This spotlight is all about Dinosaur Polo Club, an indie game dev duo who made the hit game Mini Metro. Released on Steam almost three months ago, the game has received a favorable score of 80/100 on Metacritic.com, garnered positive reviews from the likes of Rock Paper Shotgun and Kotaku, and is a finalist for four Independent Games Festival awards this year. They’re currently working on a mobile version of the game.
In Mini Metro, you run a public transportation network to connect passengers to their desired stations. The catch? You don’t get to control when or where the stations pop up, or the types of stations they are. Luckily, you don’t have to deal with bus vs tram vs train vs subway – it’s an all-in-one package.
But don’t let the visuals and concept fool you: It is actually a very complex game. Besides being a strategy simulation game, it’s also a puzzle with a time bomb. Stations are represented by different shapes, and passengers assume the shapes of the stations they try to get to. You get a limited number of spaces in the station queue, and once you go over the limit, a timer starts counting down – if you reach the end of your timer, it’s game over for you. There are a lot more rules that make the game challenging, satisfying, and incredibly addictive, but I won’t go into that here – you should really just try it yourself! (Psst: They’ve got a demo!)
One thing that’s cool is the ability to choose either a train or a shinkansen in the Osaka level. The only gripe I had with the game was its lack of Interchange upgrades in the Hong Kong level, as there’s actually a few huge stations built as an interchange hub here.
Mini Metro may be their only game so far, but I’m definitely looking forward to their mobile version of the game and whatever else they produce in the future.