Mini Motorways is a follow up to 2014’s Mini Metro. It’s a game about traffic and how it flows through a major city. You make the roads better to improve traffic. It’s available as part of Apple Arcade. It sounds like something that’s impossible in major cities, but could this design be a fun game? Let’s find out.
Each game starts the same: one color, one house, and one destination. You draw a road from the small houses to the bigger destinations of the same color. Drawing roads is easily done with touch. As time goes on, more houses will pop up that you need to connect to the system of roads you are creating. After some time, a second color will appear that you need to link into your design. This continues until your design fails, and traffic builds up too much, and cars can not get to their destination; then it’s game over.
There are a variety of maps of real world areas to play with; they each have different obstacles to overcome. Some require bridges to connect areas over a body of water, while others require you to build tunnels through mountains to be able to connect everything. Even though they have different obstacles they still all seem to feel the same. They all start the same way, and end the same way, usually with me screaming at traffic to move.
Time goes by in the game; at the end of each week, you are given some resources to help you build your city. You build a lot of roads, but roads are not unlimited. You also need traffic lights, bridges, and tunnels, which are awarded to you after you finish a week — it goes by quickly. Most times, you are given a choice on what you want: for example, do you want extra roads or do you want a bridge?
I feel every choice I made was always the wrong one. If I chose the extra roads, the game would seem to always make something appear out of reach, where I would need a bridge.
Relaxation to Chaos
Every game starts slowly — almost too slowly. It’s relaxing and zen like; just draw roads and connect the city. As time goes on it becomes chaotic. Trying to manage my resources, and trying to see where I need to put a traffic light quickly, makes a relaxing game chaotic. In the chaos, there is usually no end but failure. When I start to go into panic mode, I have only got out of it a handful of times. Usually, panic mode just starts the countdown to failure.
Each map has just one objective: “Score 250 points”. There is no real drive to play different maps, except the high score leaderboards, which always seem so far out of reach. I would love to see different objectives to drive me back into each map. After reaching the 250 points, nothing at all gave me that push to feel I need to go back to this map
Mini Motorways is an interesting city builder. Make the traffic flow to keep the city moving. A lack of objectives, and variety, make this game a fun way to pass time, but not something that I ever felt I needed to get back to. I give this one a thumbs up. It’s a good distraction but something you do not need to rush to play.
Final Score: — 5/10 —