Mini Metro – Review

Disclosure ‐ This review did a large portion of its testing on Beta Version 36. The developers state that from this point in that there are no new features to be added and it is predominately bug squishing.  I had no crashes and no bugs during my play time (12 hours).

Please mind the gap between the train and the platform.  Or so you might say to the squares and circles and triangles and stars that ride your subway. Sometimes though you may prefer to just glare at the circles. We cannot have that, so maybe… if you laid the lines like this… well as long as they all get on… right? Well, Mini-Metro is the start for the subway of your dreams.

Made by our neighbours over the puddle in New Zealand, this game challenges the player to create a functioning and effective train system. Due to graduate from Early Access on the 6th of November, this game is made in the style of of the London Underground maps. Players are tasked with moving square people to square stations, round people to round stations and it goes on. Your score is dictated by the number of people you move. Challenge is added by adding obstacles like rivers and smaller carriages.


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I have had this game for quite a while due to my love of trains. Since it was first released into early access I have seen it go from two maps to the current eleven. They have been pushing out many updates which have been moving the game in a more engaging and entertaining direction. It has been fantastic seeing the support they have given this.

This is a game that doesn’t worry about funds. As you progress the only limitations are the number of trains, lines and tunnels. You unlock a new train each week (in-game time fortunately) in addition to a bonus. This bonus is chosen from a one of two features consisting of either a new line, tunnel, carriage or terminal. Each of these will improve your systems capacity, however, deciding which provides the best returns in your present circumstance is a challenge.


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The games difficulty is crafted on each map by the distribution and types of stations and the quantity and location of rivers and water. The limited number of bridges or tunnels often forces players to create less efficient routes; it is these routes that will often strain and break your network.

The game has 2 different modes; standard and endless. The standard mode allows failure. When any one of your stations are at capacity for too long you will lose. Your score is then the number of people you managed to deliver. The endless mode is a failure free zone. You expand your network in the same way as standard, however the contest isn’t for a raw numbers. Instead players try to achieve a good rate of transport. This is a lovely relaxing way to play. It is also well integrated into the standard mode. When you fail you are given the option to continue into endless mode. This is a great way to explore and optimise your network.

Once you have finished there is also the option to review your performance. There are heaps of things that they collect stats on and it makes for a great read. It is just one of the few ways that they give the players control over their experience. In addition to this Mini-Metro has steam leaderboard integration. After every map see where you sit against the rest of the world and where you compare to your friends.


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In addition to just being a very pretty game they have added in a couple of useful graphics settings. There is a colour-blind mode as well as a night mode. The night mode inverts the colours so it is much less stressful on the eyes.

At the end of game in addition to rank and stats there are a couple of options to make it easier to copy, save and export your maps. They have a simple screenshot mode where it clears all the clutter.  My favourite thing to do is to export my maps as .gif files. So, without further adieu… the map of London being made by me across one game…


London (1368)


 

Julian has been involved in the games industry for more than a couple of years now, from working in retail to developing board games to judging Magic: the Gathering tournaments Australia wide. Now as a writer for OK Games he likes to explore niche titles that try to approach gaming from a different perspective. Now all he needs to do is start finishing all those games in his Steam Library...