Mini Video Game Review – Choo-Choo Charles

Recently I have been playing Choo-Choo Charles; and its rather interesting! Developed by Two Star Games, and inspired by the Stephen King children’s book Charlie the Choo-Choo (as well as Thomas the Tank Engine); Choo-Choo Charles is a first person open-world horror game; where the player is a train travelling monster hunter, who is trying to exterminate a possessed train/giant spider. Set on a small island, covered in railway tracks, the player has been provided with a train featuring a fixed gun emplacement, and must drive the train across the island, looking for weapons and scrap to upgrade their train, whilst fending off attacks from the titular villain. The game is a real horror inducing experience, as at first you think the train will only attack at certain plot points, but this is not true as it will attack any place at any time, so you need to keep your eyes peeled, and when the attacks come you can really feel your heart racing. The game does have it’s shortcomings. Firstly the in-game characters talk, without moving their mouths, which is ok to an extent, but looks a bit off. Then when the train does attack you have no choice to fight it off, and cannot just find somewhere to hide. But the bigger issue, is that the only time you have access to weapons, is when you are on your train. But, several in game missions require you to leave the train and travel on foot, which leaves you exposed to several major perils. And even though the game does have space for some stealthy moments too, you just wish you had some way of defending yourself, even if it was just a wrench or something to fight off the unfriendly NPC’s. These issues though don’t take away any of the joy from this game’s biggest achievement; as the game’s most enjoyable aspect, is the amount of fun you will have driving your little train around the map. The controls are simple to use, and no matter what the situation, it’s always fun. It makes you wonder why there aren’t more open world games with train driving options in them, it is just so much fun!

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