Five minutes after starting up A-Train 6 I put down my controller, headed over to Google on my computer, and did a search for “A-Train 6 Game Manual.”
There is no tutorial in this game, and nothing around what you’re doing is ever explained. You’re plonked in the middle of the first mission with a couple of trains running and a two train stations to manage. Then the menus hit, and boy are they confusing. Just trying to set up a train timetable is a nightmare because the game does such a good job of telling you nothing about what every single menu option does.
And unfortunately Google failed to help me. There seems to be no manuals out there, no fan tutorials, and no FAQs. Indeed the one thing I did discover is that apparently the game manual is utterly useless itself.
It’s an utterly terrible start to the game, and I’ll wager that amongst even the most hardcore simulation fans only a handful with bother to learn how this game works before giving up and going back to Sim City or any of the handful of modern train sim games that do work.
And I’ll be completely honest here: the reason I’d be willing to make that wager is because I myself haven’t been able to get into this game. I’ve spent hours messing around with it trying to figure things out but not once have I felt confident that the strategy I’ve got in my head to build the next Japanese train network (efficiency and cleanliness happily combined) is being played out properly from the menu options I’m choosing. I can see my money rapidly depleting from the virtual bank account, so I assume I’m doing something wrong, but that just causes panic.
If anyone has happened to figure this game out and can explain it to me, please do so in the comments, but I wanted to like this game. I’ve been a fan of simulation games since the original Sim City, and I’ve always got the time for another one. There’s a whole lot of potential in A-Train 6. I love the visual style, which is primitive, but the way the cities seem to breathe around the trains and stations has a classy, organic look to it. I like the music, which is chilled and charming. I like the idea of simulation games built purely around constructing and managing train networks.
There seems to be a reasonable number of missions in the game, though I obviously wasn’t to test them all. I also couldn’t see an endless mode, and that could be a problem; in Sim City I was always more interested in building massive cities on my own time than completing the missions.
So that’s A-Train 6; an utter tragedy. If anyone knows how to play this game, please be in touch with me and I’ll do the world the favour and post instructions so any of the other poor souls who have downloaded this can actually enjoy their purchase. Until then, be warned that comprehending this game was beyond my patience.
Up to level 4 now
I had this game on PS2 and had such warm memories of it that I downloaded it recently on PS3. Playing it is like building a train set and arranging timetables. It took me hours to work out the controls and some basic strategies but I still have no idea if I am doing anything right! Almost nothing on Google!!?Maybe we are the only 2 who bought it?
I think we may well have been, Bob, lol – if you'd like to share your tips, it'd be most appreciated! 🙂
I brought this game when it first came out as a kid on the PS2. I hadn't a clue what I was doing and seeing your review made me laugh because I know exactly how you felt. However after spending a year or so away from the game, having been completely confused I returned and mastered it. I completed the game several times over and today it stands as perhaps the best game of my childhood. (sad isn't it? :p) If you need help with anything I'd be more than willing to help guide you through what to do in the opening stages.
Hi Shump – thanks for the offer! I'll actually take you up on that, because I've tried to play this a couple of times now, and I still don't quite "get" everything.
Could you shoot me an email at email@example.com? We can continue the discussion there 🙂
Sure thing. I'm happy to try and help.