A few of this 12 months’s greatest video games boast quite a lot of complexity. Baldur’s Gate 3 is stacked with sophisticated menus and countless narrative and fight potentialities; The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom provides gamers a litany of the way to unravel puzzles due to copious Zonai Units. These video games are amongst my favorites — however they’ve additionally instigated in me an equal and reverse need for simplicity, for video games with slimmer sport mechanics and extra leisurely play, like Dorfromantik or Unpacking.
Fortunately, the railway builder sim Station to Station nails that simplicity. The sport harnesses the very tactile pleasure of railway placement, and units it towards a fully attractive voxel artwork model. The foundations are easy: Construct stations and lay down tracks between outposts that every require and produce distinct items. Join a mill to a bakery, then loop that every one to a metropolis. As every profitable connection is made, you make somewhat cash — which you then spend to put down extra stations and tracks. Longer tracks are costlier, as are tracks that require a bridge (for instance, bridging the hole between two cliff faces.)
The place different laid again technique sim video games would possibly push gamers into larger ranges of complexity, Station to Station delivers on its premise of minimalist ease. Outposts which can be important to a different’s manufacturing don’t must be related sequentially; outposts simply should be related someplace alongside the identical practice loop. For instance, your monitor doesn’t have to go from wheat farm to mill to bakery to metropolis. You would as an alternative organize it mill to metropolis to wheat farm to bakery, and also you’d nonetheless beat the extent. Certain, you can make the sport extra sophisticated by making an attempt to win “stack bonuses” — which award gamers for connecting outposts in a sure order — however I’ve largely prevented doing so, in favor of getting a clean time.
As a substitute, I spend quite a lot of Station to Station playtime merely zoomed in on my trains trucking alongside. You possibly can zoom in sufficient to take pleasure in minute particulars of the voxel-style artwork — from the little homes round a metropolis hub, to the voxels comprising timber. The sound design solely aids this sense of calm; laying down tracks is accompanied by a crisp sound, and success comes with a pleasant jingle of earned cash. It’s a deeply nice time, excellent for decompressing or attaining a circulate state whereas watching trains glide by.