I did not get to spend much time with The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, but I did get enough playtime to form an impression. Nintendo’s demo was set to time out after three minutes, and as always the booth staff closely monitored people so that the line could move quickly.
Of three possible scenarios — dungeon, boss, and train — I chose the dungeon. Gameplay seems to be exactly like it was in Phantom Hourglass; everything is operated by the stylus. I had to guide a knight-like Phantom through the dungeon and work with him to solve puzzles involving fire and switches. Controlling Link with only the stylus was pretty awkward at first, but it became easier after a couple of minutes.
If Spirit Tracks is indeed a clone of Phantom Hourglass with different dungeons and whatnot, I’m not particularly excited. However, this does mean that Phantom Hourglass fans will be pretty excited. The real disappointment was that the demo was ridiculously short. There weren’t very many stations, and while the booth staff kept players cycling through quickly, three minutes in one scenario is not enough for a thorough impression.