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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

Okay , now this train simulation was fun!

Important to any railroad simulation is the selection of locomotives and railway cars from which to choose and Trainz comes with over 38 different ones from 12 different countries. Add on packs can be downloaded as well to increase your inventory or even customize the current trains. Players can view these locomotives in full 3D and access information on the history of each one. While viewing the locomotives, the more hard core train buffs can use the mouse to display context sensitive information and specifications on individual components.

I recently reviewed a Model Train Set Sim, but train enthusiasts will be able to get the same sense of satisfaction from Trainz that model railroaders do when they design their track layouts. Trainz users will have an easier time, though, as flexible curves make track laying a breeze. Grades, tunnels, and bridges will allow players to easily create rail lines across different landscapes.

Speaking of landscapes, Trainz provides a powerful, yet easy to use, terrain editor. And it truly is easy once you get the hang of it and you can really create a world that would be a train enthusiasts paradise. Players will be able to create mountains, rivers, lakes, and canyons, coloring the landscape from the browns of a barren desert to the greens of a temperate environment, or anything in between. Once the land has been laid out, players will be able to place buildings, plants, animals, and a whole host of other scenery objects. Trainz features a great attention to detail - variable weather effects, real-time day-night cycles, and animated buildings and objects are just a few of the treats in store for Trainz players. Watch out for animals on the track!

You can also have several trains running at the same time. Just for fun I tried creating a train wreck scenerio, but I wasn't able to do it. I did notice though that regardless of the speed limit of the track I was able to run the train at any speed I wanted without crashing, derailing or suffering any consequences. I am not exactly clearas to why there is a speed limit - unless to make the 'Driver' mode more realistic.

Once a locomotive is selected and its rolling stock chosen, the player just needs to select a map and a starting point and the train is ready to go. Players can select from the maps which come with the game, or one created using the game's editor. The train can be controlled in one of two ways: by a virtual DCC or via in-cab controls. The virtual DCC will give the player a model railroader's experience, allowing him/her to use a dial to control the train's speed. The in-cab controls allow players to play the game as a train simulator. In either case, Trainz gives the player plenty of viewing options, some of which allow full 360 degree vision. There are also chase and fixed trackside cameras available to give players a great look at their trains in motion.

Trainz looks like it will be fun for anyone with an interest in railroads. It should satisfy both those who want to create their own detailed railroads and those who just want to see what it is like to drive a train.

All of the excitement of Collecting, Creating and Controlling your own railroad with the newest version of Trainz, plus tons of added features. With something for every type of train fan – driving, route building, operations, signaling and more – Ultimate Trainz Collection offers endless hours of creativity as you add to your empire, download new items, take screenshots, run your favorite locos and build your own unique world. This one is a good one and is a must for train enthusiasts.

Review ID Number: 81
  Product Details
Strategy First
Review Date: 2002-12-11
Reviewer: Brad Lawryk
Rating: 8 out of 10
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