Mini Motorways Review – Contemplative Commute – Game Informer

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It is said that even the best plans often go awry, and this is perfectly evident in Mini Motorway. What starts out as an enjoyable city-planning simulation evolves into a frantic puzzle that you must solve before time runs out. The strain of your carefully planned city infrastructure crumbling before your eyes is undeniable. However, it is in this often-sudden transition from focus to frenetic where Mini Motorway shines, giving players a unique look at both the puzzle and city-planning simulation genres.

It all starts with choosing a real-world city in which to build. Whether you want to contend with Los Angeles’ LA River and Santa Monica Bay or the mountains surrounding Mexico City, each map offers unique problems to solve. My favorite region, Wellington, combines a myriad of elements such as bays, harbors and mountains to test your resource management.

At its core, the Mini Motorway is about connecting randomly generated homes and destinations that appear progressively as you walk; The house colors match the destinations the vehicles should reach. You are given a set number of road tiles that you can lay, which means you have to be skilled at making sure you get the roads you need. Once I realized my current plan wasn’t working, some of my favorite head-scratching moments came from recreating the map on the fly; Thankfully, if things turn out to be too much, you can stop taking action to plan. Each week in the game, you choose additional resources and equipment to add to your inventory. You always get more road tiles for the coming week, but mini motorways also a choice between items like roundabouts, traffic lights, bridges, tunnels and motorways to help you reduce traffic jams and reach new buildings gives.

With each week running for about two and a half minutes at a normal pace (though I usually keep my pace fast), new resources on your list come in at a rapid pace. This is a good thing because even the best runs are a poorly planned intersection away from failure. I loved adding a stoplight at a busy intersection to improve flow, while a completely cross-town motorway made all the difference between an immediate failure and prolonging my run for a few more weeks. Roundabouts are probably the most effective tool for preventing game-ending jams, but the limitations of placement are sometimes frustrating with their space requirements.

Mini Motorways aims to keep your city running, even as the map slowly zooms out, and you have more real-world topography to contend with. Each run starts off pleasant and slow, but as the map expands and your city grows, so does the rhythm at which homes and destinations appear on the map. Regardless of whether it’s designed for a touchscreen or mouse, using the Switch Pro Controller is a surprisingly accurate way to move the cursor around (especially since the control options are so customizable). However, in moments of panic, the control scheme delivered some setbacks. If controlling the cursor with a joystick bothers you, you can draw your roads on the touchscreen in handheld mode.

I love how each on-map building requires equal attention as the playable area grows; If even one destination comes back and people are stuck for too long, the game is over. While its quiet, easy moments are satisfying in their own way, I love when the action and difficulty intensify and I need to solve rapid-fire problems that emerge skillfully. With so much on screen at the time, it’s easy to lose track of new destinations or homes that pop up, but the minimalist user interface and art style lend themselves well to keeping track of the status of all your buildings.

While I appreciate the real-world map systems used by Mini Motorway, it has less than half as many maps as its predecessor, the Mini Metro. Mini Motorways complements these 14 maps with daily and weekly challenges that take mainline scenarios and add various modifiers (like bridges costing twice as much as road tiles or starting your run with maximum motorways in your inventory) ). However, these don’t add meaningfully to the overall content of the game, especially when the rest of the feature set is equally bare.

Although it lacks in content and features, Mini Motorways has consumed a lot of my gaming time since I downloaded it more than a week ago. The simple gameplay, clean interface, and satisfying difficulty ramp led me to call it “just one more run” several times over the session before finally calling it quits. Mini Metro captivated me when it first came out on iOS and it remains one of my favorite games, and I’m happy to add Mini Motorway to the same gaming rotation.

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