Mini Motorways Review

Screenshot of Rio de Janeiro in Mini Motorways
You get to manage the road networks for many cities around the world


Quick Info
Reviewed by: Mark Goninon
Developer: Dinosaur Polo Club
Publisher: Dinosaur Polo Club
Release Date: 20 Jul 2021
Time played: 10 hours

Mini Metro… but now with cars!

I had quite a bit of fun with Mini Metro which was the first game I played by Dinosaur Polo Club and it received a very respectable rating of 7/10 from Choicest Games. In my review for Mini Metro, I felt the game was targeted at those that appreciated classic management games like Sim Tower and Transport Tycoon but wanted something quicker and without all the business management overhead. Like an arcade version of Transport Tycoon if it were just focused on building railway lines.

Anyway, when I heard that Dinosaur Polo Club were making a similar game to Mini Metro except with motor vehicles, I immediately wishlisted Mini Motorways but would only get around to finally trying out the game later in 2021, after my daughter received it for Christmas (I may have strongly encouraged her to get it but hey, she enjoys playing the game, I swear)!

Like its predecessor, Mini Motorways is a transport network management game where you have to build roads that connect commuters from their homes to businesses. Each week you'll be given certain tools to build your network such as roads, bridges, tunnels, roundabouts, traffic lights and motorways, and your task is to use these resources efficiently to transport commuters where they want to go as more and more homes and businesses are built across the week. As the city becomes larger, more and more commuters will be driving their cars on the road resulting in traffic jams. Traffic jams will mean commuters won't be able to get to certain businesses on time and if one business becomes fed up at how long it takes for commuters to visit it results in the game ending.


Screenshot of Tokyo from Mini Motorways
Every city has a different colour scheme such as this pink one for Tokyo which reminds me of cherry blossom season

Motorists can relate

Considering how dependent people are on motor vehicles to get around nowadays (especially those who live in Australian cities) Mini Motorways is probably a more relatable game than Mini Metro since everyone has a story of being stuck in rush hour traffic and often think they can do a better job at traffic management than the professionals. In fact, the game reminds me of the 2013 SimCity, since that game basically became a fancy looking traffic simulator instead of a sequel to the macroscopic style of SimCity found in the first four games.


Are these traffic lights actually helping?

Like its predecessor, Mini Metro, each week you'll be offered two options of what you want in terms of resources. For example, you might be offered road tiles along with a roundabout or road tiles with a traffic light. Or maybe you'll be offered road tiles with a bridge or tunnel. You'll need to be wary of the geography, your existing stash of road tiles and traffic controls before deciding what you will go with next. These kind of weekly dilemmas are what made Mini Metro interesting and while the same still applies to Mini Motorways, I've found it not to be as satisfying because there are some tiles where their usefulness is dubious.

For example, in Mini Metro you'd know that an Exchange would allow passengers to wait longer or that more carriages would help with respect to capacity or faster trains would mean passengers would arrive at their destinations sooner. You don't have similar tools in Mini Motorways since just like real life, I suppose, all you have control over is how you design the road network - you don't have control over what vehicles are used or where passengers board/alight. Roundabouts and traffic lights are meant to help with respect to traffic flows and they do in real life, but they don't seem as helpful in the game. So, when you play Mini Motorways, you feel somewhat helpless where that isn't the case with its predecessor.


Screenshot of Dubai in Mini Motorways
Just like Mini Metro, you'll be offered daily and weekly challenges in this game

Good Steam integration and replay

I can gladly confirm that the game works on the Steam Link using Logitech F710 controllers. The game also has a whopping 90 Steam Achievements to unlock and is integrated with Steam Leaderboards. You'll have daily and weekly challenges to complete too which ensures players have plenty of reasons to revisit the game.


Has enough been done?

For those that have already played Mini Metro you might be asking yourself if there's been enough done in the sequel to distinguish itself from its predecessor, and you'd be justified in asking it. Both games have you managing transport networks, both involve preventing upset customers from causing the game to end and both have weekly rewards where you have to pick which tiles you want to stockpile. Sure, the graphics are slightly different and in one you're managing rail while the other you're managing roads, but that's about it. All it comes down to is whether you prefer building roads or rails.


Infograph Chic

Mini Motorways has incorporated an "Infograph Chic" look to the game where the game looks like a bright, colourful and animated infographic. It's an improvement over Mini Metro and it's cute seeing the cars drive to and fro from their destinations, especially during night time when they turn their headlights on.


7

Dinosaur Polo Club has taken the same tried and true formula that worked with Mini Metro and applied it to a game where you have to build road networks. Daily and weekly challenges, as well as scoreboards and achievements will keep you coming back for more but I'd argue that Mini Metro is probably the better game. Despite the graphics being a slight improvement in Mini Motorways, roundabouts and traffic lights seem ineffective meaning you're an almost helpless bystander to the traffic congestion.


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