Mini Metro alpha

I got the tip via Pockettactics, but I couldn’t find any mention of it here. Please excuse me if this has already been mentioned and I just couldn’t find it.

It’s an awesome, pausable realtime, railway building game. Each game takes five minutes.
The alpha-build is playable in a browser window and available for download from the above link. Even though still an alpha, it is more bite-sized fun than many much more polished games. The finished version is due in Q2.

I love watching my metro network expand and the sense of impending disaster towards the end.
“Noo! If I only had rerouted line 1 to that station instead of that one!” Nevermind, screw work, I’ll start a new game.

Try it out and post your scores here. My current best (alpha build 8) is 717.

That’s really fun. It didn’t take me long to build up a hellish convoluted system that would drive me completely crazy if I ever had to use it.

Alpha 8

1092 on alpha8.

You guys really should try this, it’s great.

Yeah, I mentioned it in the indie games thread. I got over 800 in alpha7. I don’t like alpha8 as much for some reason. Looking forward to 9 though.

Oh? I liked alpha 7 the least of the three I’ve seen so far. Something annoying about the way the cars slowed down in tunnels. Glad that got changed to alpha 8.
I also like the slightly longer games in 8. They now take 7-8 minutes, which is enough to get a fully loaded seven-line metro network ticking. Wheee!

Anyone have any impressions of the game now that it is released?

It’s fun. There’s more structure to it now, and different maps, but it still plays out basically the same as it did when it first went public. If you liked it then, you’ll still like it now. If you didn’t, you probably won’t.

It’s on my list.

I’ve never played it, but it looks interesting.

It sounds interesting, but I’ve suspect anybody British over, say, 35, will have a problem with the name.

It would be very silly if they got threatened by BMW.

It’s a very good, modest microstrategygame. Obviously, the elegant visual design is a big part of the appeal, but it’s pretty addictive, in a kinda timewastery sort of way. It’s a game you’ll boot up for 15 or 20 minutes every couple of days… for many many days.

I notice that the release brings with it a daily challenge mode, so that’s a neat little addition. If routing trains around in the most efficient manner possible sounds appealing to you, it’s probably worth $9.

Thanks Nightgaunt. Does the game handle passenger supply / demand in a logical way? Does it all kinda make sense?

Yes. That’s pretty much the point of the game.

As opposed to be just a bunch of random actions? Well, yes. But keep in mind it’s a puzzle game and not a sim.


So granted that there are lots of things that qualify as “puzzle games” in the common parlance (Sokoban, Bejewelled, The Room–none of which really resemble each other at all), and so I might just have my own eccentric definition, but to me a puzzle game is a game about finding the right solution to something. In which case, this isn’t a puzzle game. I agree it’s not a sim, unless you want to stipulate the existence of a kind of super-abstract sim, which wouldn’t be a bad description. But a sim frequently is about detail, especially real-world detail. So… Oh, no! The taxonomy rabbit hole!

rob, it’s a game about managing a system that operates on very simple, transparent rules. It’s logical and makes sense, yes. But it’s not realistic. For example, each station has a shape. And each passenger has a shape, which tells you which station they want to go to. So if there’s a square passenger and two square stations on either side of the map, that passenger is happy to go to either one. Does that “make sense”? Well, the relationship is very clear. Can you imagine a real person who doesn’t care which side of London they go to today? Probably not. But it nonetheless ends up feeling right. And it looks very very lovely while doing it.

The elegant artwork and design has got me very close to buying without even checking any gameplay videos yet.

While we’re down in the taxonomy rabbit hole, why doesn’t your description apply to Mini Metro?

How does that not apply to any given moment in Mini Metro? I understand that “puzzle” is often a way to dismiss a game, usually because it applies to problems with only a single solution and very little wiggle room to find alternatives. But I was using puzzle as a counterpoint to sim, where the objective is to realistically approximate something. Mini Metro has no interest in doing that. It instead presents a constantly evolving problem, somewhat abstractly presented as a train game.

Anyway, I certainly understand your apprehension about using the word puzzle. But it doesn’t always have to be a slight!

-Tom, Mini Metro fan

Thanks for the descriptions. Sounds like something I’ll enjoy. As I’ve gotten older I enjoy more games that are easy to play for a short period of time (even though I play a ton). Sometimes it’s good not to have to overcome the hurdle of starting something more involving.

I tend to assume when someone says puzzle they’re specifying the game has a single solution. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, but like Tom says - not much wiggle room.

Yeah, I’m not reacting to puzzle as a slight. A puzzle game, in the sense I defined it–a game that asks you to find the solution to a problem–can be a great game. Professor Layton is super good, and it’s all puzzles.

I just don’t see Mini Metro as being that kind of a game, unless you stretch the concept further than I think it can handle. I mean, sure, there is probably some optimal solution to a MM map… but no one will ever execute it. By being, as Tom says, “a constantly evolving problem,” especially one running in real time, I think it thereby is no longer a puzzle. For the same reason, Bejewelled Blitz might be called a puzzle game, but I don’t think it is. You’re moving and reacting, not really solving. And, well, in Bejewelled and Mini Metro there is no final piece falling into place, is there? It’s get as far as you can, do the best you can, until we tell you you have to stop. Then do it again. I think a puzzle that is finished is mostly spent; you cannot retry or reengage it. Again, that’s my personal definition, so someone can have a different one, but I think it at least has the benefit of some precision and consistency.