Last Train Home


The Great War has just ended, and all the soldiers are looking forward to laying down their weapons and returning home. For many of them, this is precisely what is unfolding. But for one group of Czechoslovakian soldiers who are trapped in Russia as the Civil War erupts between the Nationalist and Communist parties, it is a different story. As Russia has closed its frontiers to the West, the only way back to Czechoslovakia for these brave soldiers is to travel by train on the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok and catch the last ship home. You will be part of this incredible, dangerous journey known as the Last Train Home.

Last Train Home is a strategy game developed by Ashborne Games and published by THQ Nordic on the 29th of November, 2023, on the Steam platform.

As I write this review, I have played this game for 24 hours and completed four chapters. The game mixes real-time strategy and management, including resources and weaponry, and is topped by an exquisite narrative story with beautiful cutscenes and watercolour illustrations. While the goal is to reach Vladivostok, you’ll have difficult decisions to make along the way, which will have consequences for your soldiers (on their morale, for example) as well as on the circumstances you will face on the battlefield.

The game is presented mainly as a map of Russia with the Trans-Siberian Railway track. At the start of the game, your train will consist of a few wagons, including an artillery wagon. However, you’ll lose that train early in the game and acquire another one without the artillery. The train will mostly have a few wagons for your soldiers and one for storage. You will be able to purchase extra wagons such as medical, cooking, or even additional soldier’s wagons, when you reach certain cities, but you’ll need a fair bit of money on hand to do so.

The map will also show destinations of interest along the track, such as wood, gun traders, lakes, and houses, which may have different resources that you can grab. You can send a group of soldiers to these destinations and hopefully gather resources for your soldiers and train. Destinations indicated with a diamond icon are part of a quest, and those three swords means you will encounter a fight.

On the map, there are two speed modes: normal and fast. But before your train starts moving on the track, make sure you have all day and night shifts allocated, as you’ll need an engineer and workers to get your train moving. Early on in the game, you’ll be able to stop the train fairly close to locations of interest, send soldiers to these locations and upgrade your wagons or locomotives without any issues. It is actually a good time to stock up on resources, because after that you will need to be careful how long you are immobile on the track, as Russian reconnaissance aeroplanes will start flying over your locations and might start strafing on your train.  Even worse, your train and soldiers could be bombed by heavy artillery shells, inflicting even more damage. You can’t miss the gauge, which will gradually turn red as soon as your train stops.

There is a fair bit of management in this game, with the day and night shifts. But it doesn’t stop there; you can change rations and also change the equipment that the soldiers carry when moving into battles or destinations of interest. Be aware of the expertise outlined in the soldiers’ bios; their expertise can help tremendously when you send them to these locations of interest. For example, someone who loves nature and hunting would be great to include when sending a party to the lakes; they might be able to help find more food, for example. But you’ll figure that out that as you progress through the game. The most important thing is to ensure that your soldiers are not tired or travelling with broken bones; if they are, you won’t be able to select them for reconnaissance or salvage missions.

You’ll be shown how many soldiers you’ll need to successfully complete a real-time strategic mission, with a maximum of ten. As there are only a few classes (snipers, doctors, riflemen, grenadiers and machine gunners), I strongly recommend adding at least one sniper, grenadier and machine gunner to your squad. Let’s be upfront here: the sniper class is very unbalanced in your favour, especially when it reaches level 2 and accesses the perk of throwing a rock to distract an enemy. You can literally use the sniper all the way through and successfully complete a mission, and it is precisely what I have been doing for most of the missions. Yes, completing the mission takes quite a while, but you’ll get there easily.  If there are armoured vehicles, the grenadiers can drop a mine on the road, or you need to acquire a vehicle with machine guns or a light tank. These missions will usually have two and sometimes three segments, and each one will have a few objectives to complete. The game will autosave each time you reach and complete one of these objectives, but you'll quickly discover that you also need to regularly save manually, as it is pretty much a trial-and-error type of approach, even with snipers in your favour. As soon as the enemies see you and even manage to sound the alarm, you’ll be in trouble and probably have casualties. One thing they have balanced very well is the hit/health ratio on the soldiers, both yours and your enemies’; it makes the combat phases really intense.

In most of the real-time missions I have played so far, the maps were pretty large, with a few segments each and objectives. Your soldiers can take cover behind objects (rocks, crates), walls etc, but some of these will provide better cover than others. You’ll also find resources while playing these missions - make sure you get them all as you’ll need them as you progress through the game. Overall, the real-time missions are very good, but I must admit that they need to do something about the sniper's unbalanced status, as it would definitely make the game much better.

The graphics, illustrations and narration are stunning. The train and soldiers' management might overwhelm you at first, but it is, in fact, easy to manage, and the upgrade is really easy to activate as long as you have the right resources. I must commend the Ashborne Games team – this game is a cracker!

Review written by THE CPT FROGGY for

Last Train Home Steam Store Page


+ Stunning graphics, illustrations and narration including voice acting
+ Management system is easy to understand and use
+ Ability to choose different classes after a soldier levels up
+ Real-time missions have large maps
+ Accurate World War One weapons, vehi


- Sniper balance needs to be adjusted

Review Summary

Last Train Home is an absolute stunner of a game! Don’t miss this train if you love strategy games.   

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Zeepond Rating: 8/10