Train Station Renovation is another one of those simulation games where you go around picking up the trash, fixing things and making yourself some pennies in the process. All very familiar, but is it any good?

Could there be anything more boring than trains? Try telling that to the 37 odd trainspotters worldwide, and you could find yourself up against an angry mob with a mouth full of teeth. Yours.

Other than Thomas the Tank Engine and riding the shinkansen in Japan, this form of transportation does nothing for me, but renovating does. There’s something strangely therapeutic – perhaps even transcendent about restoring things. Mr Miyagi was right to get Daniel to do all that waxing.

Train Station Renovation Review – PC via Steam

After Castle FlipperTrain Station Restoration was the next one on the list. Willing to give everything a chance, including the 2 seconds it took to reveal the type of game this would be, I was first up on the platform.

Train Station Renovation Review - You are here
You are here. Source: Steam

Unlike other simulators, you haven’t inherited anything from your grandfather, nor do you get to work on your legacy like Railroad Tycoon. Instead, you’re a bit of a dogsbody and get called out to numerous stations to…renovate.

The early introduction includes picking up the trash and disposing of it. Taking the environment seriously, you could opt to hire a skip and separate the materials correctly, or you could give it the finger (it’s ok, it’s a game) and opt for an open skip and chuck it all in there.

Surprisingly, there’s a lot of trash to collect, and it’s all rather large, meaning frequent telekinesis-like trips to the skip. Fortunately, there are a lot of spaces to place another skip to save you some time. When it gets full, you pay some pennies to have it taken away.

Tools Of The Trade

Other cleaning activities in Train Station Renovation include sponging off graffiti on the walls, brushing away dirt, and touch up with a trowel, then painting. Note that the paint option is a one-click trick, and you’re done. Super easy.

Besides your cleaning repertoire in Train Station Renovation, you also have alpha tools like a wrench for fixing mechanical and electrical items, an axe to hack through zombies trash without needing to carry back and forth, and a crowbar (for point and click fans), that disassemble damaged goods.

Train Station Renovation Review - SaTRAIN
SaTRAIN. Source: Steam

Finally, a shop is available from your tablet. Pressing tab will bring up benches, ticket machines, vending machines, clocks, plants, bathroom fittings… there’s a lot here, but to be honest, in the missions, you can dump the cheapest stuff down as long as it’s in the right area, and squirrel the money, McDuck.

On Rails

In Train Station Renovation, from Live Motion Games and Ultimate Games, you have to do one stage at a time, which isn’t an unusual ask for a game, but perhaps unexpected here. To unlock stages, you need to get several stars first. Access to each station takes place at your office, as well as the ability to upgrade your tools.

Stars upgrade your existing tools. That means a radar with a broader range, spraypainting options instead of a brush and upgraded tools to speed up the process. Undoubtedly, the radar is an excellent place to start as there’s no mini-map in the game for finding debris.

Reach for the stars by completing the objectives, which are only apparent when you’re in a particular room, you’ll see the requirements. After completing the main objective, you can leave the area, but obtain 98% achievements, and you’ll receive five stars and unlock more stages and moolah.

More Tea, Vicar?

Despite the somewhat restrictive notion of renovating train stations, there’s a good variety of levels and unique. On occasions, the objectives will be bespoke to that level, such as pumping out a flooded room or wearing radiation gear for another.

Train Station Renovation Review - Danger
Danger, danger. Source: Steam

There was one station covered in blood and knives generously dispersed by football hooligans. Considering how chilled this game is, it was a bit out of place, and I had to tell my little girl it was Ribena and cutlery after a tea party. She couldn’t read the ‘Football’ graffiti on the wall.

There’s replay value, too, as once you get enough stars, you can unlock the Sandbox Mode and revisit previous stages, and as if in creative mode. Once you start playing a level, it’s hard to leave without finishing, them beginning another. It’s a nice feature where you can take your time even further.

Train Station Renovation Review Summary

This isn’t a game targeted solely at train fans. If you like the House Flipper mould, then this might be your next venture. There aren’t any NPCs or animated trains, so be aware of that. However, the same therapeutic movements exist here that put you at ease for the entirety of your playtime.