~60 Hours on a Train Ride w/ 3DS

I may be spending several consecutive days traveling cross country in an Amtrak train this summer - wondering if anyone has suggestions for game(s) to best occupy that time.

Of note:
-I've spent the past semester basically abstaining from any games (with the exception of one Million Onion Hotel filled weekend) - not sure if I'm looking for one big dense thing to dive into or many little curios to snack down on
-I'm planning to travel with just a 3DS (+planning to install emulators)
-whenever I save a game for some special place/time, I almost always face the disappointment of it not living up to the accumulated expectation that I'm gonna love it
-I've also got a bad habit of falling off longer games, even if I'm enjoying them
-this trip follows the completion of my undergraduate degree. there is perhaps some symbolic weight to this trip, though I do not care to unpack it myself - let's let a game do it for me?
-I love the train

With that in mind,

whats up

an etrian odyssey game for the daytime atmosphere, an smt game for the nighttime atmosphere

So you love the train, eh? Then it's time for A-Train: City Simulator so you can fiddle with trains (and much more!) while you ride on one (virtually and physically).



If that's too involving, then I'll recommend any of the SEGA-M2 3D Classics games/collections to break up the train sim sessions. And I'll second anything Etrian Odyssey or SMT-related, particularly Devil Survivor Overclocked.

hotel dusk for if you’re traversing any wide open country out west/midwest


I've ridden the Amtrak from Chicago to Los Angeles, several times; about a 2.5 day trip. Make sure you pack enough snacks to sustain yourself. Food on the train can get pricey and not the best quality. Liberation Maiden is a good short game along with Attack of the Friday Monsters.

I've been wanting to take a nice train ride for the longest time going full boar, dining car (do those still exist?) private cabin. from russia with love style or a million other movies. very jealous! include some variant of picross you can play while the scenery goes by.

If you want some smaller arcade or genesis games get the Sega 3D Classics Collections by M2, there are 3 volumes (of wich only one was released outside of japan, but since you mentioned emulators I guess regionlock isn't a problem anymore) or you can also get them individually. They are simply amazing, M2 did an incredible job with the 3D and they look beautiful.

And you get 3D Outrun in widescreen outrunning at 60 fps.

You can check out the game list for each collection in here:

Last time I was on a 12+ hour journey where I have to sit down, I only brought my gameboy micro and a japanese copy of Kid Icarus famicom mini series. I beat it for the first time!

Hello yes, so. I feel like the context of finishing your undergrad experience (congratulations btw) would lend itself delightfully to a playthrough of Dragon Quest 5. It‘s a short Dragon Quest game, like you can get through it in about 25-30 hours. It’s a journey of family and growing up and friendship and all these motifs feel like a wonderful pairing for your graduation journey. It‘s a chill experience of nostalgic reflection paired with the very real confronting of adulthood. If that length of playthrough appeals to you, I’d highly recommend it.

This might be a boring and very personal answer, but if I had the opportunity to take a long train trip like that, I‘d play Earthbound. I’ve played that game several times, and I‘ll keep playing it because its just a feel-good game about a whimsical and goofy adventure. The writing is so good and I’m a sucker for those little moments that can remind you of how far from home you're going (like using the phone to talk to your in game parents.)


Dining cars still do exist on the Amtrak, but I thought I heard they might try phasing them out. It sounds romantic, but the reality of them is: really overpriced food, very small portions, most likely a microwave is involved with 70% of it.

I had breakfast on one of the trains, and ended up dining with an Amish family. Theres a lot of Amish folk traveling by train. That breakfast was probably one of the most disappointing meals I ever had, maybe I was expecting full on Dennys but was presented a children‘s meal. All in all it’s nice to say I've dined on a train.

I've wanted to do a x country amtrak train trip probably my entire life so I kind of envy you!


@yeso#26722 an smt game for the nighttime atmosphere

i am by no means an expert on this series but i have played a little Soul Hackers on 3DS and i gotta say, that's some good atmosphere! great soundtrack too. i am kind of allergic to grinding though so i don't think i'll ever play one of these games properly :/

Don‘t forget to take time to enjoy the view too, but yeah I like the idea of committing to a single retro game you may not otherwise get around to due to all the more pleasurable distractions of day to day life. I’m the type of person that uses the DMV as an excuse to read / play gameboy, airplanes as an excuse to draw/ play gameboy etc.

I‘d echo recommendations for Etrian Odyssey and Shin Megami Tensei for something chunky to get stuck into. I’d also recommend Theatrhythm as a palette-cleanser if you need something to break-up the longer games.

I'd also recommend downloading Attack of the Friday Monsters for some Ghibli-esque, imagination-led storytelling from the perspective of a kid. It's only about three hours long but it's one of the most memorable games I've played.

I‘ll continue to play the role of "the dude who doesn’t shut up about Fantasy Life," and suggest it to you as well.

It's a tremendously long set of to-dos that are all just engaging enough, but chill enough to instill progression-mania. The story trappings are all about choosing what you are setting forth to do with your life, and it's all very lighthearted. It’s the kind of game that isn’t about completing, but just the moment-to-moment enjoyment of exploring/accomplishing stuff. Doesn’t ask a ton from you, but is a nice space to occupy. For me, I fully clicked with the game when I was stuck at home in a blizzard without power for a few days, gradually ran down the battery on each handheld I had.

I’m going to offer a different style of advice, more curated to the sorts of thing that I know I personally like on long journeys. I tend to like the sort of thing that has a nice and neat 10 minute pick-up-and-put-back-down cycle that can also allow you to zone out and have a few hours easily disappear without noticing.

Any entry from the following series would be a great choice, in my opinion:
Picross 3D
Professor Layton
Phoenix Wright

And probably also Ghost Trick

A slice of life game like Friday Night Monsters would do well to put you into a childlike mental state, living in the moment, and probably more likely to enjoy the train ride for what it is as an experience. Personally I bounced off of AotFNM, but it's because I like Boku no Natsuyasumi more.

I feel like Link Between Worlds could be beaten during that train ride.

Dragon Quest VIII

Fire Emblem Awakening

Both of these games are a good 40-60 hours and very chill to play (well, potentially less chill with perma-death on Fire Emblem haha).