Train Station Renovation (Switch) Review

Train Station Renovation is basically the same game as the very mediocre Demolish & Build and even House Flipper as it appears to be built on the same engine and released by the same team. To be clear, this is a chore simulator, tasking the player with cleaning a designated area using a number of different tools. It just so happens that you clean train stations. If this was “general cleaning game” the experience would be no different. Do not expect to place track, hire engineers, or sell tickets to passengers here. You will clean some lavatories though.

It can be assumed most players do not want to do real life chores so performing these errand-based tasks digitally is an odd choice. Like the other games released by this publisher, there is a fair amount of jank but Train Station Renovation can be strangely satisfying if you look hard enough. Picking up bottles, fixing electrical panels with a screw driver, sweeping dirt, and spackling paint might sound like actions for a dedicated weekend warrior but they somehow translate better than you think here in this sim.  Granted, you are still doing nothing more than chores so I think there is only so much fun to be had but there is an peculiar sense of satisfaction in tidying land one acre at a time.

The sonar sensor is a feature that acts as a guide, highlighting objects in the environment that are interactive. Pinging this beacon gives the players a goal when the “ok, what do I have to do next?” question appears. It is a thoughtful feature that works well if the player chooses to use it although it seems its reach is a slightly too shallow. The radial item selection interface also works well with a controller.  There are several tools available but each one can only be used for one thing. Thankfully, using each tool is a snappy, quick experience.  For example, instead of twisting a screwdriver for a couple minutes like in real life or busting a rotting bench with a crowbar with numerous pulling motions, most actions are completed in a single button tap. This not only keeps the gameplay faster paced, it respects the player’s time.

Unexpectantly, this game has a super relaxing and high quality soundtrack.  I am sure these tunes were just downloaded from the public domain somewhere and they never loop well, but there is no denying the quality of most tracks. In other words, I wouldn’t mind cleaning my own house listening to this playlist. The visuals are composed of generic textures and a lower frame rate but they are serviceable.  Again, there is some jank, along with some visual and gameplay glitches from time to time, but usually isn’t enough to break the game.

Train Station Renovation is a cleaning simulator that is by no means a great game. In comparison, is it a bad game? Can’t say that it is but it isn’t a title for everyone.  There is something to be said about the go-at-your-own-pace style chore filled gameplay set to a calming soundtrack that is abnormally satisfying if you don’t mind cleaning virtual landscapes.

SCORE: 6/10

Not As Good As: Visceral Clean Up Detail
Better Than: that new Power Washing sim
Wait For It: Grocery Shopping Simulator

By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief
Twitter: @ZackGaz
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