Stuart Breckenridge

Mini Metro Review


If you’ve ever travelled on an underground train you’ll be familiar with the colour coded lines, the interchange stations, the overcrowding, and the inevitable delays. Mini Metro is a minimalist strategy game that takes all these elements and makes managing an underground network fun.

Mini Metro initially puts you in charge of deciding which colour coded lines to connect to which of three stations. Each station is represented by a shape (e.g. circle), and a passenger waiting at a station is denoted by a smaller shape (e.g. a square) which also indicates their final destination.

It starts off simple enough...

As each game week progresses, new stations appear which need to be integrated into your network and the game map expands beautifully to fit them all in. Each new station adds more passengers and puts a greater strain on your trains and stations.

At the end of each game week, your strategic skills are put to the test when you’re rewarded with a either a new line, a new carriage, a new train, a tunnel, or an interchange station upgrade. You are always competing against two conflicting goals: ensuring your network has enough capacity for its current passenger load and expanding quickly enough to accomodate each new station.

...and then it gets crazy!

Each train line can have a limited number of trains and new stations with the same shape have an annoying tendency to appear close to each other. (Three circle stations in a row on the same line doesn’t make for easy capacity management.) The decisions you make at the end of each game week have an immediate impact on proceedings.

Should any of your stations get to the point of being overcrowded the game comes to an end. That’s when you hit Play for the fourth time in a row. Depending on your score, you’ll unlock new maps1 each of which present their own distinct challenge, for example, more rivers means you’ll need more tunnels.

If you’re a bit nutty and want a greater challenge you can play in Extreme mode. This makes things more difficult as train lines are permanent and can’t be altered once they are laid. This one change makes things incredibly diffuclt. Finally, there is Daily mode where a random map is selected and your scores are uploaded to Game Center for all to see.

Mini Metro is one of my favourite games and a highly recommended purchase.

  1. Mini Metro maps are modelled after real-life locations and include: London, Paris, New York City, Berlin, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Osaka, Saint Petersburg, Montréal, San Francisco, São Paulo, Cairo, and Aukland. ↩︎