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Tram Simulator – Urban Transit: Review

When it comes to video games, I’ve always leaned towards those that let me live out a slice of life I wouldn’t normally experience. That’s why when Tram Simulator – Urban Transit rolled around, my curiosity was piqued. I mean, how often do you get to step into the shoes of a tram driver?

From the get-go, the game throws you into the bustling city of Angel Shores, a fictional U.S. town that’s got all the charm and challenges you’d expect from a big city. The game gives you a trio of modes: Story, Career, and Sandbox.

Getting Started

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Jumping into Story mode, I felt like I was the newbie tram driver on the block. Challenges weren’t just about getting from point A to B; they needed me to be smart and sensible, working alongside local business owners and big-swinging city folks who wanted me to do well, but also to do exactly what they needed.

There’s a familiar pattern in the gameplay: make a route, pick up passengers, and help parts of the city get better and fancier. The goals lead you through a narrative that gives a bit of meat to what could be, honestly, a pretty dry set of tasks. I was finding my way around a map that, well, was as basic as they come. A little touch-up could go a long way here.

Unlockables and Exploration

As I got further into the game, new neighborhoods opened up, and so did my options for trams. There’s something special about rattling around the city in an old-school tram, feeling like you’re part of history. That said, the smooth glide of the more modern streetcars was where I found my groove.

Each tram brings a unique feel to the game, with clear care put into making them as true to life as possible. The developers really went that extra mile, and as someone who gets a kick out of the tiny details, I noticed and appreciated it.

A Splash of Realism

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What really got me, though, was the small splash of realism I didn’t know I needed. One minute I’m zoning out to the trance of the city routes, and the next, I’ve missed a point swap and my virtual passengers are probably silently cursing my name as I take them on an unplanned scenic detour. It would’ve been neat to have some sort of automatic system for these points, mainly for folks like me who can get a bit forgetful in the rhythm of the job.

Actually Running the Show

Onto Career mode, where the real deal starts. Here, you’re the big boss, but without the big boss money. Everything’s on you: make smart choices, grow your tram empire, be a star. This is the meat and potatoes of Tram Simulator, and it’s where time disappears. You want to make it all work, to be the reason Angel Shores moves smoothly.

Then there’s the chill zone of gaming, Sandbox mode. Infinite cash, everything’s unlocked, and you just go wild. Want to build the public transport kingdom of your dreams without the pressure of going broke? Here’s where you do it.

Graphics and Glitches

Let’s talk looks. Angel Shores is pretty. Like, screenshot pretty. From bustling city centers to cozy suburbs, each pixel feels crafted to build a place you want to keep coming back to. But, there’s a ‘but’. The trams, they’re a tad awkward on the turns, and the robotic shuffle of the pedestrians could use a dose of life. It’s not game-breaking, but when you’re selling realism, these things stand out.

Hearing the City

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Sound-wise, the game’s on point. The trams sound like trams. The city sounds like a city. My only beef? The folks riding my trams. Their chitchat got a bit much, and not in a good way. A background murmur would’ve been just fine, thank you. It’s a gripe I had with Bus Simulator too, and sadly, they haven’t quite fixed it here.

Final Thoughts

Alright, after wrapping up the routes, the stops, and the scenic back-and-forths, Tram Simulator – Urban Transit slots in snugly into the sim family. If you can look past passengers who stare a bit too hard and the occasional clunkiness, the heart of the game is solid. The driving is a joy, the modes offer heaps to do, and the customizing? Chef’s kiss.

For sim lovers, it’s a thumbs up. It’s got the quirks like any good sim game does, but it also has the charm. And for those looking for a new flavor in their gaming day, it might just be your next stop. My score: 8/10

About the author

Tom Henry

I worked as a PM in video games, now I'm trying some new things.