Rail x Rail Train Set is an iPad app developed by Loy Enterprises, Inc. This entertainment app lets children and adults experience the pleasure of playing with a model train set, but on a digital platform.
For decades, the big toy that all kids wanted was a model train set, complete with tons of cars and an engine that had those little pellets to create smoke. Model trains have a wonderful smell to them, and it’s a childhood playtime smell memory that’s almost as nostalgia-inducing as Play-Doh.
Recapturing that thrill of toy trains on a digital scale is a tall order. There’s a lot to like about Rail x Rail: custom tracks, buildings, cool terrain. You can even spring for the “Deluxe Pack” to get interactive cars, better tracks, bridges, mountains, and more.
Rail x Rail features hundreds of different train cars to mix and match together to make trains of different lengths, styles, and functions. The app features a really good editing system that keeps you from accidentally making changes to your rail line.
Ultimately, as someone who grew up playing with model trains and loved every minute of it, Rail x Rail Train set doesn’t quite recapture the fun and wonderment of playing with a physical train. A big part of that sentiment is tied up in the graphics: they just seem a bit dated, and lacking in energy.
The cool thing about model trains was that they were true to the original: they were tiny versions of truly powerful creations, and that’s what made them cool. Here, the trains seem kind of dead and flat.
Rail x Rail Train Set is a fun app, to be sure, but the overhead and side views of your tracks and trains just lack “oomph.” With some fresher graphics and some improved animations, this could become a truly top-notch app. For now, however, it’s just mediocre.