Transit fans and NUMTOTS will love Mini Metro, a 2014 subway simulator going viral this week after developers offered it for free during the global Coronavirus lockdowns.
The game is visually beautiful with a simple focused task: build your own metro map to serve passenger demand… and passenger demand grows quickly and unexpectedly.
Developer Dinosaur Polo Club says the game offers “compelling, constructive, hectic, relaxed gameplay. If that makes sense?”
It does make sense, perhaps due to the simple aesthetics which never stray beyond a clean-cut metro map no matter how awful or haphazard your designs may be.
“Each game’s map is a work of art, built by you in the classic abstract subway style of Harry Beck,” according to the New Zealand-based developer.
To play, draw lines between stations to connect passengers (triangles, circles or squares to start with) with matching station types – if more than six passengers are left waiting at a station, you lose! Your resources are trains and tunnels, which are both limited and increase every “week” (a few minutes or so of game play).
The game starts in London, but get to the sixth level (a noble quarantine task that will take you through Paris, New York, Berlin and Melbourne) and you’ll unlock Hong Kong, where you can play with the Kwun Tong Line, the Tsuen Wan Line (as far as Prince Edward) and the Island Line, to start with.
Like most sims, it shows the complex and intricate decisions behind even the simplest-looking metro map, but Mini Metro never descends into the sort of chaos in broader SimCity-type games, where rioting, fires and sports stadiums all compete for attention. Just draw lines, that’s it!