RPG Background Loops MP3: 1890s Train Station Plateform
Publisher: Plate Mail Games
Release Date: 04/16/2014
Get it here: Drivethrurpg.com
I usually don’t review audio tracks for RPGs, but I’m making an exception for this one, mainly because it fits the one campaign that I DO use audio tracks for, and that’s Horror on the Orient Express. With the re-release for Call of Cthulhu, Seventh Edition coming out in a few months, this seemed like the perfect chance to try out 1890s Train Station Plateform (Yes, that’s how platform is spelled in the official title. I’m assuming it is a pun on the company’s name rather than sloppy editing.) to see if it would be a good fit for my campaign.
At a dollar-fifty, 1890s Train Station Plateform is in line with most MP3 downloads these days, and a good bargain considering it is a full ten minutes long. The track is wonderfully done and features all sorts of background noises that do indeed sound like a train journey. You have the murmur of speakers all around you, footsteps of passerbys hurrying to their destination, and of course, all sorts of train noises. The blaring of a horn, the hiss of brakes and the chug-chug-chug of the locomotive and its assorted train cars as it moves along. I should point out that the title of the track, 1890s Train Station Platform isn’t necessarily fitting though. The track can definitely be used with a 1920s setting, or any setting, really, outside of modern times. It’s very well done.
It is odd that the track also contains sounds you would hear if you were ON a train rather than at a station, as you normally wouldn’t hear a quiet repetition of train noises at a station. So the track seems to want to be two pieces, a train station and a train journey, rather than just the station. Unfortunately, the train journey sounds are too short to work as that kind of track, and so, in the end, the track comes off as a bunch of very short train journeys rather than one atmospheric track of an actual train station/platform. Perhaps Plate Mail Games should have made two tracks, one for each, as it would have served interested parties better and made them some more money. Of course, you’ll only notice these issues if you listen to the track closely and on loop for an hour as I did to do this review. Most gamers who are just listening to it as background noise as they game will find this fantastic. I did go through all 100+ entries in Plate Mail Games’ catalog, but this was the only train piece I could find. Alas.
I’ll definitely use 1890s Train Station Plateform with my Horror on the Orient Express campaign. It’s also a great compliment to Train Ride Into Darkness, by Game Soapbox Productions, LLC, which is a thirty-three minute collection of nine MP3s. That set costs only $4.95 and so together, you have an excellent collection of train and Cthulhu-esque sounds for your Victorian and/or 1920s horror game of choice. If you decide to download this track and like what you hear, Plate Mail Games does have a lot of options for you. The choices range from Sci-Fi to Super Heroes, so variety is not a problem here. They also offer audio previews that you can listen to on DriveThruRPG.com, so if you’re looking for some tracks to add a little flavor to your game, you might find what you’re looking for with Plate Mail Games.