Train Sim Activity Pack

Published by Just Trains
Developed by LAGO
Platform: PC CD-ROM
Price £19.99
Released: Out Now

The first three expansion packs from Just Trains that we have reviewed have added locomotives, an extra 500 mile route and a collection of activities to use all these new features. The fourth and final expansion pack we will look at is slightly different in nature. Train Sim Activity pack adds over 30 activities to Train Simulator. These activities simply use the existing material that came with Train Simulator and don't need any extra routes or locomotives.

Of course such an expansion pack could be a total rip-off. There's no new locomotives and when you think about it anybody could knock up a few activities. Well let me put your mind at rest on that one, because the included activities have been very professionally assembled and in my opinion, in most cases, better than those found in Train Simulator.

The activities vary greatly in length. The shortest, Afternoon Express, is only 10 minutes long whilst the longest, Long Freight, lasts for an incredible 5 hours and 30 minutes so you'd better make sure there's enough drinks and snacks to hand before you tackle that one. All abilities are catered for too. There's 5 easy activities, 13 medium activities and 13 hard activities so as you can see it certainly is a challenging activity pack that caters for beginners too.

There are some special activities amongst the 31 on offer. The following 3 are my particular favourites:

Flight of the Diplomat
-This activity is set in 1942 and you have to transport a high ranking German diplomat, Hans von Strauss to St. Anton. Of course with resistance toward the Germans in this part of the world you have to be prepared for some surprises. You have to keep Strauss happy at all costs.

The Bombing
-The year is 1940 and you are driving the Flying Scotsman. The town of Appleby has been heavily bombed and it is your job to get supplies through to them. You can ignore speed limits where possible but be prepared for surprises as you uncover the extent of the bombing on your journey.

Hisatsu Service 3 (Christmas Run)
-This is simply the last run on Christmas Eve. Making your way through the snow you have to make sure you get the passengers to their destinations on time. It sounds simple but it's as hard as nails.

As with Train Simulator everything is explained in text so you've no problems at all. Once again Just Trains have turned out a superb manual. For each activity you get a briefing, simulator tips (which warn you if the activity is particularly demanding and therefore advises you to alter your graphics options to accommodate the reduced framerate) activity tips and finally driving tips. You are also told on which route to find the activity and how long each one lasts as well as the difficulty of the activity and the locomotive that you will be driving. In fact the manual is all you could ask for.

Train Sim Activity Pack is one heck of a professional product. Train Simulator's activities are what gives the simulation it's purpose and challenge and this expansion compliments the software superbly. Microsoft don't usually make a habit of creating expansions for any of their simulators (Flight or Train) but when there are such polished products like this on the market they obviously realise that they don't have to, that job is already being superbly done.

Overall Game Rating: 8.7/10 An excellent and imaginative collection of activities to spice up Train Simulator

Deaf Gamers comment: Absolutely perfect.