Parents' Guide to

A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism

By Jeff Haynes, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Complex controls, menus are transport sim's speed bumps.

Game Nintendo Switch 2021
A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism Poster Image

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What you will—and won't—find in this game.

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While the unique nature of this game provides flexibility in creating your transportation plans, the complexity and awkward controls limit this for only the most hard-core sim fan. Instead of being in charge of a city, A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism puts you in command of the vital transportation needs of a region. Among your many tasks, you'll set hours, lay tracks for commercial and passenger trains, and build your business into a massive success. Incidentally, as you're trying to accomplish your goals, you'll find additional bonuses, such as the growth of towns along your train lines. The success of your company benefits the area around it, and by reinvesting in land, you'll further boost its prospects. It's intriguing to watch as you start a scenario that's sparsely developed, only to see the land around you become more metropolitan as you establish more subways, freight lines, and other trains across the countryside.

All that being said, A-Train has an incredibly steep hill to climb. While there's a lot of tutorials provided, the level of detail is highly complex. There are graphs that dive into profit and loss, the inner workings of economics, and other info that could swamp just about anyone other than a business major. This is made trickier when some of the other details of gameplay aren't as easily explained. For example, you may buy an expanded, new train for a different train line, but for some reason, these are always placed on a pre-existing track, causing service delays or blockages on your lines. Some of this can also be blamed on the control scheme, which is horrendous. It's too easy to get lost within the nested levels of menus, or find yourself accidentally laying down track that you'll need to demolish later, especially if you're not playing on a television to understand the finer details. It can be mastered with a significant amount of effort, but if you're not a hard-core city sim fan, you may not want to buy a ticket to ride this train.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Artdink
  • Release date: March 12, 2021
  • Genre: Simulation
  • Topics: Trains
  • ESRB rating: E for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: April 5, 2021

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