Bounty Train Review – All Aboard To 19th Century US

Bounty Train is set in the 19th century. An era that birthed many great inventions which then laid the foundation for future invention and pave the way for the modern era. The locomotive is one of those inventions and its presence can be found in our modern society. And you will have a lot of interaction with it.

There is two games mode to select when you’re at the main menu, Campaign and Free Game.

Campaign/Free Game

You’re playing as Walter Reed in the campaign. A man who comes back from Europe upon hearing the news of your father death. The circumstance of his passing is anything but natural. His death is a blessing to his competitors, as the objective of swindling more money from the government to build a winding railroad is without opposition.

It’s now a race against your competitor, as the first person to gather most of the company share will have the final say in the building direction of the railroad.

In Free Game, you can do anything you want without feeling the invisible constraints from the campaign objective. There’s no major difference in gameplay between Free Game and Campaign. But the first 30min into the campaign serves as a tutorial. I recommend doing that first before doing Free Game.

Gameplay

A difficulty option will appear before you can start playing your preferred game mode. There’s your standard difficulty option such as normal and hard, but you are able to customise your gameplay with several options. You can affect profits gain from the market or the number of enemies on the map. Allowing you to play at a level that you’re comfortable with.

Bounty Train Review
Bounty Train | Corbie Games

The majority of your time is spent moving from city to city. Buying and selling produce based on the city market demands, talking to potential passengers who are mostly in a rush to get to another city and are pressed for time, and taking odd jobs from City Hall.

Most of these quest requires you to complete within a certain timeframe. Failing that will cause your reputation with the city to go down and a penalty fee will incur. You can end up in a miserable state because of it. And if being on the side of good isn’t your cup of tea, you’re able to take quests from bandits.

These bad boys only work at night and can be found in a handful of cities. The nature of their quest isn’t all that different from regular quest except for that whatever your doing is bad. You may be tasked with transporting contraband goods or notorious bandits, and your train will be inspected by the local officers whenever you enter a town. And from my experience, crime doesn’t pay.

Bounty Train
Bounty Train | Corbie Games

If playing as a businessman isn’t your thing and would like to earn money through blood, there’s always bounty hunting. There is no shortage of bandit for you to fight and its cash payout and reputation is decent. Well, depending on how you set the game difficulty.

You can hire mercenaries to travel with you to protect your yourself from the occasional bandit raid or when you’re out bounty hunting. The combat occurs with your train being surrounded. To end it, you can either outrun the pursuers, kill every single one of them or get killed yourself. Either option, blood will be spilled.

Combat is relatively simple to manage. The enemies will chase your train with horses and do their best to get onboard. At that time, you have to move your men around the train frequently to prevent that. Adjusting your men firing zone while trying to place them behind decent cover and not getting killed. As when the enemies managed to get onboard, things will get hectic and out of control pretty easily.

Bounty Train
Bounty Train | Corbie Games

One of the things I like about Bounty Train is that there are a decent number of trains in the game and you can customise them. There’s trivia information about the trains in the game, but it only appears on the loading screen. You can fit in another caboose to have more men defending your train. Or perhaps more freight carriage to increase cargo capacity. Either way, you have to bear the total tonnage you locomotive can pull. As the heavier it is, the slower your train will go.

Balance

Everything seems to balance at the start. Handling bandits with just 2-3 man while transporting cargo is manageable, but it will take a few days for them to be fully healed when they are injured. And your carriage can be damaged during the fighting and that requires repairs. The time spent on healing and repairing can also be used to travel to another city to sell produce and make profits.

After completing a couple of quests, trade runs, and bounty hunting, you will find that doing trade runs and quests are the most cost-effective way to earn money. Money which is needed to buy new train, carriages and upgrade them. With that in mind, your play style will subconsciously focus on trading more than bounty hunting.

Bounty Train Review
Bounty Train | Corbie Games

Even when you decide to solely focus on bounty hunting, you will need money to hire men and pay their monthly fees, specific carriage to house them and maintenance fees for your train and hospital fee when your men get injured. There’s also the need to buy better equipment and carriage in order for you to last longer in a fight. And once you have killed your target, his bounty payout is not worth all the troubles. You may incur a lost instead.

As time progresses, more and more bandits will appear throughout the game and they are of a higher level. In order to cope with this, you need to hire more men and train them. To do that, you would require to do more trade runs and quest. By the time you have gathered more men, a decent amount of time would have past and the enemies would have gotten stronger. Resulting in you always be weaker than your enemies and this vicious cycle repeats.

I do find myself enjoying Bounty Train for the first couple hours. Amassing massive fortune from trading and quest just to buy better train and carriage. But I find the nature of such actions to be repetitive and not compelling. Thus, my interest in Bounty Train has run out of steam.

Performance

You will be greeted with a very pleasant music when you’re at Bounty Train main menu. It feels as though you have opened a music box instead of a game. This gives rise to an expectation that there’s a better or just as enjoyable BGM to listen when you’re playing the game later. Boy, I was disappointed.

As I progressed into the campaign, I’ve noticed the game starts to lag slightly or at times freezes for while before continuing. This problem becomes more and more apparent the more you progressed into the campaign. I have spent 9 hours playing it and it’s getting more frequent the more time I invest in it. I’ve no idea how or why it happens and it seems I’m not the only one that experiences this problem.

Conclusion

Bounty Train is an enjoyable game for the first couple hours in. But as time goes by, you will find its repetitive gameplay to be a chore and won’t compelled you to continue. I suggest getting Bounty Train when it’s on a sale.


Platform: PC (Windows, MAC OS)
Publisher: Daedalic Entertainment
Developer: Corbie Games
Rating: OK (59 out of 100)
Hours Player: 12.5hrs


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