Rail Adventures 3D - Indiana Jones is not quite there yet.

Rail Adventures 3D is an arcade shooter by Romanian developer Exosyphen Studios [iTunes Link]. The game is set in an old mine in the mountains and your job is to get out of there as soon as possible. Just like in many adventure movies, you are lucky enough to find a mine cart  that hopefully will take you to the exit. 

Rail Adventures has five different levels that are brought in a 3D environment that the iPhone 3G manages well. In fact this is the highest not of the game. Running down the hill on your cart, you will have to avoid obstacles, collect ammunition and treasures and kill the enemies you'll find along the way. The game has a dark spooky theme that reminds of the original Doom. 

Since your character is riding the mining cart you cannot control acceleration, the user can only break. You even get a speed meter on the top that warns you about the speed and the game encourages you to reduce speed to take the curves safely, although my cart never got out of the rails nor my character felt out. I find this slightly counterproductive since the developer call Rail Adventures a "fast paced 3D action racer game"  and makes the levels really long going at slow speeds. 

My guess is that you need to go slow to kill all the monster and pick up all the items. It won't be enough to finish the "race" to progress in the game, you need to collect 8 gold pieces and obtain good scores, which is unheard of in a adventure/survival game. Exosyphen would be better changing this in their next update because it limits the freedom of the player to choose how to play. 


It sounds good but the playing experience needs to be improved. The game controls are unconventional. You have a "Fire" button that triggers your gun (the only weapon in the game) while the left button switches between "Jump" and "Grab" as needed. You are not required to do it, the game will offer you to jump when there is an obstacle and the button will disappear when there's no obstacle. I usually prefer to have the control buttons on the screen all the time and that every action button has an assigned place in the screen, instead of appearing when needed. 


Besides the 3D environment, the rest of the graphics are poor. The enemies are non animated flat 2D figures that you have to shoot until they explode. You only get one type of enemy in each level as well. The gunshots have very simplistic animations and look more like a beta than a finished game. It is crucial that they work in these aspects to make a better fun to play game. 

I didn't enjoy playing Rail Adventures 3D as it is and cannot recommend it. I believe they could have pulled a fast one passing it as a retro shooter but I'm not sure this is the aim. I'm not a big fan of the concept and it is very limited from its conception, but the execution is not quite there yet. 


Don't get me wrong, it is not a waste of time. We have seen many glorious games that had a bad start. I can see some effort from the creators. Even with a couple of tweaks it could be a pass. What annoys me most is the lack of attention to detail both visually and what is more crucial, in the gameplay. I wouldn't be surprised to see very hard reviews in iTunes with this version.