A-Train (1992-)


    A-Train is the third game in the A-Train series. It was originally developed and published by Japanese game developer Artdink for Japan, and was later published by Maxis for the United States. It was originally released in December 1990 for the NEC PC-9801, FM Towns Marty, Sharp X68000, and PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16). The US version was released in October 1992 on DOS and Amiga. Later, the Japanese version was re-released in March 2000 for Windows 95 and 98. Artdink ported the A-Train III along with the editor to Windows 95, and published both titles as a package in Japan.

    The game puts players in command of a railway company. There are no rival companies; the player controls the only one in the city and the game is resultingly fairly open-ended. A-Train III is the first game in the series to make use of near-isometric dimetric projection to present the city, similar to Maxis's later SimCity 2000. There are two types of transport that the player's company can take: passengers or building materials. The former is more likely to be profitable, but building materials allow the city to grow. Wherever the building materials are delivered, they can be taken and used to construct buildings for the city. These start with houses, but eventually, as an area grows, roads, and shops and other buildings are built. These can provide extra revenue for a passenger service, but also allowing the city to develop and grow can be seen as a goal in itself. As well as the buildings built by the computer, in response to the materials being present, the player can construct their own buildings, such as ski resorts and hotels, and make profits from them if the conditions are right.

    A.III. Map Construction, known internationally as A-Train Construction Set, is an editor that can change existing saved games, or to build landscapes from scratch. It comes with 6 sample maps. Maxis also published A-Train Construction Set with A-Train as a single package in Europe, without the Ocean Software label.

    Images from MobyGames


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