Continuing our year-end mop-up of games we missed out on reviewing at the time of their release for various reasons, the next requested title by our readers was Mini Metro [$0.99]. I've had an interesting relationship with trains over the course of my life. Passenger trains more or less vanished in the part of Canada I'm from when I was relatively young. Like most places in Canada, my town was far too small to merit a local metro system. I mean, we barely had buses. Thus, I didn't end up riding a train of any sort until I was in my twenties, and I picked a wild place to start. Imagine a small-town bumpkin arriving in Tokyo, Japan, and trying to make sense of the colorful spaghetti that is the Tokyo Metro system. After a while, though, I got the hang of it, and I now consider myself to be pretty good at navigating the sometimes seemingly nonsensical connections from place to place in that city.
Mini Metro is a great game for giving you a little perspective on how metro maps might end up laid out as they are. You need to build a functioning metro system for each location by placing lines across various stations. There are a limited number of resources available to you, but if you survive each week, you'll earn some likely strongly-needed methods of improving your system. It's part sim, part arcade game, and while that seems like an unlikely combo, it works quite well here. Your metro system is represented by a bunch of colored lines, much like you would find on the average map. Stations are marked by one of several different shapes, and commuters appear as smaller shapes indicating the type of station they'd like to travel to. They'll take multiple lines if they have to in order to reach their desired destination, but the less direct the route, the longer it will take to get them where they need to go.
This is a problem because if a station gets too crowded and stays that way for too long, you'll go out of business and the game will be over. Things speed up as you ...