The Last Train is an alternative history simulation/survival game with fairly simple gameplay. This game is interesting in idea, but falls a bit short on gameplay. The game is coming soon to Steam.
The game has a bleak outlook, and indeed, after all, it is the end of WWII and after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, they retaliated on US soil (thus the alternative history part). In the end, food/supplies/everything is running out.
You are the last locomotive conductor remaining in the continental United States and your goal is to survive as long as possible while still keeping your train active and running, thus delivering people to where they need to be for one reason or another.
Because resources are scarce and people are few, you have to resort to simple crafting on your own and scavenging. The scavenging involves lock-picking empty buildings, smashing windows, cutting up dead tree branches, rummaging through trash, etc. You can also gather a few resources by delivering people to where they need to go, and in return, their payment is a few items here and there.
There is a story mode and a sandbox mode. I only played the story mode so far, but it feels more like a simple sandbox game anyway. There seems to be no overarching objectives. I find myself looting, crafting, carrying people to different cities, over and over again.
You can either have a very short run or a seemingly endless run, but even the best runs will come to an end, when you ultimately run out of resources.
This recording shows the beginning minutes of gameplay that ultimately ends in a game-fail state, but the game does not give any hint of a game-over. But there is nothing else that can be done. The game is just stuck here.
Another game that I played I managed to get really far, with plenty of fuel and food. Then your worst enemy happens to be your inventory size. You can expand the inventory through the crafting menu for your train, as you can increase the number of seats on your train that way. But you are driving a train, surely there is enough space on board to fit a few more people or to have a larger inventory by default? I understand the need to limit passengers so that you have to make some conscious decisions in order to plan your path out, but the very small inventory size (plus the lack of ability to stack certain items such as screwdrivers) really baffle me to no end. In this small point of frustration, the game really does fall apart.
Also, I cannot seem to find any end-game objectives or goals. As the days flow by, I start to realize that my resources are dwindling and that the cities that I have completely looted are not showing any signs of regeneration. In other words, I may have been overly cavalier about conservation of resources. After all, even if your inventory is full and you smash a window open, you can only stack onto the items already in your inventory, but not what is not already there. So I had lost a lot of things along the way. Perhaps I could have used these, perhaps not.
Ultimately, I kind of tired of the game after a while, because the story mode really had not a lot of progression. After the very initial story bit, I encountered no other story-extensions to let me know what more to expect. The scenery in the background of the train-moving scenes became repetitive, as did the motions of looting, crafting, delivering passengers, only to be told constantly that my inventory was too full.
The asking price of $15 USD (as we have been told by the developer) for the base game is a bit too high. It's not unreasonable to use this as a way to waste a little bit of mindless time, if you have that readily available. This game should be $5 USD maximum. Plus there are a bunch of DLCs that are in the store page right at release. They are not just skins either, they offer some gameplay benefits. So the gameplay, feel, and the whole set of DLCs makes this feel very much like a mobile game instead of a full game on Steam. (I did not have the DLCs to be able to comment on them in detail, but their store descriptions sure make them sound like P2W kind of items.)
So I feel really bad for giving this game a thumbs down, mainly because of the fact that it is an indie effort, and it has an interesting idea (the plot). But bare-bones gameplay isn't exactly fun, and gets quite dull after a while. I played for about 90 minutes, and I was repeating the same 3-4 motions again and again. I was really excited to try this game, but when I was done and turned it off, I am not sure if I want to ever play it again. The idea feels so rich and with potential, but the gameplay fell so flat.
To find out for yourself, visit the Steam store page: