This summer, tinyBuild (known for SpeedRunners and Lovely Planet) is set to publish a new pixelated survival adventure called The Final Station.
Somehow, I was selected (without applying) to participate in a beta of this upcoming title and was encouraged to write about and create media related to the experience. So far, my impressions are quite favorable. First, I definitely love the pixelated aesthetics that the game has, because although they keep it fairly simple as a whole, there’s a lot going on if you pay attention. The game is colorful at times and dark and gritty at others, and given its post-apocalyptic setting, this all works very much to its advantage.
At its core, this is a game that doesn’t throw the story in your face. You take the role of some sort of train operator (although you might also be a government peacekeeper of some kind; it isn’t quite clear from what I’ve played), driving a small train down the tracks of a broken, dying world and stopping at major stations to search for supplies and pick up any survivors you find. At each station, the train gets locked down upon arrival by a security system, so one simple goal is always to figure out the code to unlock this coupling device (which also may include tasks such as finding keys to locked rooms or batteries to operate electronics). Ammunition, medical kits, and food crates are all vital supplies to hunt for. When you encounter NPCs in the open world, it’s up to you to decide if you want to take them with you on the train or leave them behind to fend for themselves. It’s possible that some will benefit you with their skills or knowledge, but others might be dead weight. And, in either case, it takes food and medical supplies to keep them alive and healthy, so the more people you opt to bring with you, the more troubling it gets.
While exploring, you’ll encounter various enemies who are referred to as “infected,” and you can kill them by shooting, punching, or even throwing objects at them. Preserving ammo is always a good idea, though, so coming up with creative solutions is definitely important.
While operating the train, you need to keep various components in good working order, so there’s also a small puzzle/maintenance aspect to the game in its current form.
The game is planned for a summer 2016 release on Steam, so if you like what you see in this gameplay preview, head to their Steam page and check them out!