Game: Station to Station
Genre: Simulation, City Building
System: Steam (Windows)
Developer|Publisher: Galaxy Grove | Prismatika
Controller Support: Full support is in the works
Price: UK £14.99 | US $17.99 | EU € 17,99
Release Date: October 3rd, 2023
Review code provided with many thanks to Dead Good PR.
During the last Steam Next Fest, I came across a brilliant little demo for a train-themed building puzzle game called Station to Station. I immediately requested a code for it and am so glad I did! Station to Station is finally here!
The Nerdiest of Train Games
I had the honour of sitting in on a developer press conference on Discord with the developer who made Station to Station, and the entire thing was an absolute treat. You could feel how passionate the dev was over the web; he seems a huge fan of trains and went to great lengths to put real, famous trains into his Voxel-art train game. If you are a train fan (or even if you aren’t), you’ll love the look and the attention to detail in Station to Station.
The Gameplay of Station to Station
In the beginning, Station to Station has you connecting cities to the things cities need: food, water, tools, and other objects. You connect the railroads within a budget and get the trains from one end of the map to the other, connecting all the needed items while spending as little as possible.
There are also cards that make things cheaper or give you more money; these are single-use in each round. To get through each level, you’ll have to solve bigger and bigger messes of people, items, and food trying to get from one place to another without tearing down the whole countryside and spending a fortune to do it.
Connect Resources to the Cities
Additionally, to make bread, for example, a train needs to carry the wheat from the farm to the mill, then the mill makes flour, and another rail will take the flour to the bakery. The output from the bakery is bread, and cities need bread to keep their people fed. To connect all these things, you’ll need to make smart use of your savings cards and existing rails to make it as cheap as possible.
Each level has a set of optional goals, including things like having a set amount of budget left over at the end of the level, clicking on the friendly little Lego animals around the map, or using a certain amount of lengths of track. These are optional, but they are fun to puzzle out while you’re solving the main level’s issues of connecting buildings.
There is also a procedurally generated version of levels where you pick the size, budget, difficulty, and theming of the level. This adds a massive amount of content to Station to Station, and it makes the cost of the game so much more valuable.
Did I Mention It Looks, Sounds, and Runs Like a Million Bucks?
Well, it does. It’s gorgeous. It’s so cute, so fun, and just the right amount of challenge. The animations are beautiful, and the whole thing runs as smooth as silk. The sound design is in harmony with the vibe of the rest of the game, and the Voxel art is the chef’s kiss that tops off this amazing title.
The artwork, the animations, the music, the sound design, the look, the love of trains, and everything is so smooth and fits so well together it feels like this was made by a much larger company. I love everything about the look and feel of Station to Station, and I would recommend this game to literally everyone who likes puzzle video games.
I like the addition of the random level generator, but nothing beats the whole package of the developer built levels. There is something really stunning about the way Station to Station looks and feels that requires you to play it really feel. There is a detail, a small detail, that really goes to show how far they went with the design of Station to Station:
The detail in this game! Amazing. I am stunned every time I open Station to Station again and see this bounty of gorgeous puzzles at my fingertips.
Just go out and get this game; if you love puzzles, pick up Station to Station. It’s one of the most beautiful examples of a passion project gone right I’ve seen this year. And this year has had a lot of fantastic games!
Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up