The original Train Conductor was a sleeper hit that we really enjoyed and remains a staple on many users' iOS devices. That version featured a distinct Australian backdrop that many of us may have found unfamiliar. Train Conductor 2: USA [iPhone/ iPad] puts Uncle Sam in the driver's seat, embarking on 5 new levels from New York to the Grand Canyon.

Train Conductor 2 retains the basic Flight Control on Rails gameplay from the first game, but re-imagines both the setting and each level's special gameplay twist.

One such twist challenges you to flick trains upwards and or downwards depending on their color, whilst the others are a spin on the standard formula. The New York subway sequence for example provides non-sensical numerical and alphabetical line names that confuse just as they do in real life.

Some early impressions from a fan of the original in our forums:

Each level is a survival level. You route your trains until you crash. When you crash your score is displayed and you then have a choice of playing the level again or going to the map which is a US map drawn in the same style as the Aussie map in the first game. You also get a choice to post the results to Facebook or Twitter. To find out how many more trains you need to route to unlock the next city you just tap the locked city to activate the bubble with the answer. The visual style is consistent with the original game.
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There is no longer night/day button. The cities now can only be played in one mode i.e. New York is a day map and Nashville is a night map with Ghost trains. I am enjoying the game so far and can recommend it, especially at $0.99.

For all these new gameplay mechanics though, it seems that in some ways Train Conductor 2 is a scaled back version of the first game. Objectives required to unlock the next level are much easier to obtain; there are no day/night sequences for each track as there was in the first game; and there is no longer level bonus' for speeding up time or acheiving a streak of connections. Facebook high scores also replace the Plus+ integration from the previous iteration.

In fact, if you had not played either game and were interested in the base gameplay, we'd still recommend you to try the original Train Conductor first. What Train Conductor 2 does add is a flashier, higher resolution look for the iPad and iPhone 4 Retina display and a funky new soundtrack to suit each of the new U.S. level themes.

Update: It seems like iPad users have cause for concern; readers have reported a lacklustre iPad port-- foregoing the higher resolution of the iPhone 4 in favor of blurry, upscaled textures and no fullscreen support. iPad users may want to steer clear until the developers have addressed this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Zendorphin TouchChatterbox

    Disappointed in a way, I was hoping for more levels and for them to keep the day and night modes. A normal and day-time Nashville map for instance would be cool. And a day Las Vegas would be kind of dull but one with normal gameplay and some other type of twist more in keeping with the traditional gameplay.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Zendorphin TouchChatterbox

    Disappointed in a way, I was hoping for more levels and for them to keep the day and night modes. A normal and day-time Nashville map for instance would be cool. And a day Las Vegas would be kind of dull but one with normal gameplay and some other type of twist more in keeping with the traditional gameplay.

  • psyc

    She looks like something out of toy story

  • psyc

    She looks like something out of toy story

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Oliver

    The iPad version seems to be a joke:

    - Does not use the full display and looks framed
    - Uses a badly scaled and ugly Facebook-Icon
    - Uses scaled background images
    - Positions some of the track elements wrong
    - Font is sometimes misplaced, like on the “Return to Map”-Button and all buttons in the pause-menu

  • http://www.taptoplay.de Oliver

    The iPad version seems to be a joke:

    - Does not use the full display and looks framed
    - Uses a badly scaled and ugly Facebook-Icon
    - Uses scaled background images
    - Positions some of the track elements wrong
    - Font is sometimes misplaced, like on the “Return to Map”-Button and all buttons in the pause-menu

  • Adrian

    I am very disappointed with this version :( It is advertised as an iPad/iPhone version but you can see that they haven't put the time into properly developing the iPad side of things. The backgrounds are fuzzy scaled up iPhone versions and they aren't even full screen :( I am a huge fan of the original version - but this version seems to be a little sloppy. The original version was extremely polished.

    The tracks don't even line up 100% when crossing from one line to another!

    I have to hand it to them for the price though - it is cheap ;-)

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      Thanks for the report guys!

      Whilst we endeavour to get to as many apps as possible with as many devices as possible, sometimes that option isn't available to us at the time (simply, I don't own an iPad). Never would have suspected that there'd be any issue here.

      I'm updating the article accordingly as we speak though.

      Thanks once again for the heads up!

  • Adrian

    I am very disappointed with this version :( It is advertised as an iPad/iPhone version but you can see that they haven't put the time into properly developing the iPad side of things. The backgrounds are fuzzy scaled up iPhone versions and they aren't even full screen :( I am a huge fan of the original version - but this version seems to be a little sloppy. The original version was extremely polished.

    The tracks don't even line up 100% when crossing from one line to another!

    I have to hand it to them for the price though - it is cheap ;-)

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      Thanks for the report guys!

      Whilst we endeavour to get to as many apps as possible with as many devices as possible, sometimes that option isn't available to us at the time (simply, I don't own an iPad). Never would have suspected that there'd be any issue here.

      I'm updating the article accordingly as we speak though.

      Thanks once again for the heads up!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Zendorphin TouchChatterbox

    That's just it - yeah, it's cheap, 5 levels for that much isn't that bad but this is something that could have easily been a patch or DLC for the original game (just grouped on a seperate map). There's nothing THAT evolutionary let alone revolutionary, and still no level editor or track editor. And I still think they could do a bit more with the theme of each location.

    • Jack

      I agree with everything you said completely. This version needs more levels, and a track editor/track editor would be incredible.

      Plus+ should be added as well instead of Facebook.

      • CarloTK

        If Plus+ and a track editor is added in the next update, I will buy this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Zendorphin TouchChatterbox

    That's just it - yeah, it's cheap, 5 levels for that much isn't that bad but this is something that could have easily been a patch or DLC for the original game (just grouped on a seperate map). There's nothing THAT evolutionary let alone revolutionary, and still no level editor or track editor. And I still think they could do a bit more with the theme of each location.

    • Jack

      I agree with everything you said completely. This version needs more levels, and a track editor/track editor would be incredible.

      Plus+ should be added as well instead of Facebook.

      • CarloTK

        If Plus+ and a track editor is added in the next update, I will buy this.

  • Jas

    What an utterly useless review for iPad owners!

    Why not state that the iPad version is a poor up-scaled iPhone port? Or did you just not check?

  • Jas

    What an utterly useless review for iPad owners!

    Why not state that the iPad version is a poor up-scaled iPhone port? Or did you just not check?

  • Greg

    The iPad is a horrible excuse for HD. I found that the graphics on the first Train Conductor were better on the iPad when I 2Xed them. The developers ought to be ashamed.

  • Greg

    The iPad is a horrible excuse for HD. I found that the graphics on the first Train Conductor were better on the iPad when I 2Xed them. The developers ought to be ashamed.

  • WilhelmR

    I didn't know they had replaced plus+ with facebook posting.. yuk..

  • WilhelmR

    I didn't know they had replaced plus+ with facebook posting.. yuk..

  • Jason

    I hate Facebook integration... its such a turn off. This game desperately needs Plus+ with achievements.

  • Jason

    I hate Facebook integration... its such a turn off. This game desperately needs Plus+ with achievements.