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Train Conductor 2: USA

For:   Also on: AndroidiPhoneiPad
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All aboard

Product: Train Conductor 2: USA | Developer: The Voxel Agents | Publisher: Alley Labs | Format: Android | Genre: Action, Strategy | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | File size: 17.5 MB | Version: Europe
Train Conductor 2: USA Android, thumbnail 1
A year ago, you couldn't move on the App Store without clicking on a line-drawing game.

The bandwagon has since moved on, but that doesn't mean the genre has vanished. Its influence lives on in games such as Train Conductor 2: USA, albeit hidden behind a more rigorous framework.

After all, such direct control is ideal for touchscreen devices and it's something developer The Voxel Agents has made good use of here.

Sunshine state

As set out in the first location, the monorails of Miami, there are four rails onto which different types of trains roll.

They can come from either side of the screen: you're given a couple of seconds warning thanks to a flashing red light which appears on the edge they're about to roll in from.

Adding complexity to the pattern created by the standard trains are longer ones and faster ones.

All you have to do to score a point is connect a train - as defined by its number, one to four - to the correct track, creating a diversionary track by swiping your finger from one track to another.

You can let trains complete their journey on the wrong track, although these are recorded as missed opportunities. In Miami at least, the only rule is you can't let trains collide. You won't fail the level if you send them along on the wrong track.

Helping you keep things in order is the ability to halt and restart any train with a tap. This buys you some time when things get busy. There's also a speed up button if you're a Flash Harry.

Tracks across America

As reflected in its discordant disco riffs, the New York City level proves more of a challenge. With five underground lines, labelled 1, 4, A, Q and S, you have to direct trains as before, this time working your way around the pillars that reduce your playing area.

It's a similar theme as you unlock the remaining three levels, which each becoming increasingly specialised.

Nashville is a night level, in which you have to organise demon trains and ghosts. Ghosts are great because they can't collide with anything. After all, they're just ectoplasm, but the fast demon trains must be directed to the correctly numbered track or it's game over. This gives the level a sweet, frantic feel as you focus on the trains, while flicking ghosts around.

Las Vegas is the other night level, but it's the oddest of the bunch. All you have to do is flick the pink ghosts to the top of the screen and blue ghosts to the bottom. There aren't any numbered tracks.

Finally, the Grand Canyon sees you redirecting trains on five tracks across a gorge. The red trains will wait at the edge for you to organise them, while the black ones fall into the depths if not connected in time or there's no red train stopped ahead of them.

Five-way junction

As can be seen, each of the locations provide a different take, so even if this isn't quite the promised five games in one, Train Conductor 2: USA does provide enough variation that you can focus on your favourites, while quietly ignoring the others.

The only real issue is the lack of progression. Once unlocked, each level is just available in an endless mode, so the only reason for continued play is your drive to post a high score. These are recorded for each location and made available for social interaction using either Facebook or Twitter.

The lack of formal achievements isn't a massive omission of course, but it does mean Train Conductor 2: USA's final destination is limited by the casual pick-up-and-play track on which it rides. 
Train Conductor 2: USA
Reviewer photo
Jon Jordan | 14 July 2010
Offering five twists on its track-switching gameplay, Train Conductor 2: USA provides a quick and varied time management fix
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