Mini Metro: Review
Now for 7 years I’ve been taking what we Bostonians call the T, pretty much daily. It is the bane of my existence, nothing is more broken or slower than the MBTA. Somedays you just think to yourself “I could build a better train system than this! I could cobble it together with sticks and stones and it would still be better”. Well now you can prove it while riding the T with Mini Metro on Switch.
As you can tell, riding the T is a stressful and exhausting experience. Playing Mini Metro is the complete opposite of that. Mini Metro is a relaxing train system simulator, with simple controls that lets you build any type of rails that your real world city maps need. Building your train system is super easy and intuitive, I used Touchscreen controls the whole game because it was so nice to connect all my lines with thine own hand. Each stage ends up looking like a beautiful classic Harry Beck style map with bright colors and straight lines. The simplistic design of the game, and soothing music lend this to being a game to sit back and chill with.
The maps are always real world cities which all come with their own problems and obstacles. Some are more tightly packed or sometimes you have to deal with multiple river crossings. Mini Metro emphasizes resource management as your stations fill up with more people and more stops pop up. You always start with three lines and a handful of tunnels or bridges, laying them out to optimize your train system. You have complete control over time though, you can pause it, to plan your next move or speed it up if you just want things to get along. As each week of game time passes you are given a locomotive and a choice between two other resources. It’s a simple gameplay loop, one that almost feels likes a board game. Yet it’s simplicity is why it’s so great; anyone can pick up and play.
Mini Metro’s minimalistic nature doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get challenging at times. Stations and trains fill up and they start to fill up quite quickly once your population grows. Each map also comes with an online ranking board so you can see how you’re doing against every other switch user which is actually kind of cool. This leads me to continually play a certain map so that way I get a good ranking on the leaderboard. Yet if you lose on a map it’s really no big deal you can play the level again and the map will be procedurally generate differently. Or you can go right to endless mode where they give you plenty more trains to run around and a few more lines so that way you can just continue to build the map and just kind of relax and make sure your whole city is running fine. And if you’re really hungry for some difficulty there’s a challenge mode, where tracks are permanent. So the map just gets punishingly hard, if you are into that sort of thing. The game doesn’t stop there with content either, there are daily Maps, with different challenges and leader board every day. It also has up to four player multiplayer. So even when you have beaten every map in Mini Metro, there are a ton of reasons to keep coming back to play.
One of my favorite things about Mini Metro is the soundtrack, which is all done by the artist, Disasterpiece. Every level has different base beat, sounds and every bit of your train system makes different noises. So as your city grows, so does the noise. What should be a cacophony of city noise becomes a nice chill hop beat. Each level is unique and it makes building each city a musical experience/experiment too.
Now Mini Metro might not be everyone’s cup of tea, some might not appreciate its minimalistic nature. Some might complain that you don’t do much in the game. Others, like myself, will find this game very endearing and I feel they kept it fresh from Map to Map, especially because each playthrough is generated differently. Though I unlocked and beat all the maps in under 8 hours; so I would love some dlc. My only real complaint is why is there no Boston? I wanted to fix the T, let me do it! Even if a DLC pack was just one map, and it was Boston, I would be happy.
Mini Metro is relaxed and laid-back experience unlike actually riding on a train. If you are looking for a stress-free game to play while riding on a real life train, Mini Metro will help you out.
8 out of 10 trains
TLDR Review: Sit back, relax and build your own train systems!
Time Played: Over 10 hours (8 Hours to unlock and play all maps on normal)