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Ron Ridley Auto Care Mall

  Model Railroad Simulator
Railking's Model Railroad Simulator places you in the lead steam engine in the first ever simulator of its kind. Its like stepping into a dream workshop for model train enthusiasts, placing ever piece and accessory you could ever hope to incorporate into a model train at your finger tips.

For as long as Railroads have exsisted, so has our fascination with their workings. For centuries, children have played with toy trains, and young and old alike have built miniature representations of steel rails and iron horses.

There are two different ways to play this package. One way to play is to accomplish certain pre programmed scenerios and the other is just simply build your set from one of the 10 different landscapes.

In the scenerio style of play, you are given a scenerery with navigation flags set up that you must build your track to go by each of these flags to complete your scenerio. I, as far as I know, completed the first mission as my track did go by each flag and as the train went by each the message saying nave flag reached did flash. But it never did let me go to the next scenerio. So off I went to build my own creation.

In building my own creation, I was able to build quite a long track in and around some mountains and lakes, put my train on the tracks, gave it a good run around and it all worked great. The next step was to create some more scenerery with the given buildings and accessories. Although each scenery does give some unique buildings to suite the landscape, the buildings that the user is given to finish of his dream trainset is very limited. The landscapes are huge and in order to fill even a small portion of the landscape with buildings, you end up with a lot of buildings exactly the same. Imagine if your neighbourhood had 50 houses all exactly the same.

There is also no provisions for editing the landscape such as roads. There is a good selection of trees though. I would certainly hope there will be more downloadable components.

I did prefer building my own creation over the scenerio based play. An added feature to being able to build your own creation is the ability to list, price and print out the items and cost to your project based on the pricing of actual track and train parts and accessories from MTH Electronic Trains. Of course these prices should only be used as a guide.

The console for selecting your set components was very awkward to say the least. I would have prefered a toolbar type interface. As it is it was done in a pop up window style and to view each item you had to keep clicking on the scroll bar, cycling through the peices one at a time. Although there was a scroll bar, it didn't seem to scroll. Also the console was located too close to the bottom right corner of the screen. If you went even the slightest bit past it with your mouse the scenerery would pan and you would have to reset your view.

Don't let the graphics on the box fool you. They simply aren't that good. I tried every possible setting and the graphics were blocky and the text in the scenerio description was almost unreadable.

This sim with a better toolbar, more selection of accessories and a top view of the complete scene would score quite high. While it is a great start for a new type of product, it likely won't hold the interest of the true train enthusiast. But it was interesting to see what my own imagination could come up with.

Review ID Number: 84
  Product Details
Globalstar Software
Review Date: 2002-12-10
Reviewer: Brad Lawryk
Rating: 7 out of 10
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