You Heard It Here First: Trains

That is the hot new genre: Japan’s bizarre obsession with train games, or more accurately train sims, is making itself known. Ah, the thrill of laboriously managing and driving trains. Virtually. In the most breathtakingly boring scenario possible. There’s meal selection featured in one of these. It’s all just so hideously triple-A obsessive compulsive, I love it. Or rather, I just sort of love that it exists for me to laugh at. And it’s a competitive genre at that.

First we’ve got the very flashy Railfan (PS3), developed by Ongakukan… which seems to be largely HD video components wrapped in some kind of hideous Sega CD-esque composited nightmare of banality:


Actionlessness! Of course it probably will never come to North America.

Then, there’s EA-published Rail Simulator (PC). It features actual! 3D! graphics! and looks like the tram ride from Half Life 2, except without the plot or monsters or crowbar or anything to do other than fiddle with knobs. I don’t even know if any of these games let you crash. Or have a trestle collapse. Or build a customized Soul Train.

Rail Simulator

And for the Wii people, you get this impressive monument to specific niche dorkery:

That is the controller you use when you play simulate driving a train in 電車でGo! (Densha de Gō!)

It’s a thrilling time to pretend to haul cargo.


One response to “You Heard It Here First: Trains”

  1. Also: Trainzzzz (

    If you added a gun mod to one of these…

    (The rest of this dreadful joke is left as an exercise for the reader).

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