Yes, it's another random European chore simulator. I don't know why I like these games, I just do. Anyway, this one has a little bit of a twist, which is why I'm bothering to post about it.
As the title suggests, in Train Station Renovation you play a contractor whose business is renovating train stations. You work alone, which is typical for these games, and (as in, e.g., House Flipper, this become progressively sillier as the game progresses and the jobs get bigger. The stations you work on each comes with a little backstory presented in flavor text on the selection screen, but the typical scenario involves a railroad wanting to reopen a station that's been disused and neglected for some time. You go in and clean up litter and debris, wash graffiti off the walls, fix broken windows, dispose of and replace wrecked furniture, that kind of thing. As the game goes on, the stations get bigger and more elaborate, with more things that are wrong with them. All pretty much as you would expect in this kind of game.
Until you get to Philville.
The scenario for Philville is that it's an urban station where two groups of opposing Football Hooligans had a riot the day before, and you're there (all alone, as always) late at night to clean and repair it. Which is fine, and it starts out pretty much as you'd expect--the station building is trashed, most of the furniture destroyed, bottles and discarded team scarves and stuff everywhere. There are even some holes in the walls to repair and repaint.
Then you discover that someone has set up some kind of satanic ritual circle in the vestibule between the two bathrooms, complete with a ring of candles around a pentagram on the floor (in which someone has placed one of the wrecked toilets). So that's a bit... ominous.
The capper, though, is when you finish with the station itself and go out back, to the outdoor platforms. At first glance, this looks like more of the same--newspapers, scarves, bottles, broken furniture.
Then you find the blood.
The platforms are COVERED in blood. Huge pools of it, spatter patterns reminiscent of arterial spray, and big smears, as if bodies have been dragged through it. The trash in these areas changes. too. Now the bottles are broken, and there are new items. Pool cues. Baseball bats.
Big kitchen knives.
This silent, empty game level tells a story, and it's one in which I'm fairly sure a bunch of people ended up dead by the end. This isn't just a vandalized train station, it's an ACTUAL CRIME SCENE. And what's more, the weapons and stuff are still there, which suggests that the police haven't been by. You're cleaning up and throwing away evidence.
The inescapable conclusion is that the railroad is covering up what happened here. You're not just a cleaner, you're a Cleaner.
That's not a dramatic turn I was expecting my meditative chore simulator to take, and I can only shake my head and admire it. Well played, random European game developers. Well played.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.