|Min OS X: 10.5
GraphicsTrainz looks great and provides a variety of graphics options for optimizing the game for your system. While I donít have the latest system (a 2009 quad core iMac) I was able to run the game with the highest graphics settings. While I did encounter the occasional stutter and areas of the game drawing themselves in a little late I was fine with that so I could keep the good looks. One nice thing in the manual is that they give hints for what to adjust if the game is running poorly and the instructions are Mac specific. The train models look great and the engine interiors are nicely detailed. While the outside environment isnít the most realistic you can find, not like a console sports game, itís still nice to look around while youíre driving your train. The buildings and industries also look good. In general itís a nice game to look at and clearly something the developers focus on in the game.
SoundsSounds, while perhaps not quite as big a deal as the graphics, are also well done. You definitely feel like youíre driving a train, and sounds move around accurately as your view changes, even if youíre just shifting your outside focus from the engine back a car. I appreciated this attention to detail as it really does affect the quality and realism of the experience. The sound of the wheels on the tracks, especially that clickety-clack when you cross tracks, really made me feel like I was driving a train. Throughout the game the sounds build on the already impressive realism of the simulation and add to the feeling of running a real railroad.
ValueIf you want a realistic simulation of driving and running railroads, you canít go wrong with Trainz. Along with the included environments and sessions, you have the ability to add sessions to existing routes, create your own routes and worlds and multiplayer if you like. There are additional models, routes and sessions to download and even replaying sessions youíve already done offers value as there are many options you can alter or play the game from a different perspective. Trainz offers everything you could want from a train simulation and will keep you occupied for hours in creating, planning and running your trains and railroads.
ConclusionWhile Trainz might not have been the game for me, thatís on me and not the simulation. I was looking for something more along the lines of Railroad Tycoon and wasnít clear from the descriptions whether this was a similar game. It isnít and isnít supposed to be. Trainz is a realistic simulation of trains and railroads, particularly focused on modern trains and railroads.
Starting with the realistic models of engines and rolling stock, through the environments and routes that come with the game, if you love trains and want to try your hand and guiding modern locomotives, this is as close as youíll get without buying and running your own train. The options are extensive, the tools for building your own worlds, routes and sessions are detailed and complete, and online multiplayer just extends these features, literally giving you limitless variety.
If you just like the idea of driving trains, thereís a mode for that; just pick the route you like, hop in and enjoy the ride. But the heart of the game is working with trains in realistic environment, moving trains and their cargo from place to place as efficiently as possible, interacting with the appropriate industries so everybody gets what they need in time. The ability to create your own Sessions and Routes, the wealth of content available online, and the general maturity of the game (coming to the Mac after many years on the Windows side) make this a Mac-using railroad fanaticís dream come true.
Pros:ē Very realistic simulation of trains and railroads
ē Gameplay options and downloadable content significantly extend replayability
ē Extensive options and tools for building your own additions to the game
Cons:ē Wealth of options can be daunting for newcomers
ē Manual doesn't include information on some of the more complex scenarios