Living in the Los Angeles area has been my first encounter with a metropolitan rail system. I was not an eager adopter, by any means, but now that I’ve spent the better part of a year using the LA Metro for nearly all of my transportation needs, I (mostly) adore it. Because of this, while walking around the Game Showcase today at IndieCade, Mini Metro stood out more than its vibrant minimalist interface already would have. I had a brief experience with it at the festival, and I’ve spent an irresponsible amount of time glued to it here at home.
The game is deceptively simple, and, as is the wont of deceptively simple games, possessing of a wonderful challenge. It all begins with a single line drawn through a handful of empty or lightly populated stations. As the traffic increases, new stations pop up. As new stations pop up, traffic increases. Lines must be redrawn, upgrades must be wisely spent on extra capacity or extra track, and attention must be paid to station capacity. If one station becomes overpopulated, it’s game over.
Mini Metro is currently available via Steam Early Access for $6.99, with plans to release on iOS and Android devices, among other platforms, later in the year. Being in Early Access, it should be clear that the game is not yet complete (which is why this isn’t a review, or terribly deep). You can keep track of changes either through Steam or through the developer’s website.