Nintendo's DSiWare service may be in the autumn of its life now, but there are occasionally some new releases for the platform. DSiWare has never necessarily been known for playing host to terribly deep or innovative games, but there are plenty of solid pick up 'n' play experiences to be had for just a couple of bucks. Crazy Train could just barely fall under this category, and while there's not a lot that it does wrong, there's not much it really does right, either.
Gameplay in Crazy Train is simple, but perhaps a little bit too much so. Trains will come from different sides of the screen and it's your job to ensure that they reach the correct destination by swiping arrows at junction points. Blue trains must go to the top two stations, red trains must go to the bottom two, and the occasional green 'repair' train has to be sent to the part of track that's damaged. Trains can be three different lengths and this impacts how fast they travel, with the shortest trains moving the quickest.
It's good fun for a while, and the game can be sped up if you need by holding one of the shoulder buttons, but it's repetitive and occasionally unforgiving. While you're given three mistakes to deliver trains to the right stations, any collisions result in an immediate game over. This means that five or ten minutes of work spent carefully guiding trains can all get tossed out the window should you make this one fatal mistake. This is made all the more evident in later stages where you have to deliver, say, sixty trains; the longer you play; the longer you're more likely to make this mistake. It's not bad enough to be game breaking, but it definitely results in some frustration.
Another problem with the gameplay is that it fails to develop any concepts in a meaningful way. There are four different maps, which help alleviate this somewhat, but it's still the same song and dance across each of them. You just swipe arrows and watch as trains rush to the nearest station, no more or less. The only thing to differentiate later stages from earlier ones is the number of trains that you must deliver to the station. It's not that the core gameplay is broken, but it grows stale after more than a few play sessions.
Presentation is passable, but unremarkable, leaving very little of an impression. The four different locales are unique and have plenty of colour, but you're really just staring at a static screen and the four maps tend to blend together after enough time. The same could be said for the music; it gets the job done and doesn't really get in the way, but it's certainly not memorable.
There's a decent amount of replayability, though your mileage will vary according to how much you enjoy the core gameplay. Aside from the basic Story Mode where you have to deliver a set number of trains to the station before moving on, there's also a Challenge Mode where you pick out one of the four stages and try to survive as long as you can. It's a solid package, but it isn't terribly creative in the kind of content it offers.
All in all, Crazy Train is a game that could best be described as slightly below average (flirting between two of our scores). The core gameplay is serviceable, but there are rough edges and the presentation is basic, at best. Though there is a decent amount of replayability, the content isn't terribly varied and will likely grow stale before one sees everything there is to see. We wouldn't necessarily give this one a recommendation, but it's an okay choice for people that are looking for some cheap, mindless entertainment.