People are making more and more exciting projects in Pico-8, the virtual console that this is made in. It is a fully self-contained environment and provides a great set of constraints that have led to a lot of creativity and ingenuity. It's a bit like the demoscene in that way.
> The Pico-8 program integrates a Lua code editor, sprite and map creation tools, and an audio sound effect and music editor. The program can load games saved locally on a computer, in the form of text or as specially encoded .png images. The interface also supports a splore mode, where games uploaded to the BBS can be previewed and then played in the Pico-8 program. The PocketCHIP miniature computer shipped preloaded with Pico-8.
> Pico-8 games, as well as the program's interface itself, are limited to a 128x128 pixel, 16-color display, and a 4-channel audio output
More games written in Pico-8 on itch.io: https://itch.io/games/tag-pico-8 (sorted by popularity)
As a side note, most tweetcarts are recorded and posted manually, but two Twitter bots were released (on the same day) to do it automatically if you @ them with the code. One of them was mine, and it's no longer up, but there's still @TweetCartRunner
Celeste is another famous game, they're using the maximum capacity that fits in a single Pico-8 "cart": https://www.lexaloffle.com/bbs/?tid=2145 (I think I finished it below 2 minutes once? Definitely below 3. Edit: just over 8 minutes, I've gone rusty, lol)
I guarantee that you'll take longer than eight minutes for this one
So, it's a virtual console that's sympathetic to physical hardware. Of course this is just a tiny general purpose computer, not some custom PICO8 hardware. But the constraints of the fantasy console means that the creations will work in terms of processing, memory, resolution, input etc on something much weaker than a desktop PC.
This doesn't happen on Firefox and this  is probably why. I imagine this could be used for fingerprinting, am I missing something?
Anyway, back to driving trains.
Search youtube for "japan 4k cab view"
Curiously I have a bit of an itch for games like densha de go, sometimes you just want to drive a train through the city or countryside for a while.
And now on iOS: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/desert-bus/id470288016
Here's an example: https://youtu.be/MpDLyLjQz6E
When I first heard this theory I immediately thought of the number of games where you're heading into a 3D world and if this is part of the calming effect some of these games have.
(Demo of JS version on Github: https://rezmason.github.io/drivey/)
Nitpick, but I hate it when devs - even devs making tiny weird experimental games like this one - feel compelled to add some objective, any objective, into an otherwise open-ended experience. Even if it's optional, it's lurking there like an unnecessary specter, ruining the freeness of the experience.
Edit: This came off as more negative than I wanted it to. I would never discourage someone from exercising their creativity, and creativity (and craftsmanship) clearly went into this. I was just using it as a jumping-off point for a broader discussion about something I see as holding back game design as a whole, which I better articulated here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=25995867
But, I don't take back the criticism itself: I still think the experience would have been even better and more true to its themes without the ratings system (though it wasn't as distracting as I expected it to be)
I don't mean to come off as demanding - people can make what they want to make - I just feel like sometimes people tack this kind of mechanic onto a game not because it's essential, but because (consciously or subconsciously) they're afraid people won't know what to do with a video game that doesn't give you a dopamine kick in the form of a number going up. Of course I don't know if that was the case here (though I suspect it might be), it's just that this game touches on a much bigger story of exasperation with the world of game design, for me.
What would your ideal "not-game" look like? Are you sure you wouldn't be happy with a game like Factorio which is basically a perfect sandbox (despite having lots of stats if you go to look at them)?
Sandboxes are cool in their own way, but aren't really the same thing
For me personally, the specific version of this that I want is a world to explore for exploration's sake, without anything quantifiable to be gained by doing so. The Stanley Parable is a good example of this, if you've heard of it. I use "world" and "explore" very loosely; exploring where you can go and what you can do as the engineer of a train would fall under this umbrella. Even if the answer is "not a whole lot", there's an aliveness and a wondering that comes from even such a tiny slice of a world.
But as soon as a performance metric is introduced there's this "should statement" hanging over my head, reshaping the whole experience.
The problem is when every game feels the need to have metrics, even when they fly in the face of the rest of the experience. Sometimes I want something different.
There are plenty more on itchio as well: https://itch.io/games/tag-walking-simulator
you're literally driving on a one-way track
Edit: Just went back and replayed, forgot about the stamina mechanic. You need to end the hike when the bar is in the green to gain more stamina for the next day (either by hitting E at the "car" or Q)
Various in dev screenshots here: https://imgur.com/a/jrO6iYd
I actually love the stamina mechanic because it imposes a limitation: you can't just chart out the entire space in one go. You have to pick and choose where you want to explore next, and you're always left wondering what else might lie beyond. You have to value every trek. And even at the maximum (I think I got roughly as far as it's possible to get along the valley by optimizing my path...), you still can't see the whole thing. I thought I caught a glimpse of a cabin just beyond the treeline. Realistically there's probably nothing there, but I'm going to choose to believe there is something more just out of reach.
> Or don't! It's up to you.
> Even if it's optional
The game looks really beautiful and I would not have guessed it’s running on Pico-8. Wonderful!
Simple demo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnktY6gOmaA
Detailed discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLXL8jwg-tk
When my son was young I’d take him to the front car of the NY subway and let him lookout the window (works best on 7 line, some other lines have some sort of polarizing film on the glass that makes it hard to see through). I think they have well captured all of the different above ground scenes in this little game, pretty amazing.
Rather than rendering in 3D, it's literally just a driver's eye video of a real train journey played at variable speed. Actually genius if you think about it - the linearity of a rail simulation makes it possible, and it's better than any renderer.
downvoting all of my HN comments
There are open-source fantasy consoles like TIC-80 that try to scratch the same itch, but PICO-8 has the biggest community of people creating things with it.