The Lost Reviews – Mini Metro

17 10 2016

mini-metro (Dinosaur Polo Club - 2015)

One of the most recognized maps in the world (or at least the UK) has to be the London Tube Map. The London Tube Map is a nice simple looking map which makes travelling through the London Underground much easier than it would be if the map was anything like an OS (Ordinance Survey) Map. With it’s easy to follow curvature/straight lines, use of circles to show terminals and of course the use of easy to identify colours, the Tube map is so simple yet very effective and in turn assists millions of consumers every day; but have you ever wondered to yourself: ‘How do they do it?” Well, that question I cannot answer, but if you have ever considered having a go at doing your own map in a similar style but did not know how or even where to start; well now there is an easy way to give it a go.


Developed by Dinosaur Polo Club; Mini Metro is a strategy/puzzle/simulation game where you are given the task of connecting stations on a map. It’s very simple; to begin with you get given a choice of cities to choose from. All you do is simply choose one and as soon as the map loads you are given three stations taking the forms of shapes which in turn you need to connect. Connecting stations is also very simple as all you have to do is hold and drag on a station and a coloured line will appear which you then connect to another station. Once your line has been laid down, a small little train carriage will appear and will set to work ferrying customers to their nearest desired station. Customers take the form of little shapes, and where they want to go is defined by what shape they are. Triangle customers want to go to triangle stations, square customers to square stations and circle customers to circle stations. As the game continues more stations will randomly appear in which you will need to connect to, other shaped stations will appear meaning more defined customers to transport, and also the map will generally get bigger with lines getting busier. You can of course ease congestion by adding more trains, incorporating several carriages to trains, adding more lines as well as adding terminals and bridges/tunnels to spots that you think require them. So, much like the real world, it gets busy.


Mini Metro is pretty easy to pick up and play, it features an easy control system where you simply use the mouse to drag lines to stations, connect them and then drag features like extra lines and trains to the stations. It’s also pretty easy to simply get going. It features an easy tutorial where it teaches all this to you, before then letting you just to get on with it. To begin with you get a few basic maps including London and Paris, and as you begin to progress through the game you get to unlock other cities too including Cairo, Osaka, Melbourne, Sao Paulo and New York City all of which feature their own tasks and challenges while also providing you with unique perspectives and features, such as in the Cairo map where the trains can only hold 4 shapes per carriage (not 6), or like the Osaka map where it gives you access to the high speed Shinkansen Bullet Train.


There are three basic modes to choose from:

  • In Normal Mode, you are given a city and need to work hard to make sure that all customers are satisfied and can reach their destinations without getting the station overcrowded. If they do get overcrowded, circles will begin to appear around the station, if it gets completely filled, the customers have had enough and the game ends. You receive extra features after every Sunday.
  • In Endless Mode, you are given a map, but the game does not end if the station gets overcrowded. Instead it just continues until the city has grown as big as it can get. Extra features are provided not every Sunday or every week, instead they are given when you reach a proficiency milestone, the key to Endless mode being that it’s not about how many customers you can service before it gets overcrowded, but how efficient the service you provide is.
  • In Extreme Mode, you are given a city as usual and much like Normal, need to prevent the stations getting overcrowded, however; where as in the two above modes you can re-arrange already made lines to accommodate new stations with ease, or move trains from one line to another if the need arises; in Extreme Mode, once the line has been placed it cannot be moved, nor can the trains be relocated, you just have to live with your decisions and hope for the best.

All these modes provide you with a score at the end of the game, to which you can then see how well you have done compared with the rest of the world, as well as compare graphs to see how well you did overall. There is also the option of the Daily Challenge from the opening menu, where a random challenge is made and posted every day, where players can try their mettle at several different random maps (but only once a day) and then compare them once again with the rest of the world, you know; if…you really want to.


Mini Metro is a nice and simple game to play, and one where you don’t need to worry about sound neither. The game does not come with a soundtrack per-say except for the sound of the camera feature when it takes a picture of the map, just in case you want a keepsake. Although the lack of sound is pretty peaceful, meaning you can listen or watch something else in the meantime and use the game as an over the top screen saver, some sound could be a nice little feature. I was not thinking of a soundtrack exactly, maybe more the sound of angry commuters waiting around for their train; with the noise getting louder the longer they wait.


The game is nicely well designed and each difficulty level has been made with some precision providing different forms of gameplay as it goes on. It’s not like it gets really difficult or makes things harder, it’s more that it makes things more of a challenge but rewards you with a unique gaming experience each time. I just think though that there could be more spacing and randomness every time you receive an item; more spacing as to what you can choose from, or more randomness rather than expected. I also think that while the difficulty is not too bad, there could be more challenging points in the core gameplay. While there are rarer shapes for rarer customers, I just think that like a normal tube map, some shapes, every now and then could appear who want to go to a specific place on the map. There are so many common shapes; it could bring an additional level of challenge to the map if one circle customer wanted to go to a desired circle location, not just the nearest.


Issues aside: I really like Mini Metro. Yes, there is some allowance for sounds, plus an addition of more challenging core gameplay could provide a little more taste, but even without, this game is still packed with an ideal level of flavour. It’s a game that does not take itself too seriously. It’s not like Rollercoaster Tycoon or Sid Meier’s Railroads, games that require you to negotiate obstacles and pay through the nose to fix them. Here you do not need to worry about money, or much in the way of obstacles except for the odd river, all you need to worry about is providing the best service possible. It’s nice, simple, easy to play, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye with its nice simple design. It’s sort of like a Miniature Railway; it adds a nice new eye level of fun to something that most of us take for granted every day, and is genuinely; just a nice fun thing to do.



Film Review – INCEPTION

6 08 2010

Right then yes Inception OK I went to see this film last week; it was its very very good. You have to go into the cinema I went to Vue, pay the tickets, my mum did, went with my brother and my mum. I got myself an ice cream one of those two twisted milkshakes you get there, the ones where you get 2 Ben and Jerry ice cream flavours mixed together, even though they sell them at Vue they still have no idea what they are which is always annoying. You have to get your ticket, go in, go to the toilet it was upstairs it was, and go in sit down. We didn’t see many trailers, I can’t remember. Hmm yeah and the film begins. It’s basically like dreams; it was originally a script by Christopher Nolan and a seven figure deal with Warner Bros for the script. It’s basically they go into some ones dreams and influence them, get information out of them and stuff. It’s kind of, it’s kind of well thought out, of course you get Leonardo Di Caprio who was in films like Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York and Titanic, and you’ve got Ken Watanabe who did Ras Al Ghul in Batman Begins and you’ve got Michael Caine who was like a kind of side character. Then you have Ellen Page who in my opinion has the best role in this whole film. Ellen Page’s whole career is kind of odd because its, well not odd well you don’t really notice her until she does something majorly big. You know, I had no idea that she did Shadowcat Kitty Pride in the hmm X-Men Last stand film. I thought she looks familiar because when it Juno was advertised I was thinking was she in X-Men. Then she was in that and then I looked it up and she was in X-Men. She was quite good as Kitty Pride and she has the best role in Inception.

What the idea is basically is this one person Leonardo Di Caprio hmm wants to see his family again but he can’t do this until he has done something so Ken Watanabe’s character kind of brings up some money so he can do this job for him to help out with a certain company that need help. So he goes in search of someone to be an architect, someone who builds dreams to live in and do stuff in and then so he finds Ellen page and tells her in a dream do you know how a dream starts. That’s actually a good question who actually remembers how a dream starts how do we get here and basically tells her how you can do things in it like turn it upside down, you can have a nice big city area and have a steam train roll right through it, all sorts of stuff so he teaches her how to do this. They go looking around, she starts building the dream world while he looks for a forger someone who puts them under using a certain drug which will stop them waking up accidently. While all of this is going on Leonardo Di Caprio has his own problem with his characters wife who died because she was one of these dreamers as well so they kind of lived in this dream world but he thought they had lived there too long and so he got them out but then she thinks they are still in a dream world so she went and killed herself and now she’s all over these dreams really causing several problems for Leonardo Di Caprio. So when it comes to do the dream bit. Ellen Page’s character says I am coming with you because you need someone with you to sort out these problems.

So they get the target, all of them all of these people and the target on an aeroplane and then put them under dreams and they are all dreaming in the same dream as it were and then as it happens from here on we have. Its kind of hard to say they enter one dream world which is kind of like a raining New York and they go and kidnap this guy who they brought in and try and get information out of him but while this starts going on some weird stuff starts happening including people in the dream like enemies start appearing almost like enemies in a video game spawning all over the place and a big freight train plowing right through the city and so they kind of wonder what’s happening something else has happened and so they get into this guys brain, they get him into a car and go under into another dream, a dream in a dream. It’s kind of hard to explain. They go into a new world with a new business look in a hotel and stuff telling this man they need information out of him I think Fisher was his name, he was Scarecrow in Batman Begins there’s kind of loads of people from all over Nolan’s films.  What they do is one person stays behind in the previous dream to wake them up so one person is still in the car in rainy New York and then you have all these people in the dream in the hotel who take Fisher there and they kind of go into this other world where it is like snow like a special forces unit in this snowy world you know and they have all these problems with shooting people. The idea of keeping one person behind is quite simple you get someone out of a dream by causing them to fall so when like in a dream you fall you wake up. There is this car falling off the bridge then you have the hotel which has problems with gravity so the idea is that when you are about to hit something you fall causing you to wake up and then you’ll wake up out of that one and back in the car as it is falling in the water. Then they have this slight problem that being Leonardo Di Caprios character’s ex wife who is haunting these dreams shoots fisher so Ellen Page and Leonardo Di Caprio go into this world created by Leonardo Di Caprio  and his characters wife. You may think when you fall it doesn’t take too long well it says that if you have a 2 minute dream in another dream this becomes 20 minutes then 40 minutes then 160 minutes so they go in to this other world and the wife lets fisher go and Leonardo Di Caprio stays in the dream. Meanwhile Ken Watanabe’s character was shot in the rainy dream and the idea is that because they’re so under all this under stuff simply dying wont wake you up you will go into a vegative state so then Ellen Page kind of falls through the sky waking up in the snow world where a building is about to drop on her which causes her to wake up falling in the lift which then causes her to wake up falling in the van which then hits the water but then somehow they don’t wake up in the plane. Meanwhile Leonardo Di Caprios character goes on this long search for Ken Watanabe’s character and gets him out of this vegetative state and so they are all fine and wake up in the real world all happy everything happy happy happy and then it goes to the end and it’s kind of strange. Leonardo Di Caprios character has this strange Totem object which when he spins tells him if he is in a dream or not and so he goes and sees his children and then sets the totem spinning which wobbles abit but keeps spinning and so you wonder if all of this is a dream, is this a dream world or the real world.

If it sounds confusing, It could be.

Very very clever movie in terms of story and everything and it’s going to be hard to see if you can get any kind of Sequel out of this. You kind of think like kind of like Avatar in a way that a Sequel might ruin it but it would be interesting if you know what I mean. But the thing is Christopher Nolan is very busy at the moment in January he is filming Batman 3 which is the final in the series and then he is doing the new Superman film Man of Steel. Now what about Inception? It’s actually a very good film in my opinion, one of the best films this year, I have seen about 3 films 4 films this year, I saw the A-Team the other day. One of the films I saw this year technically didn’t come out this year and that was AVATAR. Hmmm, I went to see Clash of the Titans, Its better than Clash of the Titans yes. I like Iron Man 2 a lot in a way, I think Inception is better than Iron Man 2 I might regret saying that but I think it is. It’s better than the A-Team. Yes we’ve got other films coming out this year of course, we’ve got The Expendables which looks quite good, there’s Salt which looks pretty interesting, we have the next Harry Potter which doesn’t look all that great and the next Narnia film which looks better than the Harry Potter trailer. To date Inception is the best film, there’s still some films I want to see like Toy Story 3, hmm but to date it’s the best film that’s come out this year so far in my opinion. Yes very good and also it’s a continuing trend of Christopher Nolan films that practically everything Christopher Nolan makes is good. I have only seen 3 Christopher Nolan films and they were all very good Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and Inception. There was one time I was watching Lord of the Rings Return of the King and then Batman Begins straight after and it was clear to see that Batman Begins is a far better film. I have seen the Dark Knight several times and you can’t get bored with the Dark Knight because it is such a good film. I would probably say that the Dark Knight is better than Inception because Inception can be quite hard to follow and so I would advise people who might find it hard to follow things that they don’t see Inception or if they do go and see it twice just so they can get a better idea of the story. Dark Knight is better because it has a better story and is easier to understand but Inception is still very good I would definitely recommend that you go and see Inception. If you like interesting stories, go and see it, if you want to go and see it go and see it, if you like action go and see it if you like the cast go and see it. Inception, this is the first in my film blog, Inception is definitely a must see.


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