by Matt Porter
previewed on PC
REVENGE, SERVED UP HOT
Set on the dangerous railroads of 19th Century America, Bounty Train is a game about managing carriages, fighting off bandits and ultimately achieving revenge against those who have betrayed you. You are Walter Reed, son of a hugely successful railroad tycoon. However, after his death, your fatherís former partners betrayed your family name and have taken control of the company. Itís up to you to get the shareholders back on your side and take back what is rightfully yours.
HELL ON WHEELS
It wonít be easy though, and you have a limited time to do it. Your journey will take you across America, visiting many cities along the way. Everything takes time, and management is key to success. From travelling between cities to repairing your train when youíre in station. You start off with a small crew and a basic train, but over time youíll be adding carriages, and recruiting new members to your cause. Youíll need them too, because the open rail is a prime spot for bandit attacks. Each of your carriages has its own health bar, and youíll have to repair each one if they become damaged. Gunfire can harm your train, as can taking turns at too high a speed. So, youíll have to be managing the throttle, as well as directing your crew members around to fight off your enemies.
FTH: FASTER THAN HORSES
Combat is quite reminiscent of FTL in this way. Things can go wrong in the blink of an eye, and youíll have to scramble your crew members to where they need to be. Fire is particularly dangerous, so youíll need to send someone to take care of that if one breaks out. Of course that means youíll be a man down elsewhere, opening yourself up to even more attacks. Parts of your train might malfunction too, so youíll need someone to repair it in real time. Itís often possible to avoid combat entirely, but youíll need defenses for when it inevitably does occur. So, when you get to a new station itís always a good idea to check what upgrades and new carriages are available. You might want to install a better engine, or place a gun turret with sandbags giving extra cover on your train.
Not only are you deciding what to build onto your train, youíre also deciding where to put it. This is a lot more important than it sounds. If you lose a carriage, itíll become detached and youíll also lose everything behind it. An example we were given was that if you were transporting some previous, yet explosive cargo, you might be tempted to place it towards the front or in the middle of your train to give it some extra protection. However if it does blow up, youíll be losing a lot more than just that. Youíll also want to be strategically placing your defenses so theyíre not all in one place.
DEADLINES ON THE RAIL LINES
The story is non-linear, and you can go wherever you want, but youíll always have to be making sure youíre on schedule. The timeline will coincide with real historical events which will happen in the game, such as disease outbreaks, onset of the civil war, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and so on. Developer Corbie Games has teased that you might even be able to influence the course of history depending on your actions. Trading is a big factor in making money in the game, and price of goods will alter based on the situation. A disease will drive up prices of food in one city, for example, and itís up to you to take advantage of that. Bounty Train is set to go into Early Access on August 17, so itís not long until you can get a taste of the steam train life on Steam.