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Community Article: Indie Insights - Mini Metro

Written by John Edwards

In some games, failure is inevitable.

I don't mean like in Dark Souls and its 'Prepare To Die' aesthetic. You can, after all, beat the final boss and watch the credits roll, even if you die a lot along the way.

I mean like in the endless mode of Tetris, eventually you'll reach game over, the score keeps track of how well you do between the start and your inevitable doom.

Mini Metro is a game where you are going to fail. Eventually, your game will come to a halt due to failure, what matters is how you do in the meantime.

Each mission in Mini Metro is based on a real-world city and its mass transit system. Starting off with the London underground and three stations, your job is to make sure passengers get to their destinations without hanging around for too long.

Each station is represented by a shape and the passengers who want to get there are little versions of that shape. You connect the stations with train lines of different colours. The trains move back and forth along these lines, picking up and dropping off the passengers along the way.

More stations appear as you play, some stations may change their symbol. After a week of in-game time you get a bonus to help you, a new line, locomotive or even tunnels and bridges to get over or under rivers. An interchange will speed up the passengers getting on or off, a carriage will increase the capacity for one of your trains. Choosing which upgrade you want will depend entirely on how your game is going.

Thankfully, in the normal mode at least, you can change up your train lines on the fly. No years long HS2 debacle here, just drag the line over to add another stop on the route. Sooner or later, despite your best efforts, passengers will accumulate at a station, your trains will be too slow or too full to take them away and you'll fail.

But it really doesn't matter. Mini Metro is a perfect game for relaxing, the gentle sounds of the trains rhythmically picking up and dropping off passengers is hypnotic. The game even has a night mode is you'd prefer a darker look for train building in bed. I'd recommend playing in handheld as the touch screen makes drawing your train lines much easier.

You won't find yourself short on stuff to do either. There's a generous selection of cities to play around with and alternative scenarios for each once you achieve certain conditions. There are different game modes with affect if you can change the tracks or if stations will overcrowd, creative mode will even let you place and edit the stations.

There's a daily challenge and leaderboards for everything. Mini Metro offers a very chilled and expansive selection of things to do. You will definitely fail, but you'll find it hard not to try again immediately.