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Train Crew - Japanese Train Sim with Driving and Conductor Modes

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I recently started playing "Train Crew", which is available from Steam (https://store.steampowered.com/app/1618290/TRAIN_CREW/) over the last month and have been quite enjoying it. Train Crew is a Japanese train simulator set on the fictional Tatehama Electric Railway line. It's similar to "Densha De Go!" but with a lean towards being a more realistic simulator - which is a little funny since Densha De Go! uses real trains and lines whereas Train Crew does not. 

The driving part of Train Crew is a lot more fulfilling than DDG's more arcade-style focus on racking up points. There's a lot more emphasis on all the different procedures for actually driving a train in Train Crew, such as reading the train signals and paying attention to the different signs. That's not to say Train Crew is a lot more difficult than Densha De Go! - it actually has a lot of similar features to DDG such as explicitly telling you the speed limits and where to stop, if you don't want to have to figure all that out. But I enjoyed learning the different driving procedures of this fictional railway compared to the relatively simple requirements of the real-life trains and railways featured in DDG. An example of a random thing I really liked was that you have the option to respond to the conductor sending you a signal to stop at the next station by buzzing them back in acknowledgment. 

One feature fairly unique to Train Crew is its conductor mode, which I'm not sure I've seen in many other train sims. Densha De Go! has a conductor mode in one of the older games that I've tried, but it was relatively simple compared to Train Crew's implementation. The conductor mode for Train Crew was just released, so I'm not fully familiar with all the nuances of it, but it's a very fun addition that I think I'll be spending a lot of time with.







If there's anything I would put in the negative column for Train Crew, it would be the graphics which are merely serviceable. I've definitely seen worse, though, so these graphics don't really bother me. But that's one area that the current iteration of Densha De Go! excels in. The other thing is that this is an "early access" game so it's still very much in development. I've not really come across many bugs but I did run into one today while testing out the new conductor mode. That said, I find this an impressive feat for being primarily developed by one person. 

The developer has plans to extend the line beyond what is already included in the game and of course add more features such as conducting for limited express trains - you can drive a limited express train but conducting is limited to commuter trains only, at the moment.

I wouldn't say that this completely replaces Densha De Go! for me, but when I want to stick my head out the side of the train while doing a safety check of the platform before announcing our departure from the station, I'll definitely be booting up Train Crew.

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