Because I am the kind of person who looks at actual subway posters as though they were works of art, last week I picked up a game called Mini Metro, which is basically a puzzle/sim game where you build your own subway system.
There’s no brown dirt of grimy tracks, though. The whole thing is played out on a gorgeous white screen that lets you build you tracks using the clean lines you see on subway posters everywhere from London to Tokyo.
It’s a very simple game: an unseen city is growing above ground, and as stations are built, passengers start lining up. You need to juggle your lines so that the wait at each station isn’t too long; let things back up too much and it’s game over.
The juggling comes with the fact you’ve got a limited number of lines to build, a limited number of tunnels to build under the water and a limited number of actual trains to put on the tracks. So you can’t just go nuts and draw the map of your twisted dreams; it’s about getting everything running as smoothly as you can (things are never perfect) with very limited resources.
In that way, then, it’s actually a decent simulation of the actual pressures facing actual transportation officials and designers. Only much prettier.
Mini Metro is currently on Early Access for $US7. The full version, out later this year, will feature a lot more cities (currently only London is playable) and a soundtrack by Fez composer Disasterpeace.
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