Nostalgic Train

released on Jun 13, 2018

A self-described walking simulator with a story and free roam mode. The setting is a rural area of Japan near a train station.

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cute! walls and walls of text are definitely... a pacing choice, but i do love a nicely-scaled, tight environment, and who doesn't love a train ride?

You wake up at a train station in a small town with no memory of who you are, or how you got there.

Reminiscent of walking simulators (positive) such as Gone Home and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Nostalgic Train isn't a wholly new gameplay experience, but what it lacks there it more than makes up for in its setting and the sense of place it has.

Between glimpses into the stories and memories of people around the town and trying to find yourself, you are invited to take in the lovely small town of Natsugiri.

The sunlight as it breaks through the bamboo at the peak of the day. The ever-present buzzing of the cicadas. The bookstore, shelves covered in books with no one but you to read them. The elementary school overlooking the burbling river that runs through the town. The train station at the heart of it all.

Where you are is reinforced time and time again, the memories tied to where they occurred, over the course of the game's story building a fuller picture of the town and its inhabitants. Places once lacking importance take on deeper significance as events progress. They may not be present but the more you learn of them, the more the lack of their presences is felt.

The game features both a Free Mode, in which you can explore the town, find scattered notes giving context and history to certain fixtures you'll find, and the Story Mode, over the course of which you'll come to know the town, its inhabitants, and quite possibly yourself.

The best way I can describe Nostalgic Train is it's like the Japanese version of Eveybody's Gone to the Rapture only with the courtesy of a functional run button and decent pacing. It's a walking simulator set in a fictional small Japanese rural town called Natsugiri (summer fog). I understand it's based on real types of villages such as Ohara. It's a lovely location clearly trying to evocate the feelings of nostalgia for a general feeling of the Japanese summer time.

The story mode has you walk from location to location to find these glowing orbs you can reveal pressing R2 to try and find a link to people you know to return you back to the real world. Your nameless character has awoken alone in this village to nothing but the sound of cicadas. Each glowing orb is a little section of text telling stories about characters you can see from this village in another universe and time. There are no other characters, animations or art other than the tiny village location with maybe 10 buildings, 1 train and some text. Yet despite that I found myself surprisingly engrossed in the little story sections and the way they all came together cohesively at the end. The story is poignant yet engrossing and I thought it was surprisingly well written but the thing is it needed to be because there is very little else actually here, this is a completely static world. Your milage for how much you enjoy this game will entirely be down to how much you like the story and how it's presented.

There is a free mode in which you can explore the village to find information notes about the fictional location of Natsugiri or some actual information about the Shōwa period of Japan but you can literally explore the entire environment in probably less than 10 minutes, and I'm probably being generous. I got the platinum trophy in a couple of hours with very minimal effort slowly reading and looking around.

All in all this is a hard game to recommend despite enjoying my time with it. If you like walking simulators, visual novels and melancholic stories though, this may be for you? I'm glad I took a chance with it though as it certainly was a little bit different.

This could have been just a middling walking simulator if not for the setting. It's clear the creator started out wanting to build a 3D 1940s/1950s era rural town and then built a game around it once the simulation was finished, and, honestly? It benefits a lot from it. It's genuinely a lovely and fascinating place to explore, and the otherwise pretty middling Ethan Carter/Gone Home walking sim ghost story is elevated just from being placed within this very lifelike setting.

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, pero en Japón (Place, Japan). Respeto el cariño al detalle y, cuanto menos, esto está mejor escrito que muchos de los first person walkers que surgieron tras la fiebre de Gone Home. También es interesante ver cómo influye el hecho de que puedas moverte por un espacio estático en lo que, a todos los efectos, es una novela visual de las del estilo de Kamaitachi no Yoru. Pero ya han comentado otres, agradezco que al menos haya un modo libre para poder recrearse en ello.


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, but in Japan (Place, Japan). I do respect the detail though, and if nothing else, it's better written than most of the first person walkers that came out during the Gone Home rush. It's also interesting to see how it changes the fact that you can move around during what's basically a classical Kamaitachi no Yoru-type story. But as others already pointed, I'm glad for the Free Mode.

In this game, you'll be treated to a digital vacation to a small, empty, beautiful Japanese village. You can walk around freely in said village in the Free Mode, or go through a mellow and well-written short story in the Story Mode. The story itself quite good, ut unfortunately it is told in an uninteresting way, by only text excerpts that you get by standing in specific spots. It's naturally text heavy, and at times it can be confusing to find where the next spot is, but the story itself is good enough to make it worth the hassle. Also, the piano-driven music is quite pleasing. There's not really much else to this game. If you're not interested after hearing all of that, then just skip this, but if you are interested, then by all means, hop on the train.