mini mortorways

Review: Mini Motorways brings frantic road management to the Switch

Whenever I find myself stuck in traffic, I always think to myself what I’d do if I could have the power to change things on a whim. Sure, having fewer cars on the road would definitely make it easier on everyone, but what about the paths themselves? Mini Motorways is a high score urban planning game that has you doing exactly that, with each level slowly growing and becoming more and more populated.

This core concept might sound daunting, but Mini Motorways takes things slow, easing you into its simple gameplay core loop until you’re ready for the big leagues, where you’ll be managing traffic in some of the most traffic-heavy cities in the world like San Francisco and Hong Kong. 

mini mortorways
A city can thrive thanks to an efficiently planned road system.

There’s never a dull moment in Mini Motorways and you’ll have to keep your wits about you as the clock ticks and more buildings start popping up. Whenever a new settlement appears, you’ll be tasked with providing it with a roadway to a major path before a counter hits max and the cars within are stuck for good. It’s hectic at times, sure, but it feels great to have a continuously more complex locomotion system going without a hitch.

It goes without saying that a game like this simply would not work if its interface wasn’t up to task, and thankfully developer Dinosaur Polo Club – what a name! – did an excellent job in not over-designing the controls in any way. It’s all as straightforward as possible and clear, having you pick different road types as your resources allow, which in turn become available the more points you score as time goes by in a level.

mini mortorways
Highways are key when trying to unclog your traffic in specific parts of the map.

Although a game like Mini Motorways might seem like a perfect fit for a mobile multi touch-based platform, it performs admirably on the Switch. Whether you’re using the single-input screen portably or the JoyCons, there’s hardly a moment where you’ll find yourself selecting anything other than exactly what you’re aiming at. That’s made possible thanks to the cartoony and simpler over-the-head map visuals that the game went with, which works brilliantly in providing a frantic but ultimately manageable pace to the gameplay. 

Mini Motorways is in many, well, ways, a terrific, truly addictive pick-up-and-play game for the Switch. Its fast-paced level structure and simplicity are incredibly well conceived and feel great to come back to time and time again. I’ve always been a big fan of management games in this style like Air Control, so having a spin like this to the formula is definitely up my wheelhouse and you’d be remiss not to at least give it a look.

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