Mini Metro alpha

Mini Motorways, their new game, is out in Steam

This one is only ok. It’s been out on Apple Arcade for almost 2 years and I have played it off and on. While Mini Metro could be frustrating, I always felt like I could fix my layout and make it work (even when I failed). This game gets so congested that it often feels like there is nothing I can do to fix it. You can tear everything down to fix things, but that would be very time-consuming. It very well could be because I never developed a good strategy for it, but it never really grabbed me enough to want to try that hard.

That sounds correct to me. From a real life perspective. Trains are a solvable problem. I don’t think anyone has ever solved traffic.

In the original Sim City, I used to solve that problem by just not building roads in my cities. I just used to do trains all the way around my Sim Cities. No roads. Let the people complain. Better than them complaining about traffic all the time.

I played this for a bit today, and I might be wrong here, but I’m pretty sure the game design is such that at some point you will fail, and cause an end game. Like Tetris. At least, I’m not aware that any of the scenarios are “winnable”.

It does, but judging by high scores, I wasn’t even close to that point. The game becomes tedious for me far before that point. It will get to a point where I have a bunch of houses together, and getting them all hooked up without running out of roads is not fun. And then the map gets so jammed up it will put a house in an out of the way spot with no great path to it. Then you get a mess of freeways, no where near enough lights, etc.

In Mini Metro, I always felt like I could “just rebuild this line here, cross this line, and put in a bigger station and it will all work!” And I get that feeling with this game sometimes, I just can’t be bothered to try it because connecting up 50 hours isn’t fun.

It’s probably just not my kind of game, but I can still go back to Mini Metro and lose an hour of time.

Mini Metro is great, but it could also get really frustrating. Basically they are high score games like Tetris. I want to try this sometime.

Are there any changes to the Apple version?

The game gets a big thumbs up from me.

While I agree with @LeeAbe that Metro offers more flexibility to completely rebuild your network, I don’t mind too much as that often resulted in crazy do-overs to eek out just-a-few-more-points, extending the length of a game beyond what felt reasonable.

Motorways could do with some QoL enhancements:

  • Better indication of houses/offices not connected (even a button you could press to temporarily highlight them)
  • A button to temporarily hide motorways (when you have a complex junction underneath them)
  • Something like Cities Skylines (maybe it was a mod) that lets you hover over a car and see the route it was taking
  • When choosing your upgrades it would be nice to be able to swap back to the map to figure out what was needed most

In terms of gameplay I really want to understand what benefit traffic lights offer. They seem next to useless which reduces the number of tools at your disposal and makes the choice of upgrades pretty trivial.

Mini Motorways is definitely not as elegant as Mini Metro, but few games are.

I agree about traffic lights, and I happen to know that the team has struggled with making them effective in the game. One thing you will notice is that if there’s an intersection in the path of a vehicle, it will slow its speed long before approaching it. Long straightaways let cars go faster. Traffic lights let cars behave like they’re on straightaways, I believe, although at the cost of sometimes having to stop. I avoid them when playing too, so maybe they’re changed and I wasn’t aware of it. But from what I can tell, they still haven’t cracked it.

I have used lights and they do make a slight difference I thought. If I have a really busy intersection it seems to clean it up a little, but your probably right, it doesn’t do enough. I usually need roads badly, so don’t take lights very often.

If you haven’t played Mini Motorways since the August 24th patch, I highly recommend that you do.

Key changes:

  • Three-way intersections now slow traffic (apparently them not doing so was a bug, not a design decision). This nerf is partially balanced by a corresponding speed buff to intersections in general, though you’ll now need to put a bit more thought into how you connect houses to your network.
  • Traffic lights…are good! Sure, the aforementioned three-way intersection change made them more appealing, but they now change signals far quicker and are a valid solution to many traffic woes. As a result, every weekly upgrade choice is an interesting decision depending on the map and your current situation.

The game feels a lot less frustrating with more options available for tackling a given problem. It’s almost like the “rules seem clearer”, as evidenced by my 11 year old daughter who can now discuss strategy with me and point out ways we could improve our network.

Thanks for the update, gonna move this up my wishlist.

Thanks for posting. I tried it, and it is indeed much better. Felt like I had more control over what is going on now that it is being more generous with the tools. I still feel like I need to bulldoze everything and start over every 2 minutes, but it was fun.

You didn’t mention roundabouts! Game-changer.

Didn’t realise roundabouts had changed. Currently they seem awesome…just like before! :)

Are you saying they were buffed or nerfed?

They weren’t there at all originally. (This has been out on Apple Arcade for a couple of years now, and they weren’t in the original that I know of. Maybe you had to unlock them at higher end maps?)

Oh wow, okay. I’ve only played it on PC, and wasn’t even aware of its existence on iOS until after the Steam release… :)

Mini Motorways for me is all like :

Does the mountain of coke help you make sense of it?


Just a fun game, I don’t think you can actually win a map can you?

Worse, it’s not coke, it’s sugar!