Mini Metro Departs Early Access On November 6th

Mini Metro [official site] is a simple puzzle game about building an efficient subway system, styled up to look like the London Underground map. It is tranquil, and strangely beautiful, and it will make you feel a tiny moment of sympathy for the people in charge the next time you’re making three changes on your route across a city. It’s leaving the early access station on November 6th and there’s a launch trailer below, which shows the life of one of the little dots your system ferries around.

Isn’t that lovely?

The game’s genius is that you don’t get to choose the position of new stations; they are placed on the map at random, as if determined by unseen forces of population and government. It’s your job to connect them up in such a way that your passengers – represented by a circle, star, triangle or square, reflective of which station they’re going to – can get where they’re going on time and with as little fuss as possible. It’s such a small game that I’ve just about described the totality of it in two sentences, but I’ve lost hours to it.

Alec similarly fell for Mini Metro when he played it in August of last year. Back then it had no sound, but he found the same things I did. It’s remarkable how you set out with the best intentions, creating an efficient one or two-line system, but within ten minutes you’ve built a jumble of different coloured lines.

If you can’t wait for the full release, it’s already available in early access from Steam, GOG and Humble.

8 Comments

  1. Arexis says:

    I played a version of this before it hit Early Access, and I found it delightful back then. For a minimalist game, I thought it was spectacular and lost at least ten hours to it.

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    Phasma Felis says:

    Free alpha is here: link to jayisgames.com

    (Except you can’t play it in Chrome, because Chrome has helpfully decided that you don’t want to be able to use Unity anymore. Wasn’t that nice of them?)

    I played it for a bit, earnestly trying to make convenient, well-connected rail networks and losing repeatedly, before I fully realized that passengers don’t want to go to a place, they want to go to a shape. A square passenger wants to go to a square station–any square station. This means that the only thing that matters is easy access to one of each shape–your city can have multiple subnetworks that don’t even connect to each other, and everyone will still be perfectly happy as long as each subnetwork contains one of each shape.

    It seemed duller to me after that.

    • Shinan says:

      In the current version there are more shapes and generally there’s only one station of some really strange shape, so you’ll have to make it possible to get to from anywhere.

      Also stations can change shape in the middle of it all so a nice little round station suddenly ends up being a star.

  3. Gap Gen says:

    Most of my metro systems in Cities: Skylines are crimes against humanity. They start out with a sensible line or loop, then become jumbled messes of tunnels that probably have ancient beasts sleeping in them by the time I’m done.

    • jroger says:

      So, like metro systems in real life then? (Except for the ancient beasts … hopefully.)

      • Gap Gen says:

        Yeah, you sort of feel for real planners who are like “yeah, realistically we’re not doing anything until 2030”.

        It’s still not as bad as my bus routes after I’ve fiddled with the one-way systems and forgot to change up the buses.

  4. cptgone says:

    Marvelous game. So relaxing it’s almost meditative, yet challenging as well. Self explanatory, yet deep gameplay. Superb!

  5. trjp says:

    I think this game is ACES – it’s suck a lovely idea and works so well

    My only complaint – and it’s perhaps been addressed as I’ve not tried the last few updates – is that games usually go

    Slow….. Slow….. Quicker->DEAD!

    You have to look at symbols and design lines around those and not in the usual geographic/symmetrically-satifying ways but that’s often frustrated by uneven spread of said symbols (I’ve had boards where all the ‘Squares’ were clumped to one side of the map, which is hard to fix)