Choo-Choo Charles is the Nightmare I Always Wanted

The Spiritual Successor to Stephen King’s Secret Book

Jordan Fraser
5 min readOct 6, 2021


Photo: Two Star Games

What is it about our primitive monkey brains that compels us to seek out fear and dread? Why is it so pleasurable to be petrified and disgusted?

Surely it has something to do with our wiring. Perhaps we’re biologically wired to expect constant danger from the natural world, as a defence mechanism for the lives our distant ancestors lived.

However, because of our cushy modern lives, we no longer need to fear tigers or mammoths on a daily basis. This part of our brain has become entirely useless. We figured out how to live without predators, but never lost that part of our brains that addicted to the feeling.

It’s whatever’s wrong with our brains that has caused us to love great horror games. Personally, I haven’t felt the thrill of a jump scare since F.E.A.R or possibly Silent Hill. I tried to be frightened by the likes of Resident Evil, or even Bioshock, but it didn’t really happen.

I didn’t think I would ever experience the creepy horror feeling again in my lifetime.. but then I noticed the viral tweet sent out by Two Star Games.. and oh.. my.. god.

The Little Train That Could.. Eat You

The game announced by Two Star Games seems to consist of not much more than controlling a protagonist who needs to evade a giant sentient spider-train inside of another train that you build and renovate over time. Well, evading sometimes, hunting other times.

According to the Steam description, you play a human who has been tasked by the local village people living on an island to kill the spider-train-monster that stalks them. You’re armed with seemingly nothing more than a train ala Thomas the Tank Engine, and a torrent that’s mounted to the back.

Over the course of the game, you travel the open-world island and collect scraps that can be used to improve your train. Eventually, the goal is to overpower and destroy the monster, saving your life and that of the local village.

This game may be based on the children's book ‘Charlie the Choo-Choo’ written by Stephen King under the pseudonym Beryl Evans. I say “may”…