ByBen Kubota, writer at Creators.co
I'm saving the world at night, that's why I'm always so tired in the morning. product guy at moviepilot.com, talk to me via twitter @omdb.
Ben Kubota

My never-ending quest to find gems in the vast catalog of Steam sends me to the Early Access Gaming section of Steam regularly. Often times I won't find something new, sometimes I'm surprised, and sometimes I'm amazed. This is another of the latter, a moment where I find an amazing little gem. Rough at the edges, but already at a stage where you can draw a lot of excitement and fun out of it. May I present, Mini Metro

The Concept

Mini Metros concept is very simple. You are supposed to create a subway for a crowded city, where little dots, squares, triangles and other shapes try to reach their destination, subway stations in the form of dots, squares, triangles and other shapes. Creating a subway line is a simple as connecting the stations with your mouse.

A happy passenger patiently waiting at Square Station
A happy passenger patiently waiting at Square Station

Now, the logic is exactly as you'd expect. Passengers enter a train (max 6 passenger per carriage) and either reach their destination directly, or have to change lines on their way. While you're playing, more stations appear and you have to decide to either connect them to your current lines, or to start a new line.

Almost like a big city, two lines with three stations each.
Almost like a big city, two lines with three stations each.

Limitations

You can change each line at any time, connect new stations to it, or remove the line from existing stations. The limitations in the game are

  • The amount of lines that you can run (6 at max)
  • The amount of trains and carriages that you get
  • The amount of tunnels you have to be able to cross rivers

After each week of in-game time, you receive a new train and the option to add a new line, a new carriage, or two new tunnels.

Three lines running, maybe I'll take another carriage
Three lines running, maybe I'll take another carriage

Things gets complicated quickly. As the map continues to brilliantly zoom out very slowly, more stations and rivers appear. Each map in the game is based on an actual city, the example above is Sao Paulo. But you can also play in Paris, London, New York, or other cities. The developers are adding more cities in almost each release.

You lose the game if more than 6 passengers are waiting at a station for too long. A timer at each station with too many passengers send warnings out to you, but eventually your system will fail to transport enough people.

Not enough trains on the yellow line, this game will be over in a few seconds
Not enough trains on the yellow line, this game will be over in a few seconds

What I love about this Indie Game

The game represents, what I love about the Indie Gaming Industry. It takes a simple idea, keeps it simple, but executes it very passionately. The development is completely transparent, the price reasonable, and you have a chance to give your feedback and suggestions, knowing that you will be heard. That game deserves to be a success, I've done my part to send some money over to them. I can only encourage you, to do your part.

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