Let's take the A-Train: An all-purpose series thread

Two days early!

You can pause this game (and do everything while paused), right? I DINKED around in it on Switch and I was pretty sure you could pause. Someone in the Steam reviews is bitching that there’s no pause.

Maybe the pause was unlocked during the tutorial!

It was, the first scenario has like literally nothing unlocked at the beginning, including all menus, which includes saving. That stuff unlocks pretty quick (and apparently in this version you can’t even make it full screen until they give you the menus). Does not sound like an amazing port so far.

I know I shouldn’t, and I probably wouldn’t if I had just bought it, but I find this somehow very endearing!

Hello ! I’ve been lurking this thread, and feeling the pull from the a-train. But the price is steep. Could someone that knows the game well tell me why, for example, i should buy this over, let’s say, Transport Fever 2 ?

Thank you !

Tough question since they are both great games, so if in doubt wait it out for a sale is my motto. Depending on what you fancy in your transportation, tycoon, business management style games, there are some important differences in how the two games handle certain gameplay mechanics and how that affects the complexity of the decision making process. I hope everyone is prepared to settle in for a bit of a long and in-depth response because that is what you are about to receive, again.

So, possibly the greatest important difference would be how A-Train: AB!T and Transport Fever 2 handle calculating the revenue generated by transporting passengers and freight. Transport Fever 2 currently uses a fairly rudimentary system for determining both passengers and cargo revenue, though this may change with the next major update. In layman’s terms, akin to Transport Tycoon Deluxe, revenue generated is a factor of how quickly you can get a cargo type from A to B and how far apart, as the crow flies, locations A and B were on the map.

In comparison, A-Train: AB!T uses two separate systems for calculating revenue for passengers and freight. Passenger revenue is determined by the length of the trip, as the crow flies, and the fare per kilometre (ticket price) of the train ridden. In layman’s terms, the further a passenger rides the higher the fare paid (revenue generated). So, fairly similar so far for passengers, even if the A-Train: AB!T algorithm has some more granularity to it.

The freight market is where the major differences arise since A-Train: AB!T has a dynamic supply and demand based economic system for determining the price of buying and selling different types of cargo. The local and external market price for buying or selling a cargo type will fluctuate and thus directly influences how much revenue will be generated. Consequently, turning a profit hauling freight in A-Train: AB!T is more mechanically complex and strategically challenging. Thus, neither trip distance nor trip time matter for the six cargo types within A-Train: AB!T. So, the usual maxim of “transport cargo types further and faster for the best revenue” does not always apply in A-Train: AB!T.

Freight revenue being determined by external sources shifts the decision making process behind profitable business ventures into an evaluation of how to maximise the difference between what a cargo route will generate in revenue and what it costs in operational expenses. Which means that there is no simple one size fits all mantra to hauling freight as decisions such as train schedule, locomotive choice and consist length, route distance, and so on all play an important role in determining the expense of opening and running the venture. Then factor in external economic forces over time impacting the revenue capacity of current and potential routes and you can see how satisfyingly challenging undertaking new freight business opportunities and managing existing freight business ventures can be.

The simplest way to sum up why to pull the trigger on A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism would be to say that it can be an engrossingly deep business management game. A lot of games bill themselves as tycoon games, looking at you Planet Coaster, but leave you wanting more when it comes to the depth of the business\tycoon aspects. This is the kind of the unique game that, despite its abstractions and goals to first and foremost be a “fun” game, can teach you about why a 24-hour timetable might be structured the way it is and other transportation or business management related topics.

If a game can make me want to learn more about the real life considerations and complexities of operating and managing a transportation business. And then subsequently have that knowledge translate into improved mastery of the game’s own gameplay systems. All I can do is give two thumbs up for it.

I have now officially double dipped, since the PC version is currently 10% off on Humble Bundle and then Humble Choice members can get a further ~15 dollars off the discounted price. Otherwise, your next best option for the PC version is currently 15% off at Fanatical. Additionally, A-Train 8, A-Train 9 v4.0: Japan Rail Simulator, and A-Train PC Classic are currently deeply discounted (60% off) on Humble Bundle too.

This shall make producing A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism content far easier. Both in terms of recording video, if I do any, and eliminating the slightly tedious Switch to PC transfer process for media. Can’t argue with the bump in render resolution nor ability to fit more of the map into frame either. Screenshots look crisp when taken at my native resolution and then condensed down to 720p for the forums.

Consequently, I shall be rebooting my Let’s Play of the City of Hopes & Dreams scenario to utilise the PC version. So far, no complaints with the PC version in terms of performance or the sort. Loads really fast on an SSD and performance is at, or above, a consistent 60fps even with everything maxed out.

Can you throw a link in the thread for your Let’s Play?

And how is the keyboard/mouse implementation? I’d prefer it over the console controls but if the design and menus are all centered around console controller I’ll use it.

Haven’t experienced too many issues with the keyboard and mouse controls on PC so far. Can easily do everything I want to do solely with the mouse controls. Game is even fully playable entirely on keyboard should there be any reason for someone to need that capability. Once I memorise the hotkeys mouse and keyboard should be the most efficient, and my preferred, control scheme for desktop play.

Let’s Play - All Aboard Tourism
#1 - Introduction
#2 - Expanding our railroad south-west to Nagashirojo
#3 - There’s no scheduling quite like train scheduling
#4 - We built this city on transit fueled growth
#5 - Strategically using other people’s money to enrich ourselves
#6 - Greasing the wheels of progress
#7 - Steaming to victory

Let’s Play - City of Hopes & Dreams
#1 - A new challenge approaches
#2 - Planting synergistic bonds for the future

Times like these I am glad that I made a handy list of links in the opening post. Here’s the list of thread posts for the Let’s Play of the All Aboard Tourism scenario. Didn’t get that far into the subsequent Let’s Play of the City of Hopes & Dreams scenario though. So, at least it won’t take too long to catch back up to where I was with the second Let’s Play once I get restarted.

Fantastic! Thank you.

That PC version screenshot is almost a provocation.

  • posted from my bed, hmpf!

It runs very well on my somewhat crappy laptop, FYI.

Thanks a lot for your detailed answer, Malkael.

To be honest, i took the plunge a month before you posted it, and i’ve been addicted ever since. How can a game be, at the same time, so soothing and so full of interesting complexity ! Currently running through the first scenario after the 2 “tutorials” (the old city that needs reinvigorating) and having tons of fun, even if i don’t understand everything yet. I just love games where your action is indirect ; it’s like offering your tons of virtual people means to thrive, and seeing the result is just great.

I was going to answer sooner but figured I ought to dig into Transport Fever 2 and understand it better before replying. I had been meaning to get around to TF2 for a while now regardless, so it was the perfect excuse. Will be interested to see what Urban Games’ next update for TF2 brings since they are supposed to be touching the tycoon elements, among other things.

I do not know what nebulous factors give a game “Just One More Turn” appeal but A-Train: All Aboard! Tourism has it in spades. Nothing beats the satisfaction of helping to breath new life into an area and seeing it change, whether that be greenfield development or urban redevelopment.

Apologies if this has already been asked but I’m playing through the demo and I’ve hit an instruction I don’t understand. I’ve been asked to change the initial single line track into a double line and it says to delete one track piece and then reconnect using the switch connecting lines option. I can’t see that anywhere. What am I being dumb and missing?

You’re talking about the bit when it asks you to connect to the map edge, right? That option comes up when you build the track up to the edge; it’ll ask if you want the connection to be single or double.

  1. Delete the piece of railway track that connects to the map border with Hasuoka, as designated by the large yellow arrows.
  2. Relay the railway track up to the map border with Hasuoka and then hit the confirm button.
  3. You now have access to the ‘Switch Connecting Line’ option. Select this multiple times to change between the different options available.

I have taken the liberty to included some pictures of the steps mentioned above should you require a visual reference at all. You can find them below:

Click here for pictures...

Ahhhh thank you both! I thought it was talking about the connection into the station! 😳🙄

According to Artdink’s Twitter, the long-awaited Switch update should be deploying sometime next week. So, Switch players can look forwards to getting their hands on many of the PC version’s gameplay improvements very soon.