Railway builder Station to Station harnesses the joy of minimalism

Some of this yr’s greatest video games boast lots of complexity. Baldur’s Gate 3 is stacked with sophisticated menus and countless narrative and fight prospects; The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom offers gamers a litany of methods to clear up puzzles thanks to copious Zonai Gadgets. These video games are amongst my favorites — however they’ve additionally instigated in me an equal and reverse want for simplicity, for video games with slimmer sport mechanics and extra leisurely play, like Dorfromantik or Unpacking.

Fortunately, the railway builder sim Station to Station nails that simplicity. The sport harnesses the very tactile pleasure of railway placement, and units it towards a fully beautiful voxel artwork type. The foundations are easy: Construct stations and lay down tracks between outposts that every require and produce distinct items. Join a mill to a bakery, then loop that every one to a metropolis. As every profitable connection is made, you make somewhat cash — which you then spend to lay down extra stations and tracks. Longer tracks are costlier, as are tracks that require a bridge (for instance, bridging the hole between two cliff faces.)

The place different laid again technique sim video games may push gamers into larger ranges of complexity, Station to Station delivers on its premise of minimalist ease. Outposts which might be important to one other’s manufacturing don’t have to be linked sequentially; outposts simply want to be linked someplace alongside the identical prepare loop. For instance, your observe doesn’t want to go from wheat farm to mill to bakery to metropolis. You could possibly as an alternative prepare it mill to metropolis to wheat farm to bakery, and also you’d nonetheless beat the stage. Positive, you can make the sport extra sophisticated by trying to win “stack bonuses” — which award gamers for connecting outposts in a sure order — however I’ve largely prevented doing so, in favor of having a easy time.

As an alternative, I spend lots of Station to Station playtime merely zoomed in on my trains trucking alongside. You may zoom in sufficient to get pleasure from minute particulars of the voxel-style artwork — from the little homes round a metropolis hub, to the voxels comprising bushes. The sound design solely aids this sense of calm; laying down tracks is accompanied by a crisp sound, and success comes with a pleasant jingle of earned cash. It’s a deeply nice time, good for decompressing or reaching a circulate state whereas watching trains glide by.

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