A-Train

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US DOS box.

A-Train is a train simulation game and the third in the A-Train series. It was developed and published by Artdink and first released on the PC-89 on 1990-12-14. It was later ported to the X68000, FM Towns, and PC Engine CD. It was published in 1992 in the USA by Maxis and in Europe by Ocean for the Amiga, Macintosh Classic and MS-DOS. A Japanese-only port was made for the Super Famicom, but it's quite different from the original. In the game, you play the president of a railroad company who must buy trains and lay railroad tracks to best fit the needs of a growing city which you can also buy properties within.

An A-Train Construction Set was also published in most regions which allows you to setup a map to your liking completely for free and the import the map into the game.

I bought A-Train awhile after it was released in a bundle which included the Construction Set. I assumed, because it was published by Maxis, that the game was another Sim title. I spent a fair amount of time toying with the game, but I never figured out how to play it effectively so my trains kept colliding and I kept going bankrupt. I'd probably appreciate the game more if I cared anything about trains and train scheduling, but I don't. When I was playing the game, I kept comparing it to SimCity 2000, which I was playing at the same time, and kept finding it lacking. The Construction Set gave me a little more playability out of the game, but I abandoned the game not long after buying it. Like most people outside of Japan, I had no idea that A-Train was a hugely-popular series of games in Japan, and just assumed it was the first game of its kind.

Status

I own A-Train and the Construction Set on 3.5" floppy with the manuals, but not the box.

Review

— This section contains spoilers! —

I can't give much of an itemized review for this game because I didn't play it for very long because it was very difficult for my teenage self to learn how to play properly. It has great jazzy music by Koji Yamada and Daisuke Nakakaze, the graphics by T. Yano are perfect for the game, and the palette transitions from day to night, and season to season are gorgeous. However, I never found the game to be very engaging.

Media

Box Art

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English A-Train
Japanese A列車で行こうIII A Ressha de Ikou III Take the "A" Train III

Links

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