Train Traffic Manager Review

Game: Train Traffic Manager
Genre: Puzzle, Arcade, Multiplayer
System: Nintendo Switch (expected on Steam in 2024)
Developer|Publisher: Baltoro Games
Age Rating: EU 3+ | US Everyone
Price:  US $14.99 | UK £13.49 | EU €14,99
Release Date: November 24th, 2023

Review code used, with many thanks to Baltoro Games

We know Baltoro Games from Urban Flow, the game where you have the power to control the traffic lights in a city and enable the traffic to flow as smoothly as possible whilst avoiding any nasty road accidents. James reviewed this game and gave it a Two Thumbs Up. When Train Traffic Manager came in, I couldn’t wait to see if it was another hit!

Control Switches, Signals and Drawbridges

Did you ever dream of having a job in traffic control, where you have to be on your toes constantly so you don’t mess up? Because messing up would mean creating havoc? As Train Traffic Manager, you control the trains with switches, train signals and drawbridges at your disposal. Once you’ve given those trains the go-ahead, there’s no stopping them. So you have to plan ahead, multi-task, think fast and hope tornadoes and other natural phenomena don’t spoil things.

The title screen of Train Traffic Manager showing a big locomotive and all the choices in the menu

Train Traffic Manager serves you with 80 levels set in 4 different environments, and each has its challenges. Starting in the desert, random tornadoes roam the landscape, devouring every train in its path. In the forest, you might get hit with falling trees; in the winter landscape, your switches might be frozen and so on.

One of the desert levels, with two drawbridges to handle as well. Several train lines are intertwined and crossing over
One of the desert levels has two drawbridges to handle as well.

There is a game mode for everyone. The Campaign is where you start in the desert, play 20 levels, and then move on to the next environment, the forest, and so on. Then, if you have finished the 80 levels of the Campaign mode, you can go for Endless mode: trains keep on coming, no matter how badly you mess up! And, for some, best of all, the game has a multiplayer mode for up to four players.

The screen shows the icons that are used for multiplayer mode, with four kind of hats
The screen shows the icons that are used for multiplayer mode, with four kinds of hats.

Campaign Mode With 80 Levels

The first levels of the campaign mode are easy enough. They help you get used to keeping an eye on several trains coming at you from several sides and putting the switches just right so they don’t clash. Pretty soon, the levels get harder. For each level, you have to safely guide a set number of trains over the rails, for which you can earn stars. You get one star for the minimum of safe trains; if you reach the maximum number of trains for that level, you get three stars. I can tell you that I was very happy to earn the 1 star for some levels, as it meant I could move on to the next level.

The levels in the desert environment. A small preview is shown for the level you want to choose
I’m happy to make it to the next level, even after just one star!

It all comes down to having a clear head and thinking ahead. Soon, you will find the logical sequence for that level, after which things get easier. And if all goes well, it will soon feel like a pleasant rhythm.

You can play these levels in Campaign mode alone or with three friends with an extra set of joy-cons. You each handle some switches or drawbridges, so working together is key.

The first level in The Forest environment in multiplayer. A little hat is depicted next to the switch to distinguish who handles it.
The first level in The Forest environment is in multiplayer. A little hat is depicted next to the switch to distinguish who handles it.

Graphics, Controls and Soundtrack

I was very taken by the visual style of Urban Flow and a bit disappointed by the looks of Train Traffic Manager. From your bird’s-eye view, the trains look like little boxes with some different colour shading. The landscape changes with the environment, but it’s hard to see. What is nice, though, is that attention is paid to details, like the train cars swirling around in the air when hit by a tornado.

The soundtrack fits with the environment, and the game controls well with the simple button layout. Aside from my fumblings, no bugs were tripping the trains up!

An example of a level with a loop railway in there to make it even harder
An example of a level with a loop railway in there to make it even harder

Conclusion Train Traffic Manager

Train Traffic Manager offers a lot of content and hours of gaming fun, alone or with friends. You have to keep your head in the game. It’s not a puzzle game that you can play while multitasking. But if you want to exercise your brain and planning capability, Train Traffic Manager is a good one to pick.

Final Verdict: I Like ItI like it

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