Mini Motorways the Perfect Switch Experience
The one good thing about subscription services is that you can get a lot of games for one somewhat low monthly price. The bad news is when games launch on a subscription service and that is the ONLY way to play them. That’s how it is for many games on Apple Arcade, and while these games do often make it to other platforms, it can take a long time. That is the case for Mini Motorways, a game available on Apple Arcade for a long while now, and just recently launching on Nintendo Switch.
During last week’s Nintendo Indie World Showcase, I was waiting for that one game announcement where the narrator would say, “And this will be available later today.” I was glad when that game ended up being Mini Motorways, an easy to understand, but hard to master puzzle game where you will move different coloured cars through a city to their destinations, trying to score points, and not creating grid lock that will shut down the city.
And it really is that simple of a concept. Red cars need to make it to red destinations, blue cars to blue destinations, and so on. The trick is how you connect them. The destinations and the houses where the cars spawn randomly spawn on the map, which means it can be tricky to properly plan your routes from A to B without causing some issues. The game doesn’t leave you high and dry, however, as they provide a new set of items each week. Those items could be 30 more road tiles to use, 20 road tiles and one of a pair of stoplights, a bridge, or a roundabout; or, they might provide you 10 road tiles and a motorway (highway), the most valuable item in the game.
So with an armful of roads, traffic lights, roundabouts, and more, you will need to start designing your city structure so that you don’t have too much congestion. Each destination will indicate the required number of cars that need to arrive. When a car arrives, the indicator goes down by one. It will fill up again, so having a good supply of cars ready to head out is paramount to success. Thing is, if you cannot get cars to their destinations fast enough, a timer will eventually appear. And if that timer finishes, it’s game over for you!
For the most part, the game works really well. There are a few gimicky things that I do but don’t love. For example, if you have extra roads, its a good idea to build them anyways in places where you don’t want things to spawn. It’s a tacky strategy, but since you can pause the game whenever you want and then delete and replace roads, you can easily access these additional roads when you do finally need them.
Not all of the items you get our valuable, either. Stoplights are build as great items to use at cross roads to manage the flow of traffic. While early on this might be true, as it becomes busier, they simply add to the confusion and mayhem. While I do find them somewhat valuable to have when placed directly outside a destination, overall I opt out of the traffic lights whenever possible. They just don’t add enough value.
Overall, though, this is a fantastic package, and fits right at home on the Nintendo Switch. I thought I would prefer to play this game handheld using the touch screen, but found that button controls work much better as you always can see the entire map – with touch controls, some scrolling is required, which defeats the purpose of seeing everything happen at once in my opinion. Overall, however, this is an easy recommendation. For those who enjoy puzzle games, this will be right up your alley!