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Anyone who’s been up till three in the morning balancing budgets in SimCity or perfecting their garden in Viva Piñata can testify to the power of the “work is play” philosophy on game design found in many great sims. But not all sims are created equal and many have taken this idea of “work as play” way too far. Today, we’ll be looking at some of the most heinous examples of sims gone wrong, the ones that tackle the most bizarre and banal subjects ever touched by the world of gaming, resulting in some of the most yawn-inducing titles known to mankind.
7. Railfan: Taiwan High Speed Rail
Train rides are boring. In fact, they’re so boring that passengers will go through great lengths to lighten the monotony of their commute. Some pass the time reading. Some sleep. Others regale strangers with stories about how the spiders keep telling them what to do before asking them for some spare change.
But whatever they’re doing, passengers always seem keen on distracting themselves from the uncomfortable truth that they’re in for a long ride to someplace awful. If you’ve never suffered the joy of grueling daily commutes, do not panic. You too can now get directly involved with the most miserable part of everyone else’s morning thanks to train sims like Railfan: Taiwan High Speed Rail on the PS3.
Above: With all the numbers and dials floating around the screen, it’s difficult to forget about how much fun you’re not having
Instead of playing the role of a zombified automaton passively riding towards a job he hates, you’ll don the gloves of the robot behind the wheel and pilot the anonymous masses to their daily destinations in a timely and efficient manner.
Railfan’s predictable modes like free tour and time attack are bad enough. But it’s the way the game shows you details about all the exotic destinations you’re passing by that makes Railfan a truly torturous experience. Reading all about Taiwan’s finest restaurants and tourist attractions while trapped in your cell at the front of a speeding train is a great way to rub in the fact that you’re at home, won’t be traveling anywhere anytime soon, and have nothing better to do than play an imported train simulation.
Above: You really have no business playing a train simulation unless you’re this guy