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Assessment: Choo-Choo Charles – Destructoid
He’ll be comin’ around the mountain
When Choo-Choo Charles was first revealed to the world, I acquired that too-good-to-be-true feeling. Positive, it regarded like plenty of enjoyable, however how do you construct a whole recreation round combating an evil prepare? I used to be then reminded that I assumed the identical factor about Completely happy’s Humble Burger Farm, which coincidentally was launched about one yr in the past. Will Choo-Choo Charles develop into my subsequent horror obsession?
However that’s not as damning because it appears. In actual fact, if there’s one factor I actually respect about Choo-Choo Charles, it’s that it is aware of precisely what it’s and is targeted on delivering that. And it does.
Choo-Choo Charles (PC)
Developer: Two Star Video games
Writer: Two Star Video games
Launched: December 9, 2022
You play as an archivist slash monster hunter, which is the very best occupation I might ever think about. What papers do I have to land that job? How does it pay? If Choo-Choo Charles is something to go by, I wouldn’t even want to produce my very own tools, as a result of it’s already there on this remoted island.
You’re summoned to the island of Aranearum to cope with what’s described as a monster that’s “half prepare, half giga-spider.” They named it Charles, which is a fairly respectable identify to offer a terror past the veil of insanity. The miners of the island have already completed the legwork on planning Charles’ demise, they simply want somebody loopy sufficient to drag it off.
Upon arriving, you’re outfitted with a prepare and let unfastened. Your aim is to journey the broad-reaching tracks of the island and meet up with the assorted NPCs. They’ll provide the keys to the place Charles’ eggs are being held, provide you with scrap metallic to improve your prepare, and cargo you up with weapons to assist maintain the monster at bay. That’s the entire of it, nevertheless it’s not going to be simple, as a result of Charles isn’t the one monster on the island, and an entire load of cultists would moderately you didn’t cease him.
I don’t know the way nice I really feel about capturing a prepare, particularly one that’s arrange on higher infrastructure than most municipalities might ever dream of. Nevertheless, becoming a member of the cultists isn’t an choice, so I suppose it’s searching season. At the least Buster Keaton would approve.
A modest occupation
Additionally, there’s Charles. He roams the island too, and as you journey, you might hear his distant whistle as he bears down in your location. Offered you’re within the security of the iron womb of your prepare, you may fend him off. Sadly, it is advisable depart that security moderately typically, if solely to change tracks. Pay attention for that whistle; his hellish Choo-Choo that foretells his arrival. He’s the little engine that would… kill you.
Largely, encounters with him are saved to a minimal, which is a good way so as to add to his thriller. Chasing him off isn’t all that tough, so having him within the highlight each jiffy would tremendously scale back his perceived risk. The sport’s darkish and gloomy environment is a good search for him, as properly. He weaves by the timber, chasing your tail with unwavering dedication. And that’s it. All in, Choo-Choo Charles ran north of two hours for me, which is lengthy sufficient that you just get your cash’s value, however not so lengthy that you just notice there are not any methods up its sleeve.
The furthest you actually get from this core gameplay is sneaking round cultists, however a lot of the side-quests simply contain going from level A to level B and typically going again to level A. It really works as a framework however doesn’t do something too creative. It rewards you properly for participating with the content material, so there’s little or no risk of disappointment.
Final prepare to nowhere
Merely working appears to be the goal of Choo-Choo Charles. The core gameplay was already established, so truly turning it into an entire package deal is formidable because it will get. The graphics work, however they don’t need you getting to shut. It’s a mixture of gathered property and fashions which have textures that appear to be placeholders. A cartoon-y, hand-drawn look could be a effective aesthetic, nevertheless it’s blended in with generic property, so there’s no cohesion. It really works. I didn’t discover the strategy added to nor detracted from the ultimate product.
Characters don’t transfer their mouths once they speak, the music is simply form of there, and the narrative doesn’t actually do something terribly cool. It’s a really time-conscious manufacturing, and that feels extraordinarily acceptable. It’s at its finest while you’re simply using the rails and tinkering together with your prepare, however that may solely be stretched out for therefore lengthy.
That’s to not say that there isn’t something that Choo-Choo Charles might have completed to be a extra compelling expertise. Moments with the cultists are a bit underwhelming since your character can take a stunning quantity of buckshot earlier than keeling over. Fight outdoors of the prepare, or just extra moments the place Charles might harrow you while you’re at your most weak would have been appreciated. Likewise, fancier terrain or setpiece second might need upped the scare issue a bit. I suppose if there’s ever a sequel, these bridges may be crossed.
The massive image
As it’s, Choo-Choo Charles is what it says on the field, and that’s okay. If you wish to play a title with train-to-train fight, then you definately’ve acquired it proper right here. It’s executed competently, and given its distinctive premise, that deserves some props. It simply doesn’t go above and past by any means.
Which is ok. Choo-Choo Charles might have been drawn out, fluffed up, or watered down in so some ways. Any further brush strokes might have detracted from the larger image, however Two Star Video games didn’t try this. As an alternative, they centered on delivering, and ship they did. It’s small, tight, and its ambition doesn’t transcend its central idea. Fortunately, that central idea is a fairly juicy morsel.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]