August 27, 2017

Mini Metro

Tags: A Gamedev Plays

This post is from the now defunct website “A GameDev Plays…”, copied here for posterity

Do you spend ages staring at those pretty minimalist subway maps? Or maybe it is called the metro or underground in your part of the globe. It doesn’t matter! Mini Metro sets you loose to design subway systems worldwide, with its engaging gameplay and super high level of polish.

This game is about laying the tracks for a city’s subway. Just drag the mouse between stations and like magic there is a metro line between them with running trains ferrying people to their destination. That is Mini Metro. Not much to it, but addictive, and extremely well-made. Of course there is a little bit more, organising the lines to ensure that people get were they are going promptly may require some rearrangement. As the game progresses extra stations appear, while the player gets more lines available, or more trains, bridges, station upgrades, and other things. The game ends if someone has to wait too long at a station before getting on a train. There are many game modes, daily changes and missions set in every world city with a subway.

The design of this game is excellent. The controls are super smooth and need very little explanation. The graphics are beautiful in that colourful abstract style common to subway maps. What is happening in the game is always clear without the use of text. For example, stations are displayed as various shapes, meanwhile people travelling are also displayed as smaller versions of the same shapes, their particular shape being the destination to which they are travelling. It seems obvious and intuitive when you see it, but that is just the mark of clever design. Everything in Mini Metro works as expected - just brilliant, and so pretty. I love it.

Mini Metro is US$9.99 on the Steam store for PC, Mac and Linux. There is also a mobile version. It has been bundled.

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