He took a midnight train going anywhere.
Hands up if you’ve ever fancied playing a game that’s part train sim, part resource management game and part exploration/survival horror game wrapped up in a post-apocalyptic world setting? Well then you can put your hand down because The Final Station, developed by Do My Best Games and published by tinyBuild, is the game you’ve been waiting for.
The Final Station is set 106 years after the first visitation; an event that saw capsules appear from thin air which spewed out an unknown gas turning anyone who came in contact with it into a zombie. You control a train driver who is not only responsible for maintaining and operating the train but is also charged with exploring the dying world whenever he pulls into a new station.
Why would you leave the comfort of the train to face the unknown and most likely zombie-filled world outside? Well there are two reasons. Firstly you’re a nice guy and there might be passengers out there who are holed up waiting for a saviour to rescue them. Secondly because when you reach a station your train becomes locked down and needs a blocker code, that is located in the outside world, to become operational again.
The exploring section of The Final Station will see you searching fridges, cupboards and even toilets to gather supplies like ammo, food and cash as well as the aforementioned blocker code. This section is also used to drop titbits of the game’s backstory and developing plot, so it’s well worth searching everywhere (all the interactive items helpfully receive a white outline when you get close to them). As well as all this scavenging and people-rescuing you may (will) encounter zombies. These come in a few different flavours, like dashing zombies or exploding ones, but all share a few similarities; they are all black and shadowy, they all want to eat you and they will kill you if you don’t sort them out quick sharp. Thankfully these zombies aren’t so tough, and a couple of punches or a few shots from the shotgun will quickly dispatch them, leaving you free to make your way back to the train.
While on board the train you can craft health and ammo by using all the bits and bobs you gathered while exploring as well as making sure the train is running smoothly. The train sim part of The Final Station is pretty straightforward and mainly consists of levelling off the venting systems. You can also interact with the passengers and must maintain their health and hunger because there is nothing worse than a train journey with a dead person. If you manage to successfully keep the passengers fit and fed until they reach their final destination you will be rewarded handsomely with cold hard cash. This resource management aspect of the game is also on the easy side because once you figure out how to eradicate the zombies that you encounter in the towns and stations without taking damage you will have an abundance of medikits to use on the train.
The audio in The Final Station is minimal with eerie music occasionally making an appearance to compliment the game’s bleak and barren setting. The majority of the sounds that you will hear are the clunking and creaking of doors you open and the sound of the train as it chugs its way down the tracks. As for the graphics in The Final Station they remind me of the Tiny Towers games which are widely available on many mobile devices. This pixel art style allows for more detail than you would expect and some of the landscapes that you pass while on the train proves yet again that we might not be quite ready for 4K HDR gaming.
The Final Station has a little bit of everything thrown into it, but it still somehow works. If you’re after a game that lets you look after people, explore a dying world and drive a train then you’re waiting at the right station. If you think it’s not what you’re looking for it’s still worth the ticket for a stop or two.
NelMaNo Rating – 7.5/10