Image: Something Random
Toy Trains combines model railroading with the magic of VR to revive forgotten childhood days. I had a good time playing the game.
Toy Trains was created by former Superhot developers, but is a completely different kind of game.
You find yourself in your grandparents’ attic, where you discover a magical model train set. It is populated by tiny little people, called Railies, who ask for your help: They want you to connect their miniature worlds with railroad tracks.
A picturesque landscape with meadows, trees, little lakes and small houses spreads out on the table in front of you. You use your hands to start laying tracks. Your goal is to connect houses and other important objects to the railroad. The tracks must form a continuous loop. Only then can the locomotive roar off.
As you progress, you will be able to use more sophisticated tracks and build bridges and tunnels, but the logistical challenges will become more difficult. In most cases, there are several possible solutions and the option to decorate the landscapes.
Atmospheric visuals and relaxed gameplay
I played Toy Trains on Quest 3 for about an hour and got to the fourth or fifth level. The tasks up to that point were easy. Toy Trains is not a building sim and does not require resource management, but that suits me. The title entertained me well despite the rather simple tasks. I liked the attention to detail, the poetic atmosphere, the acoustic guitar music, and the soothing gameplay.
The toy landscapes look wonderful, casting detailed shadows and shining with cute details. When I grab a passing cloud, it puffs out. When I sweep my hand across a forest, the trees bend slightly. And when I connect the railies to the railroad, they comment on what’s happening.
An inflexible camera
My only criticism of the VR game is that it barely allows you to artificially move the camera. You can move the table up and down, not sideways or back and forth. This means that you have to make every movement with your upper body and head, which is fine when you are standing, but quickly becomes tiring and exhausting when you are sitting in a chair or on a couch.
I would have liked a movement system like Demeo and many other VR games of this type have. That way, I could play comfortably on the couch without having to contort my body. Another advantage of this system would be that I could zoom into the miniature worlds, look at details up close, and enjoy the scenery from every conceivable perspective. The level of detail the game provides would allow this.
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