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TramSim: Console Edition Review

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As I was writing this review I tried to count up the different modes of transport I have used in my gaming life. 

Cars, of course, are the main event with the chance to get behind the wheel of nearly every model known to mankind, set across different eras. But from there we move to fire engines, ambulances, and police cars, spaceships from the imaginary to the real, planes and trains… lots of trains. But I don’t think I’ve ever driven a tram. 

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Well, my list is now complete as TramSim: Console Edition gives us the opportunity to drive around in a tram, delivering passengers to their locations. What could go wrong?

Dovetail Games have made a big impact in the train sim market with their Train Sim World franchise. Now they have decided to use what they have learnt from that, utilising their skills to move into the world of the tram. What you essentially have here is the experience of driving a tram on a range of different difficulties and personalized options across two big European cities, Vienna and Munich. There isn’t a story as such or any campaign to really take in, but the game borrows the experience progression from the train games so you feel you are making some movement. 

When you start a game you choose from the myriad of options available to you, especially in terms of the amount of control you want; you can go from the minutest details and controlling every aspect of tram operation to just touching a few buttons. TramSim: Console Edition also has the option to change the length of the routes for both cities and the weather. There is even a mode that welcomes in Christmas, or a pandemic mode where all the passengers have masks on.

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Your view is one that places you firmly in the cockpit of the tram for each journey, rather than the more free roam abilities of the Train Sim World games. You start by raising the electricity mast for your tram, helping get you connected to the overhead cables. You can set your lights on if dark and even sort out the limits of your speed so as not to break any speeding rules. Then you’re off, as you push the accelerator forward and backward to stop. It’s a much simpler operation than that of the trains most of us have been used to taking in. 

It all boils down to travelling across your route, stopping where required and picking passengers up. There’s a marker to tell you where to stop, but of course, if you are feeling professional you can switch this off and utilise your tram instincts. When you stop you open the doors to the tram to let people on and off. You might have to lower ramps for disabled passengers, but the system gets quite familiar quite quickly. You also have to be aware of traffic and indicate when going around bends. It’s a pretty simple affair to get used to. But it does get a bit dull, especially once you’ve taken in each of the routes a few times.  

Visually, TramSim: Console Edition does a good job with the cities and whilst I’m not completely familiar with those areas of the world, it seems to deliver a good representation of the buildings and the mapping of the different districts. The lighting is very good as well, not to mention the different weather selections. Oh, and the trams look like, well, trams  – that is obviously a good thing.

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However, much like other Dovetail Games titles, the passengers suffer from a very limited gene pool, and you may well spot the same person duplicated multiple times in the tram. They often make strange AI decisions too; not getting on the tram or suddenly popping in and out of vision. I’ve also had cars suddenly disappear at times. Thankfully the German voiceovers give the world an authenticity which helps, and all the bells and whistles sound good. 

TramSim: Console Edition is another interesting and unique experience in the transport sim world. Driving a tram is a pretty unique and interesting experience, but it does lose its shine after you’ve taken in the routes a few times. Personally I think TramSim needs a few more cities to take in, especially when you consider the price of the game. The passenger AI and the many different triplets and quadruplets don’t help its case, but much like how Train Sim World has gotten better and better, I’m sure TramSim: Console Edition will continue to evolve. 

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • Tram driving
  • City visuals
  • Weather systems
Cons:
  • Can get fairly dull
  • Just two cities
  • Passenger duplication
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Dovetail Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS4, PS5
  • Release date and price - 25 April 2023 | £32.99
Gareth Brierley
Gareth Brierleyhttp://www.garethbrierley.co.uk
I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
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<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>Tram driving</li> <li>City visuals</li> <li>Weather systems</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Can get fairly dull</li> <li>Just two cities</li> <li>Passenger duplication</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Dovetail Games</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), PS4, PS5 <li>Release date and price - 25 April 2023 | £32.99</li> </ul>TramSim: Console Edition Review
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