Game: Railway Islands 2 – Puzzle
Genre: Puzzle, Indie
System: Steam (Windows)
Developers | Publishers: Rising Moon Games
Controller Support: No
Price: US $3.99 | UK £3.39 | EU € 3,99
Release Date: November 20th, 2023
Review code used, with many thanks to Rising Moon Games.
Railway Islands 2 – Puzzle is similar in many ways to other train puzzle games we have seen released, and it’s the second game in the Railway Islands – Puzzle series from the same developers. Lynne took the first Railway Islands – Puzzle game for a spin down the tracks, and you can read that review here.
In Railway Islands 2 – Puzzle, there are forty levels to puzzle your way through. Each island has tracks that the train travels from one station to the other and past each residential building, delivering vital resources. Of course, you must first rearrange the tracks for the train to move.
Each level works exactly the same way, with you looking down on each of the game’s forty islands from an isometric view. To solve each puzzle, you must rotate and swap the hexagonal track pieces to rearrange the track in the correct position so the train chugs along past each of the three or four buildings before making its way to a tunnel to exit the level.
Leaving the level before making every delivery means starting over, so don’t try to take a shortcut and leave a town without delivering all the resources. Sometimes, this is easier said than done, so the game offers players a nice challenge.
Place the Tracks in a Specific Order
The train tracks must be placed in a very specific order. So there isn’t any room for your creativity to shine through. Track pieces come in standard straight tracks and curved track pieces, as well as bridges, cross-sections, and splitters that will change direction once the train travels over them.
Railway Islands 2 manages to provide some challenges; you’ll have to experiment with different setups to get the tracks in the correct position.
Furthermore, experimentation with where to place the hexagon tiles is almost encouraged, as the train derails if a track isn’t connected properly, which is a sight to see. Additionally, the screen turns black for a second and off you go again to figure out what went wrong. The use of the quick restart or the option to speed your train up does help with these test runs.
Upon completing the levels in which the more specialist tiles are used, you definitely get some eureka moments. However, the eureka moments wear off as you approach the game’s latter stages. That’s due to a lack of fresh ideas beyond the halfway point of Railway Island 2 – Puzzle. Once you’ve seen every type of tile and the interesting looping circuits and bridges, Railway Island 2 feels similar from then on.
Visuals and Controls In Railway Islands 2
Graphically, Railway Islands 2 has a simplistic look to it. The vibrant colours of the islands look almost toy-like, which works perfectly for a game like this. The change in the environment from summer to autumn and winter is nice. The UI is clean and shows all that must be shown without cluttering the screen.
The game controls are also simple, as everything can be done with a mouse. To swap tiles, it’s a simple case of selecting one tile, then you click another hexagonal tile, and the two pieces will swap places. The scroll wheel rotates a track piece when in place, and the right mouse button controls the camera.
If you feel creative, you can play around with an editor mode to make your own levels. I had a quick play with it, and while I’m not creative, there are plenty of choices in buildings and tracks to allow you to build your puzzles and try them out.
Overall, Railway Islands 2 – Puzzle is a minimalist game; the puzzles are fun while they last and offer a challenge. However, if you are looking for new mechanics in a puzzle game, you won’t find them here, as it doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen in many puzzle games before.
Final Verdict: I Like it