This isn’t a game review site, however since I’m a big fan of Mini Metro I thought I’d make some comments on its newly born younger sibling, Mini Motorways.
The Same – Or Different?
When you first look at Mini Motorways, it looks similar to Mini Metro. Very similar. It has the same (gorgeous) minimalist aesthetic; there’s the familiar mechanic of building a transport network to an link ever increasing number of destinations; there’s the same late game build up of tension with timers indicating destinations that could end your game.
However once you start playing, you soon realise that there are some fundamental differences between the two games.
With Mini Metro, the demand comes from the passengers: they spawn at one location and need to be taken to another. With Mini Motorways, the demand comes from the locations. Locations require visitors which are provided by houses. That turns the everything on its head.
First of all, I have to say that it’s less intuitive. I realise that in many ways both games are really abstract network builders, but Mini Metro still made some sort of real world sense. With Mini Motorways, I just can’t buy the idea of people sitting at home and waiting until a shop wants customers. It’s a small point, but one that niggles.
What about gameplay? Again, very different. With Mini Metro, trains are a limited resource, so it makes sense to have interconnecting networks that allow passengers to change between them. In Mini Motorways, allowing cars of the same type to use the same road provides little or no benefit and leads to congestion. Roads are limited, but even so it’s often best to try and have isolated networks for different types of traffic.
In Mini Metro, stations are both producers and consumers of passengers. In Mini Motorways, houses are producers and other buildings are consumers. The asymmetry gives a very different feel to the game.
So in summary, don’t go into Mini Motorways expecting Mini Metro 2. Despite first appearances, the two games feel and play very differently. Neither is better or worse, they’re simply different. Mini Motorways has slightly more complexity in its gameplay, which some people will like. However (for me) it lacks the cohesive, holistic ‘feel’ of the original game.
When it comes to deciding on Mini Metro vs Mini Motorways, the only answer I can honestly give is to say ‘both’. Personally I expect to play Mini Metro most of the time, switching to Mini Motorways occasionally when I fancy a change.