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By Rail

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Author Comments

Experience the thrill of commuting in this text based train-ride simulator inspired by the minimalist literary movement. The story, setting and NPCs are all intentional bare bones and intended to be embellished by the reader's imagination.

This was game was created for a class at Pasadena City College. This is my first full game and comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking :)


Use arrow keys to control which direction to look; press 'r' to reset the game.

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Interesting concept, but there is lots of room for improvement. First of, it's not really a game: there is no challenge, no agency for the player, no failstate, nothing that could be deserving of the word gameplay. The minimalist design which you intend to spark imagination would work a lot better if there was something to intrigue the player to fill in with his imagination in the first place. That doesn't necessarily mean abandoning the mundanity of what's simulated here, but as it is now, it is a minimalist representation of mundane life at its worst: a trainride the player has no other reason to ride than that someone else chose to put him in that situation, with no options of escape, rebellion or even subversion. All he can do is conform to take the route someone else designed for him and watch the trivialities that occur along the route. And the game doesn't even make its inescapable mundanity a point!

noisepunk responds:

Thanks for the feedback. I'll look into what I could try and add that would keep my objective and make it more game like. Truth be told, it was meant to be more art-project than game, but that's not a great excuse, there's no reason it can't be both.

wow shit game

noisepunk responds:


While it is an interesting game, it gets boring after a little while. Suggestions for improvement, you could have a goal or have choices that affect the game.

noisepunk responds:

Thanks for the response, I appreciate the feedback and completely agree.

My intention with this was to simulate a mundane experience (riding a train) in which there weren't any real goals or objectives except to experience what's happening around you; I also wanted to keep flavor text as minimal as possible so that scene existed as fully in the player's mind as possible.

Neither of these things are particularly engaging on their own, and especially not together. I probably need to bend a little on one or the other to make this feel like more of a game.

Credits & Info

2.76 / 5.00

Mar 27, 2018
4:16 PM EDT