Review: The Final Station (PC)

Old pixellated graphics, no matter how frequent in the world of indie games, resonate gratifying memories with most of today’s adult gamers. To younger generations, retro is the word that rings across the subtle yet beautiful graphics, while older generations, including myself, see nostalgia. Game developers at tinyBuild Games see bold opportunities to deliver something new and refreshing with The Final Station.

In this two-dimensional part action/adventure strategy game, you’ll find yourself traveling as an ordinary railway worker on the only running train around. Running through towns located at every train station, picking up discourse from gossiping townies or old letters, your main objective is finding the keycodes to release the railroad blockers at each station.

Armed with your fist, a pistol and a handful of bullets, every door opened or ladder scaled leaves you on your guard, braced for enemy encounters. Shadowy, seemingly brain-dead figures fill the decaying towns where you not only find blocker keycodes, but food, medkits and other precious resources, human survivors and more information revealing government conspiracies dipping deeper into the games’ lore. Dozens of stations make up the game and each one baring its very own 4 digit keycode retrieved by none other than, the lone train operator. Station after station, the people get scarce, the towns more desolate and the story unfolds.

In between each stop, while your train is pushing towards the next railroad blocker, you maintain an efficient running train as well as care for survivors found along your adventure. Various actions are used along the ride to ensure peak performance for the rumbling locomotive, its residents are starved and bruised.

The deeper you dig into The Final Station, the more compelling the game gets. Strategically choosing which survivors to save with your stash of medicine and food, or if you even want to save them, will reward you at the end of every act. Ammunition being limited, calculating melee strikes is crucial, leaving your firearms for emergency situations. Whether a fury of punches, one satisfying charged melee or a few well placed shots, the game plays fluidly leaving an overall addictive style of adventure.

After hours of gameplay I feel I only scratched the surface of what lies beyond. The minimal dialogue gives away just enough to keep going, but only on occasion answers questions. A variety of baddies ranging from slow walker-types to quick runners, heavily armored to heavily explosive, gives the game a methodical approach to the zombie-esque shooter. The Final Station is a standout game amongst a saturated genre and should not be overlooked by any fan of the 2D action/shooter family.


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