Сolt Express is a port of the award-winning board game and a good one as well. Bringing the game to life the developers managed to keep the spirit of the board game, fill it with fascinating content, well thought-through characters and create an unpredictable gameplay, which makes Colt Express so captivating. It’s fun and engaging digital board game with wild west surrounding and entourage of villainy and robbery. There are strategy, thoughtfulness, and luck, too. And you discover more depth as you plunge into the game.
The developers have made an interesting move and we must admit it was a checkmate this time. The game’s visuals stay true to the original board game style and use its card art.
The story unfolds among three-dimensional background, but the characters and the train are 2D and look like cardboard cutouts. It adds particularity and looks fantastic. This feature makes the board game port shine in a digital format. When the characters move around, they expose this lack of dimension and this animation inserts briskness to the action. The score is 10/10.
You take part in the bandit invasion on a moving train, trying to get the Nice Valley Coal Company’s weekly pay, it is tucked into a suitcase and supervised by the Marshal. Players move from car to car, jump on the top of the train and relieve the passengers of their wallets along the way. The aim is to leave the train the richest and don’t let your opponents collect more loot – only one walks away from the winner. The mechanic of the game is simple, but the strategy is not. The game is played out over five rounds, each round consists of two phases – scheming and stealing.
In the first phase, you plan out the strategy and play all of your actions in advance. You get six action cards and take six more at the beginning of each round. These action cards are in charge of what your character does each turn. There are a few cards variations. You can move several cars of the train with the Movement cards, climb to its roof and back inside with the Floor Change cards, shoot at your opponents with the Fire card or slug and push them into an adjacent car with the Punchcard. A Marshal card lets you move the Marshal and the Robbery cards let you grab cash or the Marshal’s suitcase. Looting the suitcase makes you ultimately win. Keep in mind, that when the Marshal enters a car with a bandit he shoots him.
Players take turns (you can skip a turn if you don’t like your cards) and the action cards queue up. The second phase is where all the fun begins, as the characters play out these cards and often it leads to all kinds of crazy situations, completely scuppering your plans. Imagine trying to pull off a plan, where you move your character to the adjoining train car, shoot the opponent and grab his loot. But by the time your second card is executed, you can find yourself in the car with Marshal, shooting in the air or trying to grab a non-existent plunder, cause someone has already taken it. Though it seems random and chaotic, you can see what cards other players choose, study different train positions limitations and strategize more tactical.
Besides the single-player mode, there is the Story mode, which comes with a ton of content. The game is not only about stealing money here. This mode has a comic book and a narrative for each of the six characters. As you complete a chapter, more pages of a comic book are unlocked and you get to know more from a character’s story. Once you finish all the chapters, you unseal the variants. Each chapter in the Story mode gives you interesting tasks and different objectives, which are quite entertaining.
For all of its advantages, Colt Express is something of a double-edged sword. The multiplayer system is awful, and there is little chance you’ll manage to play with someone, except AI bots. You can’t invite friends, a player base is small and it’s almost impossible to wait until you get into the match.
Game’s interface is simple to use. You just tap on the touchscreen to choose the required options. That’s it. The small issue is the lack of undo button if you accidentally play the wrong card. The score is 9/10.
The aim is to get more cash and the only way you win is by getting the main loot. If you fail at completing the task or grabbing the Marshal’s briefcase, you replay. The desire to repeat the level again just in the name of pleasure is doubtful. The score is 9/10.
- Engaging content;
- Fun gameplay mechanics;
- Great graphics.
- Invalid multiplayer;
- The app is not free.