The year is 2022 and it's Christmas Eve. The world has been ravaged for many years by the Greenhouse Effect and is slowly dying. As even the population have completely ignored the warnings given to them by scientists, and Earth's days are severely numbered unless something gets done pretty sharpish.
So scientists devised Operation Blind, an experiment designed to save us from our untimely demise. Two large nuclear devices have been planted at the poles of the earth. These are set to explode, throwing up dirt, steam and other debris which will block out the sun's rays and cool the world (man).
But as so frequently happens, the scientists miscalculate and far too much earth and steam is thrown up. The world is plunged into an intense nuclear winter, all civilisation breaks down and the ground freezes.
Centuries later there are still some survivors who live in cities and towns. The only form of transport are mammoths who have re-evolved and huge trains which span the frozen wastes. The Viking Union hold complete monopoly over the rail system - they are very dodgy organisation who tend to kill anyone or anything that stands in their way.
Because there is a massive cloud and debris layer in the Earth's atmosphere, the sun has become a mythical heavenly body. People who have read about it want to see it again and have set out to find more about it. Of course, the Viking Union is none too chuffed about this and so kills them off but the resistance who, for want of a better word, are called The Ambivalents, have stolen the Viking Union's biggest train, the Transarctica.
Because trains are the only thing that work any more, the currency has changed. Coal in two different forms is now the way in which people trade. Lignite is the base form of currency used for buying goods and tradables, Anthracite a richer form which is used for running the trains on.
Just because you've got this massive train doesn't mean you haven't got a care in the world - there are plenty of things you should be worried about. Great hordes of wolves roam the icy wastes looking for trains, a bit like a tinned meal for them really, and as you can imagine the Viking Union aren't too chuffed at the fact that you have stolen their best vehicle.
Indeed, their battle trains are out on the rails after you. Also when you are going through underground tunnels you must watch out for Mole Men, cannibals who have adapted to living underground.
To progress you must trade with the various towns and cities and build up the Transarctica into a bigger beat than it already is, and you must put out your spies to find more about what really happened and what the rumoured Operation Sun is.
Transarctica is controlled entirely by the mouse, clicking on icons around the screen. The first screen is the engine room. This is where the speed and general movement is controlled from. You have to carry out all the usual tasks that you would on a normal steam train like building the fire, building up steam and keeping the coal burning, but remember you only have a limited amount of Anthracite.
The other carriages contain the rest of your small band of men and more importantly a scale map of the entire area you can cover with the Transarctica.
At first I thought the gameplay was a little slow but then I discovered that the clock in the corner of the screen is to speed up the play - if you click on it, it will make everything in the game run quicker including the train, so there's no hanging round.
Had Transarctiva been as graphically excellent as Dark Seed or Waxworks it really would be a fantastic. It still is up to a pretty standard but it's not brilliant. The styling is similar to the latest Bitmap Brothers release, the Chaos Engine. However, the gameplay does make up for it. A good one, definitely worth a look.