The Final Station Review
It’s interesting to come across experiences like The Final Station that leave you grasping at straws in a good way. Do My Best Games has done a fantastic job at setting up a unique, mysterious world that teases you with tidbits of information as you ride the rails from town to town. Can you shuttle your passengers to safety as you flee the impending horrors?
The core gameplay is simple. Reach a town, head right along a 2D plane until you find the blocker code, get back to your train and continue. Between towns, use food and medkits to keep your passengers healthy while simultaneously performing simple tasks to keep your train operational. Of course, nothing is ever that easy, and each town has been infested by weird creatures that seem to have once been human.
Playing as an average train engineer, you have limited weaponry. To fight the monsters, you’ll be limited to punching, throwing objects like chairs, and firing a handgun with limited ammunition when the going gets tough. As you continue your journey, you’ll come across a couple more weapons along with some upgrades if you’ve saved up enough cash. Many objects in the world can be looted, netting you either crafting materials, money, bullets, food, or medkits. Bullets and medkits can be crafted, but they should not be solely relied upon if you want to reach the final station in one piece.
” If you love an interesting story with some creepy sci-fi elements, then I highly recommend The Final Station.”
Medkits in particular should be hoarded, as even a starving passenger can be brought back to full health with one. The fewer you use in combat, the more you have for your passengers. The more passengers that make it to their stop, the more rewards you earn. Be careful with who you keep alive though; if you’re running out of resources due to a couple tough scrapes, you are better off keeping the higher-reward passengers alive. At the end of the world, saving everyone isn’t always an option, and bullets are more useful than a paltry $20.
Visually, The Final Station is solid. It doesn’t do a whole lot to really advance or impress with their pixel art, but it’s still aesthetically pleasing. This game reminded me a lot of a cross between Snowpiercer and War of the Worlds, giving off a desolate or doomed vibe throughout. I love that this isn’t a rogue-like with procedural generation, as the artists and level designers could focus on great set pieces and environments. Some of the landscapes you’ll notice in the background as you travel to the next station are breathtaking as well, with some incredibly powerful moments popping up to emphasize your recent endeavors.
Combat encounters are well-designed. If you’re not careful you’ll be sure to feel like your back is up against the wall at times. The scarcity of bullets really makes you use your surroundings, and smart players can absolutely come out of each town ahead. Unfortunately, moments of panic can bleed your supply dry in a heartbeat. There’s a great survival balance here that keeps this casual, but tense. Few games truly reach that sweet spot.
No game is perfect, and The Final Station does have its weak points. There’s not much replayability, it’s a relatively short game even for about $15. While each town is interesting in its own right, sometimes it gets a tad repetitive. It’s a bit more casual, so there’s no real punishment for death. I actually found myself dying on purpose to retry a room that was cleared poorly. Another minor annoyance was only learning I could punch and charge my punch after I’d already wasted bullets on a few easy encounters. Anyone looking for some sort of survival rogue-like zombie shoot-em-up should go elsewhere, as this is absolutely a narrative-driven experience.
Really, this comes down to what you prefer to play. If you love an interesting story with some creepy sci-fi elements, then I highly recommend The Final Station. Finding bits of lore and slowly uncovering parts of the mystery was intriguing and kept me moving down the line, but that’s not for everyone. It’s a bit short for the price tag, but well worth your money if you enjoy single-player titles that leave you wondering at the end. This is a moving story if you can read between the lines, and I wish you all the best of luck in keeping your trusting passengers alive until the end.
***A PC review code was provided by the publisher***
- Unique creepy atmosphere
- Mysterious story
- Tight controls
- No replay value