Review – Game of Trains

Publisher: Brain Games
Designers: Alexey Konnov, Alexey Paltsev, Anatoliy Shklyarov
BoardGameGeek: 180602

Game of Trains is a game from Brain Games, makers of another game we recently reviewed called Ice Cool. Many thanks for Brain Games for supplying a copy of this game for review.

Upon first glance, Game of Trains appears to be quite simple. You have a train with a line of 7 carriages behind it which are arranged in descending numerical order. During the game you have to arrange your carriages so that they’re ascending from lowest to highest, reversing the order. In total there are 84 carriage cards, each numbered from 1-84. To accomplish the task of rearranging your train you can do one of two actions during your turn. The first is simply to take a card from the top of the draw deck and use that card to replace one in your current train, however as you don’t know what number carriage you’ll end up drawing you could find yourself in a worse situation. When you replace a card in your train the discarded card goes in the middle of the table, and is then available to be used by other players for the second action that can be performed. Each card has an icon at the top of it denoting one of the following:

  • Move a card two places to the left
  • Move a card two places to the right
  • Swap two adjacent cards
  • Swap two cards that are two spaces part
  • ‘Attack’ (replace) either the leftmost, middle or rightmost card of another players train
  • Protect a card from attack

When you pick up a card from the middle of the table you can perform the relevant action. The game therefore has quite a bit of strategy involved, as you not only need to keep an eye on the order of your own carriages but you also need to watch your opponents, and make sure you don’t discard any cards that might give them an advantage!

I played this game with a few members of my local gaming group, and after the first game everyone wanted to immediately play it again which is definitely a good sign! I found the game to be very easy to get into, and with a good amount of light strategy for a game of this type. I really like the art style of the cards, and there are some references to a lot of TV and Films in there as well. Carriages with the Iron Throne, KITT, and even the DeLorean from Back to the Future hide amongst the ‘regular’ carriage cards. The cards are also of a very high quality with a linen finish and shuffle really well!

The game also comes with rule sheets in a variety of languages, so if you’re playing with people who don’t have English as their first language this shouldn’t be an issue, especially as there is no text on the cards, just numbers and symbols. It’s also easy to teach new players, as with everything face up on the table everyone can ask questions and not worry about the fact that they’re giving away information about what cards they have.

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Game of Trains
  • Art
  • Components
  • Gameplay
  • Enjoyment

Summary

Game of Trains is a fun, easy to pickup game that will appeal to all ages and has a few nice little easter eggs hidden amongst the cards for the older players. This is definitely one you should look into if you're after a quick and easy card game with some light strategic elements.

4.5