Nov 23, 2007

Trainspotting: The Glorious Game

Sensible Software Train SpottingChoose life. Choose a job. Choose a starter home. Choose a fucking big television. Choose dental insurance, leisure wear and matching luggage. Choose your future. But why would anyone want to do a thing like that? Simply choose to go with Sensible's Train Spotting instead. No, really.

Sensible you see, the very same studio that created such timeless masterpieces as Sensi Soccer and Cannon Fodder, did actually bother coming up with a short, sarcastic and quirky Train Spotting game back in 1995. One whole year before Trainspotting, the glorious cult movie with the glorious cult trailer, taught everyone that Edinburgh has more to it than a lovely medieval centre, that Scots have an excellent sense of humor and that Brits in general tend to amuse themselves by looking at trains. Oh, yes, it was an excellent film, one of the best ever actually, but I digress.

Sensible Software TrainspottingSensible's Train Spotting, the first ever train spotting simulator that let you live the excitement of pointing at trains and jotting down their model numbers from the comfort of your bedroom, is this post's subject and that's the reason I wont even mention the movie's brilliant soundtrack. The game, yes. (pssst.. here's a classic first scene, you know, just in case you cared...)

Well, it was released as a coverdisk for the Amiga Power magazine, probably as a joke and you can nowadays download it for free from the Hall of Light. It is thus an Amiga game, or to be fair to it, it's a humorously pointless Amiga game, that puts you in a digital representation of a railway station and tasks you with identifying trains as they pass by while appropriately crossing them out of your card/list thingie. There's even a time limit to make things tougher. And frankly that's all the game does. Brilliant!

Oh, and shockingly Moby Games does have a Sensible Train Spotting page and so does Wikipedia.

Related @ Gnome's Lair: Free classic gaming mags, Space Quest IV retro review, Team 17's freebies, the Amiga launch


  1. Had absolutely no idea Sensible made such a game!

    Oh, and thanks for the info about the movie. Maybe I'll check it out now that I'm into the cult scene after watching Clerks.

  2. Yeah, me too - heck I didn't even know they did Cannon Fodder - I always thought Sensible Soccer was their only game :(

    Read about the Demon Star clone of Trainspotting on Wikipedia and if anyone's interested, the link is over here.

  3. Great find Gnome!
    Indeed the film is classic, and I've actually had the pleasure of sitting in the bar where the guy tosses a glass over a balcony into the unsuspecting punters below, in one scene of the film... (don't do that in real life folks, for obvious health and safety reasons...)

    May I say, it's great to have you back!

  4. That's a fantastic game concept, but I'd have made it a romance. Two nerdy anoraks on opposite platforms, trying to pluck up the courage to speak to one another...

    Hey, maybe I'll make that game myself...

  5. Clerks... right. Quite funny actually Nebachadnezzar, but Trainspotting is just miles ahead. It manages to offer a brilliant mix of surreal cinematography, social commentary, top humor, nasty characters and an unbelievable soundtrack...

    Excellent link Roys, thanks! Them bastards... Oh, and you might be interested in Mega Lo Mania too.

    You lucky Father, you! You almost met Begbie then!! Oh, and great to be back my friend.

    Ahhh, Pacian.. another wicked idea. Lovely. Care for tea?

  6. Mega Lo Mania? I did play that one before - couldn't get the hang of it though

  7. Can't say I mastered it either, but it still is the first FPS I played. Probably the first one created too...

  8. This game reminds me of A-Train for the PSX, a very obscure train simulator that I've always been itching to try, but could never find.

    Also, I've only seen Clerks II... not a bad flick at all!

  9. A-Train, dear Ross, wasn't *that* obscure over here, though admittedly I only ever tried the PC version. Don't think you'd have trouble finding it on your average abandonware site.

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