Mini Metro capitalizes on the beauty that can be achieved with a minimalist approach to game design. While it’s basically a game about drawing lines, the approach is both simple and challenging at the same time. It’s because of this that I’ve fallen in love with the pause button.
As you progress, you’ll get access to different cities to help them build a metro system to assist their citizens from one location to the next. You’ll need to build both for speed and efficiency as you’ll meet patrons that want to travel from one side to the other and you’ll need to build a system where that’s possible. You’ll understand how to build more efficient railways as you get more familiar with how the game works.
As time goes by in any given city, you’ll be given choices on regular railroad fixtures like tunnels and extra cars for alternate directions. (Side note: you can only have four cars for each track… don’t make my mistake!) This is an interesting approach to progressing through a level as this happens after every week. Sometimes you’ll get enough tunnels and not enough extra cars. Sometimes you’ll be on an Island map and not get enough tunnels. You’ll have to plan ahead and figure out what your needs will be so you won’t end up freaking out due to a lack of some option you may have skipped.
Speaking of freaking out: those achievements… good golly! You know how some achievements in games can be a little challenging? Well, some are just down-right mean! I’m looking at you Saint Petersburg! Come on now. 1500 passengers with one track with tunnels and you won’t give me more tunnels for a month or so at times? That’s just not nice at all. At the same time, I love the challenges posed to me. In other games it’s a progress thing where you would have gotten X achievement had you progressed enough. Mini Metro’s achievements feel more like “I bet you can’t do this level with one tunnel!” You know, the voice of that friend that sits behind you and backseat games and keeps egging you on? Good times, good times…