Bounty Train Review
Bounty Train is a unique game from Daedalic Entertainment. With its own unique take of the train simulation genre, you must strategically plan and maneuver between trade routes in order to complete missions and build a new rail route.
At first, the game is a little confusing as the tutorial for it lasts around 10 seconds and tells you how to send your train to a new destination. From then on out, you are on your own as you progress through the story, evade and defeat the enemies and make money from transporting goods on your steam train.
To proceed through the game you must complete quests for people in various cities, earning enough cash to purchase the license to travel to the next area. Whilst traveling around, you can get attacked by bandits or even stop to trade with traveling traders. You can meet a variety of passengers in the different cities who will have requests from you, such as transport them to Boston. You can also buy and transport cargo to different cities for a little extra cash.
The combat system can be flawed in places, as some enemies can stand out of your range and you literally get forced to stand still and take the damage whilst you wait for the battle timer to reach zero. The combat itself though is simple enough, you select your characters and click where you want them to go, who you want them to attack, whether you want them to drive the train and even if you want to put out fires on the train. The different options at the beginning of the game don’t feel very deep, however the further you progress, the more you value the different options available to you and can become quite manic when trying to fend off enemies attacking multiple carriages.
The Hardcore Mode is a really nice addition making the game's difficulty level so much higher. Within the Hardcore Mode you can’t save, load or even retry a checkpoint. I tested this at the start of the game by refusing to take the mission and the game actually ended with a short narrative of what happened to the characters. It’s a nice twist and it makes you play with a lot more emotion. You don’t need to keep it switched on either, you can turn it off whenever you wish so if you just want to complete the game to see what happens, you can go down that route.
In all honesty, when the game landed in my inbox I was very skeptical about it and was kind of dreading sitting down with it. It’s sometimes hard to resist the urge to prejudge and I can say after actually playing the game my opinion is completely reversed. It’s fun, challenging and deep enough that you can sit there for long periods enjoying the game. Currently available as an early access purchase on steam, this is certainly a title that will take many people by surprise.
Score: 4 out of 5
Thank you to Daedalic Entertainment for providing us with a copy of the game to review.