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Station to Station Review | All Aboard?

Station to Station reviewed by StormieDae


Release date: 10/3/23

Developed by Galaxy Grove

Published by Prismatika

Station to station is the newest addition to the cozy building sim genre developed by Galaxy grove and there is truly so much to say about this game.

Station to station is meant to be a relaxing and peaceful experience where you place stations and create connections to foster growth and expansion. As you build more connections your area will grow, transforming into a vibrant, lush environment full of life and color! To keep you on your toes, the game also features engaging puzzle elements, challenging you to optimize routes and solve logistical conundrums.

the key art for Station to Station featuring a voxel art train in the foreground and a voxel art village in the background, slightly blurred out of focus.
Station to Station features gorgeous voxel art graphics and some tricky puzzle mechanics

This game features voxel art that brings the gorgeous, varied scenery to life and a sound design that will truly keep you at peace. The graphics are genuinely so beautiful I was thoroughly impressed with how captivating the landscapes were throughout the game. Your map starts as a very washed-out, colorless world and as you make your connections, the map lights up with beautiful colors and its super satisfying.

While on the outside this game has everything you would expect from a cozy, relaxing building sim, once I spent several hours in this game I was finding myself more and more frustrated. Let me go ahead and break down why.

To start, I have to explain how this game works. You have all sorts of different levels ranging in difficulty. The mechanics will include connecting building to each other in order to ship resources across the map. Some building types solely produce resources and some need materials in order to produce.

These will be things such as paper, milk, wood, steel and so on. All of these different buildings can share connections, but you have to make sure everything is going in the right direction. You also unlock passenger containers so you can transport people. You are met with a ton of puzzles and, as you progress through the levels, the puzzles become more challenging.

You have goals in each map that you need to hit in order to complete the level. Goals are typically something like requiring you to connect all of the buildings, but there are also star goals that will be like extra points if you can manage to achieve them.

Another fun element to the game as you get a little further is the card drawing system that will give you random cards that have perks such as making the bridges cheaper, the railways cheaper or giving you more money for the connections. Did I mention that this game relies heavily on money? This is the beginning of my problem with this game.

A voxel art town in station to station featuring tall apartment buildings, a train on tracks and a large church.
Build towns and make connections to carry resources and passengers around your community

Now everything that you do costs you money, think of this like any other sim city or tycoon game where all rails cost money, all stations cost money, bridges, overpasses and so on. Which is all fine and dandy until you realize how limited your resources are with this model. I found myself painstakingly adjusting my tracks inch by inch trying to make sure I could afford building the rail. You do earn money when the connections are made, but it costs money every single time you build more.

There's a lot of strategy that goes into this. You need to connect the buildings in a specific order so the building needing the most resources gets connected last, giving you the largest stack bonus. So each connection needs to be carefully thought out because every time you make one, it creates a checkpoint. This leads me into my biggest problem with this game.

The checkpoint system is painful. If you make a mistake, you cannot change it. You cannot delete a connection once it is made, as it becomes permanent and counts as a checkpoint. So, if you screw something up or do it in the wrong order, you need to start the entire level over. There is no way for you to undo what you previously did and try again outside of starting the entire level order from scratch.

Station to Station screenshot featuring a dry, arid landscape like a desert with adobe-looking homes and a palace.
Checkpoints are created whenever a connection is made and cannot be undone

This checkpoint system is so unbelievably annoying when you spent a good 10 to 15 minutes planning out your connections just to make an error and then not be able to finish because you ran out of money or the rails don't match up. You do have an option to reload at the last checkpoint, but it's entirely useless if the last connection was your mistake because it just keeps reloading you back into that last mistake.

The amount of times I had to restart an entire level because of this situation was seriously making my eye twitch. The only saving grace here is that you do have the option to flip into “no money mode” where you can build as much as you want without it costing you money. The only downside here is that you forfeit your cash bonuses doing it this way. Something that I also want to say is the first time I flipped into no money mode out of sheer desperation because I am very stubborn, the game crashed and deleted all of my progress.

After hours of trying to get these damn stations connected I had to start all the way back at the tutorial. This made me never want to see a train again, but I found some strength left in me somewhere and decided to do it all over again.

A screenshot from Station to Station featuring tracks being laid and some of the cards available in game, like "hybrid train"
Staion to Station also has a card-based element that will provide you with power-ups

With all that being said, this game is gorgeous. I mean the voxel art is just totally out of this world. I tried very, very hard to love Station to Station because I wanted to so badly, but the issues were difficult to ignore. If you want a cute, cozy game where you can just relax and build some trains, I would highly recommend this game on no money mode. For my people who love a challenge, this will take the challenge out of the puzzles for sure, but getting to just relax and build was very fun. There is also a custom mode where you can kind of just do whatever you want with no limits, which is also fun.

I can't say that I recommend this game without being on no money mode. The issues were glaring and, at times, made me really question my sanity, which is kind of the exact opposite of how this was marketed. This is supposed to be a “relaxing and peaceful experience” and it definitely is while on no money mode. Its not the strategy part, its not even the money part that makes this so frustrating- its those damn checkpoints. If I had the option to undo my mistake, this review would have been completely different, so if you're going to play this game for a cozy building experience where you can just vibe and not think so much, play on no money mode.


+ Gorgeous voxel art

+ Really fun and relaxing on no money mode

+ Great puzzles


- Buggy, crashes

- Checkpoints that gave me nightmares

- Unable to fix your mistakes without starting the entire level over

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