I always wondered what I’d do if I weren’t doing my current job. I could be an urban planner, but then I’d have to go back to school. Or I could become a train driver. Here was my chance to see if I would qualify. I picked up a $10 copy of Rail Simulator to try my luck.
EA’s Rail Simulator is likely not a very popular game in North America. I only happened to come across it at London Drugs and I thought what’s $10 for a video game. I loaded it up and found out what the rail enthusiast’s answer to Flight Simulator was like.
I can tell you the game is a little too detailed at times and will often crash my Vista computer (I hate Vista). However, it is sort of fun in a detail oriented way. I played some of the smaller simpler missions like delivering commuters from one part of London to another. My very first accomplishment was to send a First Great Western commuter train off the rails. Not a good start to my train driver career, eh?
The game covers three different main scenarios: Southern England, Germany, and California. I haven’t tried too many of the scenarios. The fun part is to actually look at the scenery as your train speeds (or turtles) along the tracks. Although, I can tell you that I have trouble stopping the train exactly within the confines of a train platform. I keep undershtooting.
However, if you are looking for a really detailed rail simulation game, this game is for you. Electronic Arts is still creating add-ons for the game, so there must be a following somewhere in the world, but probably not here in North America. Here’s my wish to EA for one add-on. Please create a Japanese scenario. Apart from Europe, Japan is a very heavily train friendly country with large numbers of rail and train fans.