Way back in December of 2019, we reviewed a mobile game called Mini Motorways. It came from Dinosaur Polo Club and was a spiritual sequel to Mini Metro. Kind of how Theme Hospital was a spiritual sequel to Theme Park.
A minimalistic puzzle/strategy game, the goal of Mini Motorways is simple. Create roads, connect houses to buildings and expand your city until it is a bustling metropolis. All while keeping the cars on the road moving.
While not quite hitting the addictive high of Mini Metro, we still thoroughly enjoyed it and you can read the review of the mobile version here. Now, Dinosaur Polo Club has updated and released Mini Motorways on Nintendo Switch. Gameplay remains unchanged, for the most part, but this new update includes all new maps, Night Lights mode and more highly-requested features.
Now, on first glance, many may not be sold on the look of Mini Motorways, so minimal are the visuals. However, get behind the wheel and take a good look under the hood and what you’ll find is an addictive and fun game that is perfect for the Switch UI.
It all begins so simply, one colour-coded house and one colour-coded commercial building. Connect the two and watch as cars automatically leave the house to go and pick up requests from the commercial building. As the days tick by (the game’s counter can be sped up and slowed down with the simple press of a button), more houses and more commercial buildings will appear randomly on the map. Now things start to get more difficult as you have to connect everything up, matching the right coloured houses to the right coloured commercial builds, using your limited road tiles.
Get through a week without the traffic grinding to a halt and you’ll be rewarded with a perk. Where you can select from things like bridges, motorways, roundabouts and traffic lights. Each allowing you to manage the traffic situation that little bit better.
There’s no completing a level per se, instead you just build and grow until inevitably, things become too chaotic. Failure comes when your commercial buildings have too many incomplete requests. Then it’s game over, your high score is recorded (leader boards and all) and you can try to better it. Bear in mind, the houses and commercial buildings are randomly generated, so no two plays will ever be the same.
It’s sounds really simple but, and this can’t be stressed enough, Mini Motorways gets deceptively tricky. The randomisation of buildings means any well-planned build inevitably crumbles as the game puts a commercial building in such an awkward place, you have no choice but to upend your road system just to reach it. It might sound like a frustrating experience. However it is fun to play, each and every time.
This is helped by the very simple controls (it can be played using the touchscreen completely) and a bundle of different maps, challenges and scenarios. The latter, unlocked when you reach 1000 completed trips on a specific map, gives you unique challenges for that map. A welcome injection of longevity in a game that is all about longevity.
Simply put; thanks to the easy learning curve, randomisation of maps and uncomplicated gameplay, Mini Motorways has infinite longevity. It’s addictive, it’s fun and it plays brilliantly on the Switch, making it an indie must buy.
Mini Motorways (Nintendo Switch)
The Final Score - 8/10