There’s something satisfying about the solid feel of the wooden tracks in Tracks, the new trainset based sandbox game from Excalibur Games. Maybe it’s because it takes me back to a childhood of similar, more physical sets, but they’ve nailed the feel of the tracks here.
Mostly, this is a game in the loosest terms, the main mode is really just a massive and impressive playset of pieces that can be put together to create some vast train sets, complete with stations, passengers and, of course, the all important trains themselves. There’s a huge amount to uncover here and the Toybox Edition comes with all the extra DLC from the previous release. That’s a lot of scenery, trains and tracks to get stuck into.
While laying down the tracks is fairly intuitive, there are some odd design decisions with the scenery placement that I found annoying. This isn’t unique to Switch, though some support for the touchscreen for those playing on the go would have been nice. The interface can’t always handle awkward shapes and don’t always connect to each other properly, leaving things a bit messy or stopping bits from working properly when you place a building down a few centimeters from where it should be. For a game that will be most likely played and enjoyed by younger gamers, this is a pretty important issue and hopefully one that will be patched soon.
Aside from the sandbox, freeform track laying, Passengers mode provides a little more framework and actual gameplay. It’s still fairly simple, just guiding passengers from point A to point B in the fastest time, but it’s very welcome and can be a little challenging as things progress.
Overall, Tracks looks great on Switch and there’s a huge amount of content but some of the interface decisions and a few bugs mean that it’s perhaps not quite as perfect for younger players as it should be.