Trainyard for iPhone - game review


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YouTube Link

Trainyard for iPhone combines simplistic graphics and design with puzzles that are not so simple. The concept of the game is to get all the trains into the correct stations without a collision. The first several levels will teach you the basics but after that, you'll definitely be scratching your head.

[iTunes Link (opens in new tab)]

After learning a couple basics, you'll quickly be sending trains into the correct stations. Then you'll gradually learn more maneuvers and techniques as the courses get more difficult. One thing I really liked about Trainyard is the progression. You don't feel bored but the levels don't overwhelm you either. Before each new trick or maneuver, you'll spend several levels getting to know techniques before adding another.

You'll need to learn techniques such as crossing tracks and merging trains. In some stations, you'll have two trains and a hub that's a different color. For instance, if you have a station that will only accept a green train, you'll need to combine a blue train with a yellow in order to make one green train. The game will only use primary color trains and if you make a bad mix, you'll get an ugly brown train, which no station will accept.

As you get further into the game, you'll have to combine several techniques to get the correct patterns. There isn't only one right solution to many levels though. While you may solve a level one way, another user may solve it another way. Trainyard also lets you upload your solutions to help other users. If you get stuck on a level, you can always view how other users solved those levels on the Trainyard site.

Each level will have a star amount it's worth. You'll need to collect a certain amount of stars in order to unlock new cities. Once you collect all the stars, you'll unlock expert mode which will give you access to even more levels.

Levels also give you the option to clone them. This will let you solve the puzzle more than once since there can literally be hundreds of possible combinations for each level. So if you want a new challenge, try and solve the puzzles in more than one way. The only addition I'd really like to see is GameCenter integration.


  • Difficulty increases at a steady pace
  • Graphics and sound effects are simplistic and refreshing
  • Sharing solutions is not only a great idea, but incredibly easy
  • Longer game play than most puzzle or strategy games


  • No GameCenter integration
  • A way to see solutions in app would be awesome

TiPb iPhone 4.5-star rated

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Allyson Kazmucha

iMore senior editor from 2011 to 2015.

  • Currently my favorite game on the iPhone. There's also a free version with fewer, different levels. So, try that first, and if you solve it, the paid version can fuel your addiction longer. :)
  • Love this game as well, solved all of the puzzles except for two as they've got me beyond stumped and aggravated. I'm definitely willing to share any solution with anyone though! *****
  • got this a week or two ago when i was gifting someone an app to say thanks, glad i picked it up too :) its awesome
  • Maybe I should give this another shot, but I found this made my brain hurt. Stick to Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.
  • Great app to pick up after finishing Angry Birds... Just with there was an iPad version. Maybe if popularity increases, there will be one.
  • I just finished this game last night. It was incredibly satisfying to finish the last two levels, Barrel Roll, and Machine Gun (if I remember correctly). I started the bonus levels last night but my brain needed a rest.
    I can't give this game enough of a recommendation.
  • Glad you guys enjoy it as much as I do. I've found sometimes leaving a particularly hard level and coming back to it later is typically the best way to deal with challenging ones. It'll definitely make you scratch your head more than once!
  • well, the game itself is not much of a mental challenge, but the biggest challenge in this game is laying down (creating) the tracks. for me, that's more challenging than solving the actual puzzle. I have a mental solution to a particular puzzle but it takes me 5x the time to create the tracks to solve it because the damn app keeps creating crazy junctions.
  • Awesome game. And yes Allyson, come back and sometimes it takes seconds to finish a level you got stuck on!
    Looks good for a non-Universal app on an iPad too.
  • I've completed maybe half bonus the bonus levels, love to go back and watch some of the complex puzzles, barrel roll and clown cars in particular
  • Great game, BUT:
    I'm hoping the makers fix the touch sensitivity on this game. It CONSTANTLY lays down incorrect and nonsensical non-connecting track as I try to build. I half suspect the "ERASE" button is so prominent because they are aware of this. I use it much too often -- not because I messed up and need to try a different strategy, but because it didn't lay the track down as it should have based on the path taken by my finger.
    I have ZERO problems on my iPhone 4 drawing amazingly accurate lines in games like FLIGHT CONTROL and CUT THE ROPE, or picking the correct letter or number (98% of the time on the first try) in the tiny tiny alphabet selector in apps like iPod and Contacts.
    This game just seems buggy to me.
    Great game though otherwise.
  • Also, what Batutang Lumuluha said. With agreement also on a similar post over at Gizmodo, I know we're not the only ones. Please fix this, Trainyard guys!
  • I finished all the bonus levels. When is an update coming out?
    It'd also be nice to make our own levels.
  • Trainyard is definitely the most elegant visual puzzle I've ever seen. The graphics (iphone4) are crisp, the audio effects, interesting and pleasant. I'm addicted. While A.Birds can get on my nerves, Trainyard, even when I'm stuck, remains a pure challenge. And when I solve it...ahhh!
  • To Batutang et al.--Most times I use my homemade stylus (metal shaft pen+baby snap+dental floss). That allows me to lay down track flawlessly.