Summer Game Fest Showcase: Choo-Choo Charles

Choo-Choo Charles was part of the initial trailer showcase and caught lots of attention through the titular train’s creepy design. Now that the news hype has died down a little, let’s take a look at what the actual scope of the game will be.

For starters, this is an indie game, worked on by a single developer. They went on record saying the game is in its closing stages of development, meaning most of the final features are set in stone for its release sometime later in 2022.


The Premise

Charles is a corrupted take on a childhood icon, partially inspired by Tom Coben‘s animations and Pennywise the clown

You travel across an island on your train, looking for upgrades while defending yourself against a creepy looking spider-train that’s dead set on devouring all of the island’s inhabitants.


Open World

The game takes place on a 6 km2 large map and has you traversing longer distances by train. It’s been confirmed that there will be exploration in the way of side missions provided by NPCs, juicy scrap parts to pimp your vehicle with, and hidden secrets that explore the deeper lore.


Gameplay

On your own, you are defenseless. This means that the remote missions (such as the abandoned mine one shown in the video above) turn into stealth/escape sections, where you are at the mercy of the armed cultists.

Invest in your stats with all the junk you found on the island

The main focus on foot lies in the collection of scrap pieces that are used to either improve various train stats, or repair the health it lost after an encounter versus Charles. Presumably, gathering ammunition will also be a part of this.

Speaking of fighting against Charles, the eight-legged locomotive will be a constant threat looming over you. You won’t be able to be at ease until the end of the game, so the best you can do is hide or deal enough damage, forcing it to retreat for a while.


Weapons

Thankfully your safe haven comes equipped with a machine gun attached to a mount at the backside. During your travels the train will chug along on its own, which allows you to focus on Charles. It’s been confirmed that three more weapons will be unlocked throughout the game, including a rocket launcher and even a flamethrower.


Frequently Asked Question

Lastly, here’s some quick general facts from the developer:

  • How much will Choo-Choo Charles cost? Around $15-20.
  • What’s the expected playtime for Choo-Choo Charles? 3-4 hours casual, 6-10 hours for completion.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have scripted jump-scares? No.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have Multiplayer? No.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have a Demo? No.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have Achievements/Trophies? Yes.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have DLC? Maybe. No plans yet.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles release on consoles? Maybe in the future. For now, PC only.
  • Will Choo-Choo Charles have have VR support? No, probably not.

If you want to learn more about Choo-Choo Charles, consider following the developer on YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, or Twitch.