with the 1, 4, A, Q, and S as well as the inclusion of columns to block the transfers. The Grand Canyon is plenty tough with the gap in between leading to more criss-crossing with greater chances to crash as well as trains that don’t stop at the gap, and can run right off. The art style of the game is great with such finely detailed backgrounds and trains. The animations are great as well with the addition of the new tracks and various exhausts from the trains. There are different soundtracks for the different tracks which are all nice to listen to when coupled with the different train sounds.

The Bad

The game is far simpler than the original, and feels like a step backwards. The original featured five tracks with each of the five tracks having a night mode making it more like 10 tracks. The sequel features five tracks in total with three day and two night. The Las Vegas level is extremely simplistic, and takes away from the typical fun of the game as you simply flick ghosts up or down. The levels in the original are set up so you work a shift, and try to score as much as you can in the given time. This new version just is endless trying to get as many trains in as you can. The score system has been changed so there are no bonuses or multipliers or any goodies like that leaving you with just one point for a correct train. The game is a high score based game, and the inclusion of Plus+ always helps for these types of games, but the sequel is lacking Plus+. There is Facebook connect, but no type of global scores, and simply listed as coming soon. The app is universal, but when playing it on the iPad it only looks slightly better than a game running at double pixel.

The Verdict

Train Conductor 2: USA is a sequel that doesn’t live up to the original, and doesn’t build on the game style. The game feels like an in app purchase level pack for the original, and nothing more. There are less tracks, less challenge, worse score system, and lack of online high scores. The app does offer fun in the included levels, but replay is a huge question mark with the scoring system and unlocking system. For only $1 you would think it’s worth picking up as a universal app, but the iPad version is lackluster. Train Conductor 2: USA is worth considering depending on how much you like the style of the original. If you never picked up the original, the best advice would be to buy that one instead as it’s easily a should buy.

Mentioned apps

Train Conductor
Train Conductor
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