It is said that even the most well-constructed plans often go wrong, and that is absolutely evident in the Mini Highway. What begins as a pleasant city planning simulation evolves into a frenzied puzzle that you must solve before time runs out. The stress of having your carefully planned city infrastructure crumble before your eyes is undeniable. However, in the often abrupt transition from contemplation to euphoria, Little Cars shines, giving players a unique take on both the puzzle genre and the city-planning simulation.
It all starts with choosing a real-world city to build. Whether you want to contend with Los Angeles’ LA River and Santa Monica Bay or the mountains surrounding Mexico City, each map offers unique problems to solve. My favorite area, Wellington, combines a multitude of elements such as bays, harbors and mountains to test your ability to manage resources.
At its core, Mini Motorways is about connecting random homes and destinations that pop up continuously as you run; The house color corresponds to the destination that the vehicles have to go to. You are given a set number of paving bricks that you can lay, which means you need to be efficient to ensure the roads you need are walkable. Some of my favorite head-scratching moments have come from quickly redrawing the map when I realized my current plan wasn’t going to work; Thankfully, you can pause the action to plan if things get overwhelming. Each week in the game, you choose additional resources and tools to add to your inventory. You’ll always get more paving bricks for next week, but Motorway also gives you a choice between objects like roundabouts, traffic lights, bridges, tunnels, and motorways to help you minimize traffic jams and to new buildings.
With each week lasting about two and a half minutes at normal speed (though I usually keep it fast), new resources will arrive in your inventory at a rapid rate. That’s a good thing because even the best runs are a poorly planned crossroads to avoid failure. I liked adding a stop light at a busy intersection to improve flow, while a perfectly placed cross-town highway made all the difference between immediate failure and extended run time. mine for a few more weeks. Roundabouts are perhaps the most effective tool to prevent late-game traffic jams, but location constraints sometimes upset their space requirements.
The goal of Little Highway is to keep your city alive even as the map slowly shrinks and you have more real-world terrain to compete with. Each run starts off pleasant and slow-paced, but as the map expands and your city grows, so does the tempo of houses and destinations appearing on the map. While designed for touchscreens or mice, using the Switch Pro Controller is a surprisingly precise way to move the pointer around (especially since the control options are customizable) . Even so, in moments of panic, the control plan caused some setbacks. If controlling the cursor with the joystick bothers you, you can draw your line on the touchscreen in handheld mode.
I like how each building on the map requires equal attention as the playable area develops; If even a backup destination and people are stuck for too long, the game will be over. While its quiet, easy moments are satisfying in their own right, I like when the action and difficulty ramp up and I need to deal with issues that arise quickly. fruit. With so much on screen at the time, it’s easy to lose track of new destinations or homes that pop up, but the minimalist UI and art style are great for keeping track of the status of it all. your buildings.
While I appreciate the real-world map system Mini Motorways uses, it has less than half as many maps as its predecessor, the Mini Metro. The mini-highway complements these 14 maps with daily and weekly challenges, taking key scenarios and adding different modifiers (like a bridge that costs twice as much as a lane, or starting your run with maxed auto lines in your inventory). However, these do not meaningfully add to the overall content of the game, especially when the rest of the feature set is similar.
Although it lacks content and features, Mini Motorways has consumed a lot of my gaming time since I downloaded it over a week ago. The simple gameplay, clear interface, and satisfying difficulty level made me say, “Just run it one more time” several times in a session before finally calling it quits. Mini Metro captivated me when it first appeared on iOS years ago and remains one of my favorite games to enjoy in short bursts, and I’m happy to add Mini Motorways to the same spin. that game.