Mini Motorways Review – A Calming Commute

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Mini Highways Review on PC

Getting stuck in traffic is never a good time. But what if you could control traffic by placing and rearranging roads at will? Mini highways allow you to do just that, in the most relaxing way possible. It doesn’t have the most to offer in terms of length or replayability, but the game takes you on a short and enjoyable run.

Mini Motorways is a minimalist strategy simulation that takes you to cities around the world like Tokyo, Moscow and Los Angeles, and lets you directly control their traffic networks on a much smaller scale. You’ll need to keep the cars moving towards their destination for as long as possible, so avoiding traffic jams is the goal here.

mini highways

Mini Motorways starts you off in a small part of a city and your only goal is to make sure that the cars in each house can reach the larger buildings of the same color. Blue cars must therefore go to blue buildings, yellow cars to yellow buildings, etc. Color plays a big role here, so it’s important to note that there is a colorblind mode for those who need it.

Small pins will appear on larger buildings to indicate that a car wants to get there. It’s your job to make this trip as efficient as possible by placing roads between buildings. This task is quite simple, but over time more and more houses and other buildings will start to appear causing your small town to expand unpredictably.

This is where the real fun begins, as adjustments have to be made on the fly to get cars to their destinations. And the more pins you remove, the higher your score for that city. If too many pins start to pile up in one place without cars coming out and removing them quickly enough, a red timer will start. If this timer fills up, the game is over.

To get the job done, Mini Motorways provides a limited number of tiles that you can place to create roads. At first the game only provides standard road tiles, but as the city grows your options for expanding traffic infrastructure also increase.

Over time, the days of the week will pass in the game. At the end of each week, you have a choice of two upgrades to help you plan your city. They include things like bridges that can cross waterways, street lights that can lead to greater efficiency at intersections, and highways that can create shortcuts on existing roads.

Each upgrade comes with a set number of standard road tiles, but the better the upgrade, the fewer road tiles it contains. So a highway upgrade that can be built on top of regular roads will only include 10 additional standard road tiles, while a roundabout upgrade can have 30.

Lack of road tiles can leave you stuck, unable to create new roads in the middle of a week as new buildings keep appearing. You can still delete existing roads to collect road tiles, but it could be expensive if the deleted roads help efficiency.

Mini Motorways really makes you take your time while considering these upgrades, adding a real challenge to an otherwise relaxing game. But if you ever need to slow down the game for more time to think, there’s an option to pause everything while you make adjustments as needed. There is also a fast forward option for those who want cities to grow / move faster.

Mini Highways Cities

The upgrades you need usually depend on what city you’re in and what you’ve built so far.

Each city is essentially a new level with a new topographical layout that feels distinct even with the minimalist art style. Creativity and thinking outside the box is required to keep your city running for as long as possible, and two cities shouldn’t be approached with exactly the same strategy.

Cities like Beijing have rivers or other bodies of water that require the use of a number of bridges, while others like Los Angeles require the use of many highways and raised roundabouts.

It’s a pleasure to gradually find out which roads work best in which cities and to find the most efficient road locations to solve my many traffic problems never got old. It also helps that in order to gain new towns the game only requires you to take 300 trips to a given location (300 pins cleared) to unlock the next town.

300 trips might seem like a lot, but I’ve taken over 1000 trips to multiple cities on a regular basis, so it’s not too hard to see all the game has to offer. You’re never stuck in one place for too long and you’ll want scores much higher than 300 if you want to rank high on the game leaderboards for each location.

Beyond the standard city levels, there is also a Daily Challenge and a Weekly Challenge. They change the game in a few unpredictable ways using unique modifiers like unlimited road tiles or mystery upgrades to keep you on your toes.

Daily Challenges can only be played once, while Weekly Challenges can be tried endlessly as you aim for the world’s highest score. It would be nice if there were challenges like these for each of the standard cards, as Dailies and Weekly are only listed on one card each.

Mini Highways Cities

Mini Motorways is a short game, sure, but it’s one of those games that you can get lost in for a little while while you rack your brains trying to figure out how to get all the traffic to the screen. as smooth as possible. Never in my life have I found joy in planning routes, but these mini-cities make me smile.

The slow, tedious monotony of traffic in the big cities has kind of turned into a game I can’t wait to play more of.

Exam block

Critical review of mini-highways

Reviser: Ethan Anderson | Award: editors Choice | Copy provided by the publisher.

Advantages

  • Cities have a different topography and feel distinct.
  • Simple to understand but still offers a challenge.
  • Relaxing atmosphere, even when things get a little chaotic.

The inconvenients

  • No special challenge mods for normal city levels.

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