Review – The Iron Horse for iPad

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The Iron Horse iPad game

The Iron Horse is a charming game for the iPad that is all about trains. It’s said to be the first railroad-themed game for the iPad.  It will remind you of model train sets if you’ve ever been into those at all (I was as a kid) and is a simple, fun, and great looking iPad game.


Here are some of the game’s key features, straight from its App Store page:

– high speed railroad action
– beautiful cinematic, widescreen graphics of the Americana landscape
– gorgeous classic train designs, including the General, the Zephyr and the Chief
– a fast and furious bonus level where you can play it safe or risk everything!
– sound and music volume controls
– local high score board to save your best game scores

Not Fast-paced or Action Packed

The Iron Horse for iPad

This game has more of a steadily building pace to it, and is very basic in its gameplay. The objective is to build longer and longer trains.  You start out with just an engine and a single car rolling down the tracks at a very leisurely pace.  As you pass a second car, you’ll see links appear to link the new car – and you need to tap the screen at just the right moment to ‘couple up’ the new car onto your train. 

As the train moves down the track, it gains speed, you pass more cars, and you need to connect each new car as you pass by it.  In the first level you only need to connect six cars to complete the level.  Each subsequent level gets a little faster and requires you to connect a few more cars.

 The Iron Horse

The longer your train gets, the more points you accumulate.  There are also frequent bonus levels where you can rack up additional points, but where you need to be a little careful as a single missed connection will end the level and wipe out any points you had gained. 

The Iron Horse on iPad 

A Great Looking App

One of the nicest things about The Iron Horse is that it looks superb.  There are new trains with new liveries at each level, as well as varying backgrounds.  Some of the trains are just gorgeous – especially the Santa Fe styled one at Level 7.

The Iron Horse

If you like trains, just the lovely depiction of them in the app will be a nice bonus when playing it.

Easy Pick Up & Play

I don’t find The Iron Horse the type of game that I want to play for hours on end.  I do find though that it’s a great pick up and play sort of game.  One that is extremely simple to play and easy to jump into and just play for five or ten minutes whenever you feel like. 

It’s also challenging enough to keep me coming back to it.

A Quick Look at Gameplay

To give a better idea of gameplay in The Iron Horse, here’s a little video my daughter and I made of it:



As I’ve mentioned above, this is a game that consistently keeps me coming back to it.  A definite keeper for me and one I’d recommend whether or not you have any great interest in trains.


Version Reviewed: 1.2

iTunes Link

Price at time of this review: $0.99

*** This app was independently purchased by the post author in the iPhone App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the "About" page. 

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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