Good Service: Mini Metro Launches Out Of Early Access

“It’s my favourite game about stretchy lines in a very long time,” Alec said after playing minimalist subway-building puzzle-o-strategy game Mini Metro [official site] when it hit Steam Early Access last year. They’re special stretchy lines which pull train lines out, see, connecting stations to stations and hopefully leading to a happy, well-oiled city infrastructure. Yeah, good luck with that. I lived in London, pal, I know how keenly transit systems take any excuse to grind to a halt.

If Mini Metro was lovely then, perhaps it’s even better now, as on Friday it left Early Access to properly launch. Or, you know, if you only buy games when they’re actually finished: it is now.

Right! Mini Metro is a transport-planning puzzler where you need to connect stations on abstract city maps. Draw a line, right? Easy. Then you need to connect another station. And another. And another. Soon, what seemed like a tidy little network is a sprawling mess of inefficient timings and flat-out awfulness. So redraw, redraw, try to make it better, try to keep the city running. Think of all the people whose mornings you’re ruining, you monster. What’s your next bright idea, Boris Buses? Get out.

By which I mean, Mini Metro is £6-ish for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Steam and GOG.

15 Comments

  1. Metr13 says:

    This looks delightful.

    • Llewyn says:

      It is delightful.

      I’ve generally been very fortunate with early access titles (this, Door Kickers, Prison Architect, Besiege) which might make me more sympathetic than average towards EA games, but this one’s been a very good little game for a long time now.

      • darkshadow42 says:

        Your statement confused me before I realised that EA games was Early Access and not Electronic Arts… whoops

  2. Windows98 says:

    Been waiting for this to come out of EA :)

    • trjp says:

      You didn’t really need-to, it’s been playable and enjoyable from it’s from EA release, they’ve just added stuff and polished it a bit (and I hope they continue doing that)

  3. RedViv says:

    A game is a series of interesting choices, and Mini Metro gives you at least three each minute. Give or take, considering it can slow down in speed, but ramp up in complexity, a bunch once you reach the quadruple digits of travellers.
    Yet still, where many games would unduly stress you, it does manage to remain relaxing through its approach to minimalism, the lovely, lovely incidental ambient audio, and the forgiving option to just pause and breathe if you need it.

    I dearly love this one.

    • RedViv says:

      Screw it, I’ll be greedy: Universe, please let someone make this game but as a minimalist fantasy kingdom management time waster.

  4. dontnormally says:

    Can anyone chime in on the differences between this and the free version?

    • trjp says:

      If you mean the original demo – LOADS of stuff

      More maps – obviously (they do add some strategic choice to your layouts too)

      They also balanced and changed the station distribution, upgrade distribution and some other stuff.

      The game still has this tendency to descend into chaos but it does, at least, take longer and feel a bit fairer. They could do more tho – and I kinda hope they DO do more (a strategic pause would be nice for example)

      • Eleven says:

        The full game also added a mode with the failure conditions switched off, so you can take your time and make your perfect map. Perfect stress-free gaming.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Phasma Felis says:

    Did this ever develop a win condition? I still find most games of the “Failure is inevitable, but look! You got a high score!” sort to be depressingly futile.

    • Eleven says:

      Yes, the default game mode has win conditions for each of the maps when you reach a predefined number of commuters, though it also gives you the option to keep playing after completing a map, kind of like Civilisation’s famous one-more-turn. Also, some of the later maps are locked off until you complete the earlier ones.

      • RedViv says:

        Plus, the achievements are actually fun and thematically fitting.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Solrax says:

    Loving this game. Just finished a round when I came here to read RPS :) Simultaneously relaxing and nerve-wracking in a bizarre way. As someone else said, the ambient sound effects are wonderful. And the art design is beautiful.

    They also added daily challenge when it came out of EA – every day one map will play through exactly the same for everyone, you get one shot, see who gets the high score.