In 2014, a certain mini metro from the New Zealand studio Dinosaur Polo Club was released on our PCs. A game with simple graphics, without being disgusting, quite the contrary, which asked us to manage urban transport of different cities around the world.
A really successful and engaging puzzle game, it was a real small commercial and critical hit when it was released, so we’re really not surprised to see it land this month. mini highways From the same studio which widely resumes the oldest principle, but this time it has been applied to road networks. Once again, we got caught up in the game, stuck in its atmosphere and the challenge it offers.
(Cash mini highways Made from commercial version for PC)
Mini Metro for us at that time was a really good surprise in which we spent many hours trying to become the best managers of different urban networks of different cities in the game, each with their own characteristics. What we really liked at the time was this very quiet side of the game, which did everything to be so, from the graphics to the audio assets, while providing a huge challenge.
On the other hand, when we talk about management, don’t imagine that we have a wallet on hand or that we also had to work on organizing public accounts, no, Mini Metro is a puzzle game and it’s just a matter of running a blank map of different metro lines and stations allowing us to take charge travelers. The difficulty is that the more time passes, the greater the demand, the more complex the network becomes, and the more time waiting for the stations can mean the end of the game if it is very important.
As we start a mini game to relax or try to rise in the world rankings, the Mini Metro was terribly effective, on top of that. We are now in 2021 and the Dinosaur Polo Club has decided to try the experience again mini highways. Will the mayonnaise harden again, or has it flipped over time?
To avoid free fall
And we fell again into the trap. Mini Motorways literally stuck us to our screen as its predecessor did well, and it’s remarkable that in the end there isn’t much of a difference between the two games.. And that disappointed us as much as we like, because on the one hand we were happy to find an experience similar to the one we had, and on the other we probably wanted something from it.
Our mission is simple, to build and manage an increasingly dense road network in a large city. We travel from Los Angeles to Dubai via Tokyo and Manila. Each map has its own characteristics, from the rivers on which bridges must be built to the mountains in which tunnels must be dug, all to create an urban ecosystem worthy of the name. As in Mini Metro, we can’t do what we want and rules, such as the necessity to respect the color code, govern our company.
Since it’s good to want to build a bridge, you still need strength and here again we find a game mechanic that we already knew. At the end of each week we have to choose between two proposals that give us different building options and we must take into account not only our current needs but also anticipate what we might ask of us later. We can also choose a highway or a tunnel, like a roundabout or a red light, things that allow us to make traffic more fluid.
And this is very important, because traffic jams are our worst enemy, and waiting too much at some point means game over. So the more time passes, the more weeks will pass, the more new points will appear on the map, which will themselves become larger and larger, asking us to think more about creating our routes.
We soon find ourselves having to scan the screen in all directions to find the slightest error in our road network, while the game continues to reveal new points to offer, which requires constant focus. Sometimes it’s necessary to destroy to rebuild, believe us, this has saved the day on several occasions (make the most of the break to think about your road plan).
Mini metro bit frequent
But now, yes we realize that, we have the impression that we are writing here what we could have written for Mini Metro. Aside from a few small details, nothing really changes and we also find the same simple graphics that offer impeccable readability and a sense of softness that is hard for us to put into words. Seeing our little grid being created in front of our eyes, the little cars spinning, it has something totally satisfying and it’s a pleasure to take on the challenge because it’s so hard.
This is basically what this gameplay routine offers. There are certainly online rankings, daily and weekly challenges to conquer, but that kind of flair that starts once the game launches will stay with us and even if mini highways Much like its predecessors, it remains nothing short of a lovely visual and sensory experience as well, with all those little sounds and noises contributing to a truly relaxing atmosphere, while being very playful.
Because it is also a great puzzle game that has done more than just warm our minds And even if at times we felt like the game cheated on us a little bit, because it just so happened that we didn’t have any key element to our lead for two to three weeks and that resulted in a slightly annoying one-off defeat. Just as it happens that traffic jams arise when we design side roads to avoid this predicament, but unfortunately AI can be improved and will always go as fast as it can even if it ends up closing.
Small flaws that we hope will be corrected as updates progress, even if they don’t spoil the overall feeling we had while playing the game. mini highways We were absolutely delighted that he gave us everything we expected of him, solving clever puzzles in a calm and gentle atmosphere which is rare and therefore precious.
Mini Motorways are lazy because they don’t invent or reinvent anything that Mini Metro hasn’t already done. A few little additions here and there won’t change a thing, but in the end is that what we expected of him? For us, the answer is no, because we were hoping to find an experience similar to the one we had a few years ago, and that’s exactly what we were entitled to.
What we wanted was to find an atmosphere, a fun, relaxed, and smart experience whose simplicity in graphics and sound perfectly matches what’s on offer. And that’s what we finally got that made the experience totally satisfied, not without flaws, but terribly addictive. It was hard for us to get away from the game, especially in the middle of the night with the dark mode activated, it’s more hypnotic, and we can only advise you to take a curious and open eye.
It is one of those standalone (or not) games like The Pedestrian or The Witness to offer an experience that is also played on a visual and listening level, as in the puzzles it offers.. So much so that we’d love to try it in VR to see what it looks like, but we’re not there yet. On the other hand, we are betting on a future episode that will ask us to manage the global air network! Admit it is tempting.