While we would have preferred the sights and sounds from Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach through to Bispham, we suppose Vienna’s iconic tram line comes a close second. TramSim: Console Edition is a scrappy locomotive title looking to expand on the success of Train Sim World 3, and while it lacks the TLC of Dovetail’s flagship simulation, it’s certainly successful at embedding you in its stunning scenery.
We’ve never visited the Austrian capital – if the developer would like to invite us over for research purposes, we’ll happily pack a bag right away – but we spent a little bit of time looking at YouTube reference videos, and there’s no question this release features some remarkable attention to detail. Despite never setting foot in the city, we were able to pick out a number of real-life landmarks and buildings, purely because we’d seen them in the game.
Outside of the startup procedure – which you can opt to skip in most modes – operating the trams is incredibly straightforward, and that makes the gameplay a lot breezier than some of the routes in Train Sim World 3. But some cumbersome control aspects can be infuriating, and we wished greater effort would have been made to truly tune the title to consoles – it feels like going back to a simulator from a decade ago, when developers hadn’t quite grasped the concept of a traditional game pad.
While there are some more specific scenarios with predetermined goals and objectives, you’ll get most of your enjoyment just driving the tram around. A second route inspired by Munich adds some much-needed variety, although you do get the sense that the developer spent the majority of its time and budget on Vienna, as this is clearly the more detailed of the two locations.
While there is a light sense of progression enabled by an XP system, the game generally feels quite hands-off in terms of guidance or direction. We enjoyed learning the operation of the trams and even the signalling system, but once we’d driven both routes a handful of times, we didn’t feel massively compelled to do it again. By comparison, Train Sim World 3 – with its medals, collectibles, and deeper scenarios – feels a lot more moreish, and thus we’d only really recommend TramSim: Console Edition if you’re comfortable with setting your own rules and rewards.