Review made 27/10/2014 - Beta 8 Version
MiniMetro is the kind of Early Access game that needs to be placed in the spotlight, leaving the rough, jagged and unfinished games behind. With many early access games I can play it for hours and begin finding errors, or getting ideas of how the game could be made better. And why not? It's Early Access! That's the name of the game, right?
Then I played MiniMetro, and I expected bugs, crashes and a dire need for polishing. And, aside from the lack of audio, I found... Well, a brilliant game. There's already plenty of maps, with more to come, and the simplistic nature of the game itself is polished to perfection.
This game places you in control of an entire cities' Metro network, ferrying civilians from Stop A to Stop B, as indicated by various shapes. So, for example, there could be multiple people at a stop wanting to get to a Square stop. They will get on the line that has that stop available. As time progresses more stops appear randomly around the map, each with different shapes. As stations demand more stops, you'll quickly ecounter the enemy of the game: over-crowding, which you'll quickly learn is as big and scary a final boss as any other game you'll come across. All you have to do is 'survive' the week to unlock more trains, bridges or routes to be able to satisfy the need of every customer. Once you lose, and you will, your high-score is how many passengers you managed to take from A to B, and the days your service was up and running. It's a very simple and fitting scoring system that leaves you with a burning desire to play again just to beat those numbers.
As time goes by you will learn to love or hate certain shapes, with particularly rare shapes getting high demand, but being in a particularly hard to reach location. I have come out of many playthroughs wishing circles were never invented, and that Triangles are satan-spawn.
The pacing is fast and challenging, the only reprieve you can find being in the Pause button. The art style is minimalist and simplistic, obviously reminiscent of an Underground map. The replayability is seemingly endless, with stations appearing at random locations each time, alongside various different maps each with their own individual high-scores.
I love this game, it's worth every penny, and it should be considered a complete game with incoming updates as far as I'm concerned. While it's still in Early Access though, I will suggest one thing that would be nice but is not entirely necessary: Stats for each station/line to see how many passengers are travelling on each, allowing you to micro-manage everything much more meticulously.