Tumbleweed Express is a fast-paced track shooter developed by Dirigiballers. In this game, you are in control of the famous Tumbleweed Express, one of the few remaining locomotive engines on the western rail system. It is left up to you to defeat the evil bandits and forces of the Dirigibaus. Alright, with the basics of the game covered, let’s break it down and get right into it.
You are in a diverted timeline of the old American Midwest during what the game calls the “Steam Renaissance.” Ever since the popularization of the Dirigibaus flying machine (blimps) the rails set down in the previous generations have long been abandoned. The Dirigibaus empire now holds the power to stop anyone in their path and since this is the Midwest, there is no shortage of bandits around.
Enter the player. You have come into the possession of the Tumbleweed Express, one of the last few engines strong enough to withstand the rails. Overall, this is a fun and lighthearted hero story. I enjoyed being put into the role of the classic Western gunslinger; shooting the bad guys and saving the day.
This game brandishes a Borderlands-esque style of design. The characters within the game share the same sort of funny personalities of the standard Borderlands NPCs; you build a relationship with them through their ridiculous personalities. Again, the game has the same cel-shaded look to all of the textures. This style fits with the whole Western heroic of the game quite nicely.
So the goal of Tumbleweed Express is quite simple; get from point A to point B with your train intact. Throughout your voyage, however, some enemies will attempt to damage your cars and halt your progress. The player controls a turret, so you must blast your way through enemies to make it to the end alive. After you complete a mission, you are awarded a cash bonus based off what you did in the course. Additionally, the better you do on the course, the better upgrades you unlock for your train.
In the garage, you can purchase additional cars for your train (each with their auto-turret), radars, and the like. You can then revisit old missions and replay with different augments to earn more money for better upgrades. That, in a nutshell, is the game; it may seem rather simple, but mastering this game requires skill and patience.
All things considered, this was a fun little game for me to play. There was no hard story line that requires my full undivided attention, no crazy hard mechanics, just a simple, fun, shooter game. With a nice little price tag of five dollars, I would recommend this game for a fun distraction.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Plot - 7/10
Design - 8/10
Gameplay Mechanics - 7/10