Have you ever looked at city building games and thought: Oh, how I wish I could skip the hours long process of building up and just get straight to creating systems of public transportation? Well no more, I say, no more! Dinosaur Polo Club’s Mini Metro brings a bite-sized puzzle strategy game wrapped in a minimalistic atmosphere of transit craze.
Mini Metro is a game of minimalism. The graphics are simple, the colors bold, resulting in a spitting image of a real-life map of a transit system. Repetitive, minimal music is accompanied by procedural sounds which are played based both on the transit system and actions of the player.
Even the gameplay is plain. There are ten shapes, representing both the stations and the people who need to go to said stations. The square passengers need to be transported to the square stations and so forth. You, the player, are tasked with creating an effective transit system capable of moving passengers to the stations they want. The aim is to transport as many passengers as possible, and the only way to lose is by leaving a passenger at a station for too long. More stations pop up as time passes and constantly more passengers arrive on the scene. Though the start of every game is quite serene, sooner or later the stations and passengers will overcome even the most talented of players. The games are quick and can end rapidly, giving you all the more reason to try again with a different tactic.
…but grow large
Stations occasionally change their shape as the game progresses. The player has a set number of locomotives, lines, and tunnels at the start of the game depending on the chosen level. At the end of every week, the player is given a choice between varying boons – new locomotives, carriage, metro lines, tunnels, or an interchange – to keep up with the growing number of passengers.
The game boasts a wide array of maps, all with their own difficulties. The maps are modeled after real cities, though stations pop up with no base in reality. Real-life seeps in through rivers, seas, and small differences in gameplay. All maps have different challenges attached to them as well, providing reasons to play the same levels over and over. Finally, there are four different game modes, each catering to a different style of player.
Players can choose between the basic white background and black night mode
Of course, mini metro, in all its simplicity, does not provide tens of hours of innovative gameplay. Even with the different maps, the gameplay is quite repetitive. Though games are always quick, the start of each game is slow-paced. Luckily, there is the option for double-speed for the players who need it.
Nevertheless, I would suggest Mini Metro for every gamer. If nothing else, creating a transit system is gratifying and the game ends quite quickly – perfect to satisfy a small gaming itch.
Publisher: Dinosaur Polo Club
Developer: Dinosaur polo Club
Platforms: Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Release Date: Originally November 6, 2015. October 18, 2016 (Android, iOS). August 30, 2018 (Nintendo Switch). September 20, 2019 (PlayStation 4).
Genres: Puzzle, strategy, simulation
PEGI: PEGI 12, ESRB – T – Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Alcohol Reference, Crude Humor
Photos were taken by the author.