## Mini Metro Analysis

*Mini Metro*is a strategy stress-management game about designing a subway map for a growing city. The game begins with three stations, one of each of the three primary station types: Circles, Triangles, and Squares. Each commuter wants to go to one of these types of stations. The player draws lines between stations to efficiently move people from point A to point B. New stations appear periodically that the player must add to the rout. Occasionally a unique ‘special’ station will appear, which will require commuters to travel throughout the city to reach it. The game ends when a station becomes overcrowded for forty seconds. Using a stopwatch, I have recorded the timestamp and type of every station that appeared during my playthrough (see accompanying excel sheet). Note that, since the times were recorded by hand, there will be a margin of error. This study is over

I found that a new station appears, on average, once every 20 – 30 seconds. There were a few outliers, however. The time between stations 20 and 21 was only 10 seconds, while the time between stations 24 and 25 was a whole minute. To the right is a graph of the number of stations that appeared over time. On average, the time between each station’s appearance is monotonic, establishing a baseline for constant increase in difficulty.

I found that a new station appears, on average, once every 20 – 30 seconds. There were a few outliers, however. The time between stations 20 and 21 was only 10 seconds, while the time between stations 24 and 25 was a whole minute. To the right is a graph of the number of stations that appeared over time. On average, the time between each station’s appearance is monotonic, establishing a baseline for constant increase in difficulty.

Building from its stable baseline of difficulty,

*Mini Metro*’s default map, London, to bypass any biases present in more specialized cities.I found that a new station appears, on average, once every 20 – 30 seconds. There were a few outliers, however. The time between stations 20 and 21 was only 10 seconds, while the time between stations 24 and 25 was a whole minute. To the right is a graph of the number of stations that appeared over time. On average, the time between each station’s appearance is monotonic, establishing a baseline for constant increase in difficulty.

I found that a new station appears, on average, once every 20 – 30 seconds. There were a few outliers, however. The time between stations 20 and 21 was only 10 seconds, while the time between stations 24 and 25 was a whole minute. To the right is a graph of the number of stations that appeared over time. On average, the time between each station’s appearance is monotonic, establishing a baseline for constant increase in difficulty.

Building from its stable baseline of difficulty,

*Mini Metro*creates its difficulty curve by congesting the city with many of the same types of stations. As seen with the red and pink lines above, large areas with the same type of station can pack the line’s trains because a large quantity of people need to travel a long distance. Square stations, not to mention the unique stations, are much rarer than Circles or Triangles. In fact, Circles consist of half of the total stations. Triangles account for half the number of Circles, 25%. And again, the total number of Squares is half the total of Triangles. The final half-quarter consists of unique stations. These proportions give the game’s stations a balance with one another, even when there are a much greater amount of Circles in the city. There are 5 special stations that appeared in my playthrough. Their station numbers are 15, 22, 25, 22, and 35. The first special station to appear was the star, it was the 15th station to appear and occurred at the five-and-a-half-minute mark. From that point, the number of stations appearing between each special station alternated between 6 and 2, meaning that a special station appeared at every number that ended with a 5 or a 2. If this trend continues indefinitely, special stations would approach 20% of the total stations. This steady increase of unique stations is designed to stress the player’s metro system over time until they lose the game.

As opposed to

As opposed to

*Mini Metro*’s gradual increase in difficulty in the late game, the early game experiences a much higher difficulty curve. Before the first unique station’s appearance, or the five-and-a-half-minute mark, many stations of the same type were created back-to-back. Two pairs of Triangles, two pairs of Circles, and a string of 5 Circles occur within the first 14 stations. Before the unique Star station appears, there are 8 Circles, 5 Triangles, and only one Square. At this point, the player is really stressed trying to funnel commuters into the only square on the map. Only until after a special station appears does the player receive a second square. After the special station’s appearance, stations of the same type rarely appear back-to-back. By restricting the player’s access to other Square stations,*Mini Metro*effectively introduces the player to the unique station mechanic before they appear in-game.