I love Townscaper. Oskar Stålberg's delightful little island toy struck a real soft spot for the part of me that misses living in quaint little coastal towns, and it's practically perfect in generating seaside villages. But gosh, wouldn't it be nice if it also featured trains?
That's the pitch of Islands & Trains, an upcoming game by Hungarian developer Akos Makovics and Fabi Smith that features, well, islands and trains. Softly lit locomotives chug their way across autumnal fields on grid-like isles, weaving through forests and between adorable little windmills and churches.
Here's a little island building timelapse.You really have to watch this till the end to see the train moving ! It's finally placeable ingame 🥰#screenshotsaturday #lowpoly #gamedev #indiedev #WIP #gamehttps://t.co/KTPC7AOlst pic.twitter.com/b65vF5F36MJune 19, 2022
Progress screenshots show a really broad range of things to dot on your island, from train tracks and forests to cliffs, houses, churches, fences and even teeny tiny animals. It's not clear that there's a 'game' to it all, per say, but I truly hope there isn't. The most fun I got out of Townscaper was simply popping in every so often, building out a single town until it strained the very limits of the editor.
At that, it seems, Islands & Trains may be very promising indeed.
Go big or go home. I finally faced my fear and tried to build a significantly bigger level - thinking of all kinds of little stories that might happen in this world 🙃#screenshotsaturday #lowpoly #gamedev #indiedev #WIP #game #madewithunity pic.twitter.com/FIpQncyrqQMay 26, 2022
I'm happy to see more games pop up along the same lines as Townscaper, and Islands & Trains is more than lovingly inspired by Stålberg's dioramic seasides. On the game's Steam page, the duo acknowledge that their wee island sandbox is inspired by "wonderful games like Islanders, Dorfromantik and Townscaper".
Islands & Trains is currently listed as "coming soon" on Steam and I reckon we'll be keeping a close eye on this particular train schedule for a charming little island getaway.
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20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.