Mini Motorways is the Best Game on Apple Arcade
I’ve always been a ‘sweaty’ gamer, focusing the majority of my playtime in competitive first-person shooters. Never in a million years would I have believed I’d be spending more time drawing roads on my iPhone and iPad than battling it out against fellow shooter fans online. But here we are in 2019, and I’m starting to realize why I never became a civil engineer.
The Apple Arcade made headlines with it’s intuitive ‘every screen’ approach to gaming. You can play over 100 games on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, and TV via Apple TV. It was a bold approach, daring to push the limits of what mobile gaming has been known for. Doing away with in-app purchases and annoying ads, Apple aimed to set a new bar in mobile gaming that focuses on what really matters — playing games and actually enjoying them.
There are a tremendous amount of excellent games on Apple Arcade, but one game in particular has really grabbed a hold of my very being. It’s spoken to what define me as a gamer. It’s gripping, demoralizing, hypnotizing and enthralling, all at the same time. It’s made me scream for joy, it’s made me consider throwing my devices, and I couldn’t be happier. The greatest game on Apple Arcade is Mini Motorways.
Created by Dinosaur Polo Club, creators of the runaway hit Mini Metro, Mini Motorways continues to capitalize on Mini Metro’s success by allowing players to create and manage popular public transit systems, although this time they’ve traded train stations and metro lines for cars, highways, and bridges.
The game starts off slow, giving you one building and one house to manage the traffic for, but quickly picks up the pace as the randomly generated assets begin to litter locales such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Moscow. House and building types are segregated by color — yellow houses produce yellow cars which need to visit yellow buildings. You’ll start off with 20 road tiles to construct your new city’s roadway, then on a seven day cycle, you’ll be given 20 more road tiles plus a choice between two items, including stoplights, motorways, and bridges.
The randomness of this is where the game truly shines, as some games that I played allowed me to feel comfortable while others had be wishing and hoping for a particular item. For example, one game in particular started me off with my my buildings and houses pretty close, so I didn’t really need a lot of tiles, and by week 2 I has already amassed more than 45 road tiles. Another game seemed to taunt me by placing multiple houses and buildings across a waterway, where you need a bridge or a motorway in order for your cars to travel. And you guessed it, I had neither.
Each time a car visits a building counts as one car making a successful voyage. Plan your routes efficiently and you’ll continue through the weeks as your city grows and your score (total number of cars traveled) climbs. Plan poorly, and your magnificent civil engineering efforts prove futile and your game ends due to your cars not being able to visit a building fast enough.
This controlled chaos is what keeps me coming back for more torture. The beautiful, simplistic graphics coupled with a soothing, hypnotic soundtrack add to the allure of this insanely-addictive time waster. Mini Motorways is like a good movie — you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll throw your phone in complete and utter disgust, only to pick it back up moments later and try again.
Give it a shot, my current best on the Los Angeles map is 721.