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We all love quick games Pick Up & Play: 5 Essential Quick Blast iOS Games Pick Up & Play: 5 Essential Quick Blast iOS Games Got some time to kill? Here are five iOS apps that can scratch your gaming itch in five minutes or less. Read More that are still fun to play and challenging for the brain, right? If your answer was a flat out “Yes!” to that question, then Mini Metro is the perfect game to add to your “quickie” collection.

Curious as to why it’s so awesome? Take a look and I’ll show you!

About Mini Metro

minimetro_config
Mini Metro is a very simple yet challenging strategy game that can be played on Windows, Mac OS X, and even Linux. After a relatively quick download, you can adjust a few settings (primarily graphics quality and screen resolution), and you’ll be thrown into the game in no time. There’s actually very little explanation, but it’s easy to pick up. If you’re having difficulties, don’t worry — I’ll lay it out step by step anyways.

Gameplay

The game revolves around a quickly growing subway (or “metro”) system in some fictitious and unnamed area. When you first start the game, you’ll see three different stations that are marked by different shapes. You’ll then need to drag your mouse from one station to another to create a metro line. You can then choose to extend that line to include the other station, or you can drag again to create another metro line. When you start out each session, you only get three lines at first.

minimetro_gameplay
Great, you have them connected, but what’s the point of that? After a while, you’ll see a lot of smaller symbols appear next to the big symbol. Each symbol represents a passenger and where they would like to go. So if you’re at a station marked by a square, and you see three little circles next to it, that means that there are three passengers who would like to go to a station marked with a circle. You’ll have to make sure that those passengers are able to make it to their destination quickly.

After a while, new stations will appear that you’ll have to connect using existing or new metro lines. If you leave them alone, there will be a handful of angry passengers that you’re not servicing their station.

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minimetro_increases
After every simulated week, you’ll be able to choose one of three upgrades. The upgrades can change around, but they include the ability to create a new line (so instead of just 3 lines, you can create 4), a new permit for a tunnel (also limited to 3 initially), upgraded stations that can handle more passengers, double-rail metro lines, and more. Without these, you’d be in a world of trouble. Choose wisely depending on your strategy!

The game becomes challenging once you have to deal with a lot of stations, passengers, and limited resources. There are also a few rules that you need to follow — one example is that you cannot cross lines unless there’s a station at the intersection. Eventually, the game ends whenever the passengers have had enough and the game considers the metro system to be “overcrowded”. You keep score by how many passengers you were able to transport before your system became overcrowded.

Notes and Download

The game is still under development, but you can get the alpha for free. It’s pretty stable, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that “alpha” label. It’s also better to grab it sooner rather than later, as the game will eventually become commercially-sold once it is deemed complete. The alpha already has links that allows you to preorder the full commercial game for $3.99 and get it once it’s out. But for now, you can get the alpha by visiting this page and clicking on the link that’s appropriate for your operating system. The Linux files are represented by an Ubuntu logo, but trust me when I say that it works in all flavors of Linux and not just Ubuntu.

Conclusion

For a quick pick me up game, Mini Metro is really quite fun. It reminds me a lot of Air Control for Android Control The Skies And Land Planes Safely With Air Control [Android 1.6+] Control The Skies And Land Planes Safely With Air Control [Android 1.6+] Air traffic controllers have some of the most important jobs out there -- without the passengers even noticing, they route any plane you fly on through the sea of other planes in the air. It's... Read More , and I loved that game too. I’m interested to see what the final game can do when it’s released!

Linux users who are interested in this game may also want to check out our Best Linux Games page!

What other quick but fun games do you like? Are there any that are good on the desktop? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Vipul J
    August 19, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Try this once - Continuity - http://www.leveldone.com/game/continuity

  2. Denise E
    August 19, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Can't see where the alpha may be obtained for free - the website linked to mentions that one can pay a sum of $6.99 for early access.

    Tried it a couple of times - it's quite fun, and gets challenging fast! Of course, it doesn't have polish yet, but gameplay doesn't feel as awkward as one might expect.

    • Larry Sessions
      August 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Same here. I see no link to download.

    • Danny S
      August 31, 2014 at 9:02 pm

      Sorry guys! When I first wrote the article, they still had download links available. It looks like now it's only paid early access.

  3. Saikat B
    August 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Looks like a bit of Sim City for the minimalist :)

    There's also another similar one for buses -- Transitmix, though Mini Metro looks to be more fun.

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