The House of Fables brings us to a world of toy trains and puzzles with their Trains VR. The game plays on a small model train table with multiple train stations. Each station is a puzzle in which you have to get your train(s) from their station to their destination or collect all of their colored Stars and get them back home. Some of the puzzles are really quick, others will have you pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to do, especially in the later levels where you have multiple colored Stars and trains.
You are in a game room on the top floor of your house which contains everything you need. A Trophy Wall (get to that later), and arcade machine (I wish it worked), and your Train Table. You will spend 95% of the time at the table, and 5% looking at the trophies. The table is great as you can raise or lower the table, shrink and expand the size, as well as rotate it so you can see the backside stations.
The game play is pretty simple and it does a good job at showing the player what they need to do in the early stages. As mentioned, you will be building tracks for your train(s) to go around to collected colored Stars and return them back to base. Sounds simple enough, but you also have a point system that will increase or decrease depending on how much track you use, with the ultimate goal being to get enough points to get 3 Lights on the level bar; other than the Yellow Light on the end level screen.
It will get even trickier later when you have to deal with train switches and multiple trains on the track as you do not want to smash the trains into each other. You also do not want to collect all 1 colored Star before having a pass-through station, and a Blue Train stop while the Red Train needs to go through and smashes into the stopped Blue.... it will make sense, believe me.
Some levels are really easy to get through and the Stars are lined up in ways that you do not require much thought capacity. The degree of difficulty ramps up at a good pace, and with Special Levels, you can practice even crazier things before you feel like you need to press forward.
The game does not include Trading Cards, but it does have Achievements attached to it. The great thing is that there are Trophies in the game that you can look at to see what you need to do for the Steam Achievement. This is really helpful so you do not have to go back and forth. The only gripe here is that the UI seems overly large, and you will find yourself looking between the train table and the trophies a lot trying to match up what you are trying to accomplish. Is that a "big deal"? Nah, but worth mentioning as I felt it kind of took away from an otherwise clean UI.
One of the last things to mention is that you can also hop into the trains as they roam around the track by pointing at them and pulling the trigger. This is kind of fun as you are inside of the trains and you can speed up and slow down the engine with the boiler slider. You can also pull down the handle for the whistle! You can look out of the windows at the room and other trains as they move about as well, just be careful not to have the tracks setup in a way they will crash as you aren't actively changing switches!
The game is a lot of fun and I do recommend it. The price is right on target and I hope that at some point they activate the arcade machine in the back, add more train designs, or even a sandbox mode to allow you to just get crazy and build your own maps. The game will take you roughly 8-10 hours to get through it, but there are so many more to go through to collect everything.
Frustrating to not have a more "lock" ability when making things, making it hard to build. The board rotation is not smooth and will often fail and make you lift or lower the table.
It is stylized for what it is. The room you are in is not the most appealing, there is just not enough life. Some of the UI is too big.
It has decent music and ambiance, and I was happy with the audio cues the game has.
It is a puzzle game. Each board has 3 stars, and there are a lot of levels, including Special ones. One to keep in your rotation for sure.
9 - Immersive. You have plenty of game board to walk around or sit and spin around in front of you. Not too much that will wobble your senses. The majority is if you sit inside the train and roam around on your track. You are moving, and if you have a circle track, prepare to barf! :)
PROS / CONS
- Very relaxing/thinker puzzles
- In-Game trophies match to Achievements.
- Playing with trains and going inside of them
- Lots of levels
- Bad targeting controls
- Unreliable trigger controls to rotate train board