Paper Train takes the traffic management features of games like Fight Control and puts the whole thing on rails, with the player controlling when the trains start, stop, and crash into cows. It looks good on paper, but is it challenging? The answer is a little sketchy.
Anyone that's played the iPhone classic Fight Control knows that the joy in that game comes from the wondrous chaos generated by the twisting flight paths drawn by shaking fingers in order to avoid deadly mid-air collisions. In Paper Train the collisions are no less deadly, but with sets paths, railway switches, and stop signals just a touch away, playing it safe and blazing through the game's 30 levels is easy.
The real challenge comes from trying to earn the best score. Pressing the on-screen buttons to make trains stop and wait reduces your final score, so while playing it safe is easy, it won't necessarily earn you a spot on the leaderboards. It's the sort of challenge the player controls.
The title's biggest strength is definitely its graphics, charmingly hand-drawn landscapes laid out on simulated graph paper.
But graphics alone do not make a game. If you've the discipline to challenge yourself and the desire to take on the global leaderboards, then by all means, give it a go. There's a free lite version, so you've got nothing to lose except a few cows.
Paper Train Lite [iTunes App Store]