Ever wanted to be the person that makes sure trains don’t (or do) collide? Conduct Together! gives you the opportunity to do so.

PLEASE NOTE: Possible Spoilers Ahead!

The front screen

Key Information

Title: Conduct Together!

Publisher: Northplay ApS

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: 6/12/2018

Price: £17.99 on Nintendo eShop

Premise

Conduct Together! is a puzzle game where you run a railway network with the intention of delivering a set number of passengers to a designated station in a certain amount of time. It’s your job to decide which stations trains pick up from and drop off at, set switches to avoid (or cause) collisions and ensure additional trains are seamlessly integrated into your network. This is also the Switch version of the successful mobile game Conduct This!

Controls/Ease of Use

The controls for Conduct Together! are very clear and easy to use. Each of the Joycons holds a different role – the left Joycon operates the switches which determine what track a train takes while the right Joycon makes individual trains stop and start.

The only confusing thing I found was which button on the left Joycon corresponded to which switch, but once you realise up is 1 and it goes clockwise you quickly become accustomed to these controls. Pressing the D-Pad button will change the switch between one of 2 (maybe more I’ve only got so far lol) tracks.

Stopping and starting trains is simple – each one has a button from A, B, X and Y assigned to it and pressing that button will cause that train to stop and start.

The ease of these controls is a good thing as you’ll find yourself having more buttons to press and having to press them quicker as you get further in the game and unlock new maps and levels. In future levels it is not difficult controls that make completing the levels hard, it’s not having the reflexes to do the right controls in time. It is really easy to mis-press a button when panicking as two of your trains are about to collide.

Graphics

My first thought on the graphics was that despite the carnage that can be caused (but should probably be avoided), the game looked beautiful. The levels seem vibrant with lots of colours without being garish and are clear so everything can be distinguished. I would say there are some levels where blue and purple stations can be hard to tell apart from each other but this is not to the point it’s impossible and is only in a few instances.

A level on the first map featuring an unlocked London Underground train (or Tube Train according to the game)

There are multiple trains from the real world in the game including a TGV from France, a Shinkansen from Japan and noticeably for me, an Underground train from London and the UK’s Mallard. Each of these look like their real world counterpart showing the detail that was put into making this game look good.

Overall, the game looks beautiful with a special charm that shows that you don’t need the real world graphics of AAA titles to draw people in and make players feel like they are part of a new world. Additionally I would say these graphics may draw in people of more age groups and allow them to conduct together.

Features

Although effectively mobile’s Conduct This! game, this version has the name Conduct Together! as it facilitates four player functionality therefore bringing in a multiplayer perspective.

There are different unlockables in the game. As you progress through levels you earn coins which can be exchanged for access to new maps (these focus around different themes for example – the London Underground and snowy regions). Each map has several levels to complete and completing all the levels on the map grants you access to a new train including those mentioned above and several others.

The trains I have unlocked so far

Difficulty

I’ll be honest – although this game starts off fairly simple and easy to do, its a false sense of security as it soon gets difficult. Between having 4 trains to control, cars that cross the tracks inside mountains and goods trains that have a nasty habit of being just where you don’t want them to be, this turns into one of those addictive games that you just have to try and try again until you complete the level.

Although easy difficulty slows everything down (by my guess everything is slowed down to half speed including time) and is definitely much more manageable, it can still be difficult to complete a level. This is especially the case on levels where a lot of Switch pressing is required. This doesn’t make the game bad in any way though – just more of a challenge and by no means impossible. To people who enjoy beating puzzles and challenges (such as myself) Conduct Together! will place you firmly in your element.

If that is not your thing, you have slow reflexes or are younger, then you may may struggle with this game after a while, particularly if not put into easy mode. However, that is not to say that it is not worth having a go as easy may make it manageable for you if you struggle at the game.

The scene of a terrible accident (also known as not paying attention)

Music

Personally, I really enjoy the music on Conduct Together! It’s chirpy and catchy and I may have found myself whistling along to it once or twice and it getting stuck in my head. This may also be the reason why I failed a mission a few times as I got too drawn into the music (my bad!)

Although not strictly game music, I do like to move between the trains a lot on the train selection screen to try and make a tune (normally unsuccessfully but I am not musically inclined in the slightest).

Some of the regions in the game, as you can see I have plenty left to unlock

Positives

– Looks and sounds beautiful

– Vast number of levels to unlock and play through

– Large number of trains from all around the world to unlock and use

– Challenging and a fun test of ones reflexes, nerves and analytical/problem solving skills

– Good fun playing together and allows people of all ages to play, at least for a while

Negatives

– Can be too challenging at times

– Luck can play a role in whether you are successful or not for example what station your passengers want

– Not immediately obvious what d-pad button operates which number switch

Overall Thoughts

If you enjoy a challenge or want a challenging game you can play as a group then Conduct Together! is as good a place to start as any. It encourages teamwork in a multiplayer setting (or betrayal!) and can really put your reflexes to use. It looks gorgeous and sounds amazing.

It has its problems in that it can be too challenging, even on easy at times, but it makes you want to try that challenge in the first place.

Overall, I really enjoy this game and am putting way too much time into trying to complete it as it’s that much fun. Definitely one worth trying and the money, despite a few flaws here and there.

Rating – 8.2/10

Written by Martin Fulcher 23 July 2020