Running out of Steam – The Final Station Review

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Survival in a post apocalyptic time is never easy, you have either aliens, zombies, radioactive creatures all wanting a piece of you. As the savior of what ever situation you’re in, hard decisions of managing resources to keep people happy and alive.

The Final Station, developed by Do My Best games, follows this format pretty closely and for the most part has fun with resource collecting. However after a couple of hours, the game starts to fall apart and become near impossible.

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The Final Station takes place in a world where an Alien infection has started to kill and bring people back to life. You play as a train conductor, the last mode of transportation left on the ruined world just as the second “invasion” starts. Charged with delivering cargo to military forces and picking up survivors, you travel across the land finding supplies and ensuring that everyone you meet stays alive.

The game is split into two parts, Scavenging and managing your train. Managing your train is the heart of the game, this is where you can manage resources, give food and medicine to your survivors, as well as deal with issues on your train such as ventilation and power managing. You also get the most of the story from listening to the passengers gossip on their way between stops, giving their views on the situation that is happening outside the train.

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Scavenging is where the action of the game takes place. This happens whenever you stop into a station to gather supplies or find survivors. The Final Station plays out as a 2D sidescroller, allowing you to search the town for everything you’re going to need in order to survive the world. While scavenging on the first mission of the game is relaxed, once the threat of zombies get thrown in it becomes extremely difficult to survive.

Bullets are difficult to come by and with some zombies requiring a shot in the head to finish them, you will find yourself backed against the wall quite often. Players can use a punch ability if they run out of ammo, but it can take several hits to take the zombies down, while higher zombies will only be stunned for a few seconds. When dealing with a horde of enemies, it feels like the game would want you to do a fight or flight response, but without the option to sneak around in most levels you’re forced to run through the hoard, which in my experience leads to multiple game overs.

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Scavenging levels are mandatory, not only is this the only time you’ll have to explore and look for supplies, but in order to leave the station, you will have to find a code to remove the barriers that keep your train at the station. Most of the time the code is found on dead bodies or in the home of dead station employees who took the code with them for some inconvenient reason. Forcing you to go through out the entire level just to find the code. It’s an annoyance as it removes the sense of choice that survival and resource management games normally have leaving with a rather linear game.

The minimalist pixel-art is a nice though. The characters all look unique and the dark blobs used for the zombies are well done enough that you can see and tell what kind of opponent you’re up against but still keep some form of mystery around them. The game also has some nice environments and background art for some of the bigger set pieces in the game.

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The Final Station has its moments, but lacks anything interesting that will keep players going after being mauled by a mob of zombies after having to find another code to move on through 30 different stations.

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