Think you’re good at crisis management? Put it to the test with Runaway Trains. Eric at Ebscer, creator of the popular puzzle/strategy games Pixelated and Xploding Boxes, brings us another instant classic on the PlayBook.
In Runaway Trains, the trains have run amuck, and it’s up to you to guide them safely back to the barn. As trains emerge from the black tunnel into the yard, you must route them to the correctly-colored depot by quickly switching the track’s configuration. A tap on a junction changes the route. Another tap changes it back. Simple, right? Did I mention that the trains move quickly? And they don’t stop? If you route a train to the wrong color depot, you lose. If two trains collide, you lose. If a train runs out of open track and derails, you lose. And you WILL lose. You will replay levels many, many times. Don’t feel bad, though. It’s tough. It will take a few tries to get the color pattern of the emerging trains down for each level, and further analysis of the track layout to figure out how to get which color where.
Unlike Pixelated and Xploding Boxes, Runaway Trains runs in real-time. You can pause the game at any time with a downward swipe from the top bezel so you can examine the track, but when it comes down to it, execution and split-second timing are your friends. Take advantage of isolation loops to keep troubled trains out of your way while you clear the path home. Keep your wits about you and your fingers nimble, and you’ll be Chief Engineer in no time. Well, sometime. Well…heck, I won’t lie to ya. It’s gonna take awhile. If this game had a theme song, it’d be Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train”. But, hey! The best games challenge the mind and kill time, right? Runaway Trains delivers both. The first 25 levels are free, and $2.99 gets you up to Level 100, with promise of more twisted train wrecks just around the bend.
Personal rating: 4.5 out 5 berries. Simple graphics keep the game small (only 317k!) and keeps performance high, but the PlayBook can handle much more. I’d love to see these games leverage the high-quality graphics available on the platform.
Download Runaway Trains Free from AppWorld (25 levels free, $2.99 for full version, in-game purchase)