Mini Motorways made its debut on Steam at the end of July, and will be coming to the Nintendo Switch next year, but it still feels absolutely like a mobile game at heart. Perhaps, though, I should correct myself there. It feels like a touch game at heart. This isn’t some in-app purchase driven knock-off, but a very smartly thought-out city builder that begs to be picked up and played, one which will undoubtedly find a very welcome home on the Switch.
Coming to Mini Motorways on the PC without having played it, or its predecessor Mini Metro, I was immediately struck by how clean and fresh it looked. I’m a sucker for good-looking art, and with Mini Motorways, where everything is fairly minimalistic, there is more than enough character to draw me in. I love the way the cities expand as the days and weeks tick by, but in such a subtle fashion that you don’t realise that you’ve progressed from managing the road network of a village at the start, to now trying to tame the sprawl of a megalopolis. A sprawl that is all your own doing.
Once a few in-game weeks have passed and your starting route between two houses and one work place has grown exponentially, it’s wonderful to take a moment to pause, delete your original road networks and create things afresh to best take account of how your city has evolved. A city that has evolved to grow around your roads, with houses sprouting in the most awkward of spots but able to be ignored. Meanwhile the new business that sets up on the other side of a river when you have run out of bridges to plop down will be what finally brings a game to an end.
It might not be your traditional city builder, and yes it might work best on a touch device, but Mini Motorways is a gem, and comes highly recommended.
Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you’ll know it’s Olympics time, and Team GB have Sky Brown competing in the park discipline. Today you can (nearly) emulate Sky with The Ramp, an indie skateboarding title from Paul Schnepf.
Unlike Sky’s adventures in Tokyo, The Ramp features vert skateboarding across a handful of locations, and that’s pretty much it. On the Steam page, Paul describes The Ramp as offering you 15 minutes of flow for “the price of a medium sized cinnamon pistachio latte”.
The Ramp is out right now on Steam, and I’ll be putting down the price of a fancy coffee for 15 minutes of flow.
Going Medieval, a colony builder set during the 14th Century, has had a phenomenal first week in Early Access, selling 175,000 copies. It’s a charming little game which I sunk a few hours into over the weekend, and came away with all of my ‘Sims and SimCity in the dark ages’ fantasies fulfilled. Well, this is a bit more hardcore than those two behemoths. and selling so many copies in the first week is a massive achievement. Hit the break for my hands on impressions.
Since Dorfromantik released into Early Access towards the end of March, I’ve been playing a decent amount of this village builder. When I brought word of Dorfromantik a couple of weeks ago, I described it as a peaceful stress-free game that sounded like bliss. After a few hours of play, it certainly is blissful, and wonderfully relaxing.
Over the weekend, the team at Toukana laid out their plans for their time in Early Access in more detail. The first phase will see a number of updates squashing bugs and improving general accessibility and usability, but the second phase is more interesting.
The second phase will comprise two content updates, the first will see a creative mode land which I am very keen to see, while the second update will add new biomes, tiles and challenges. The team are still planning a full release in mid/late 2021, and I’ll be looking to deliver a Verdict at that point.
Back in January we wrote about Commanding Nations, the Command and Conquer: Generals inspired RTS that had been in the works at Seven Volts for two-years before breaking covers in January. The team are still quite some way away from launching their Kickstarter, and are currently focused on building their community and getting news of their game shared through word of mouth.
Here I speak with Seven Volts CEO, Pourya Arami, about how the Seven Volts crew came together, their love of Command and Conquer and details of Commanding Nations itself. Hit the break for the full Q&A.
Have you ever thought about becoming a restaurateur, but feared Gordon Ramsey himself coming along, shout obscenities at you and filming an episode of Kitchen Nightmares in your own domain? Put those fears to one side as Dapper Penguin Studios (of Rise of Industry) have unveiled restaurant sim, Recipe for Disaster coming to PC later this year.
In these trying times, a relaxing city builder is just what we need. I reported on how I was put off by SimCity when returning a couple of weeks ago, but I think Dorfromantik might be more my cup of tea.
Launching into Early Access on the 25th MarchDorfromantik is a village building game based on placing hexagonal tiles to strategically grow your world. Take a look at the trailer after the break to get an idea of what it’s all about.
I’ve been looking at ‘Fights in Tight Spaces’, a tactical deck-building combat rogue-alike from GroundShatter and Mode 7 that has just hit Early Access.
The acronym FITS is maddeningly close to FIST’s which would be infinitely more suitable given the game, though swapping the S and T around does ruin the name- so I understand their reasoning. You see the name does exactly what it says on the tin, albeit a bloody, violent tin. The FITS acronym does open up some glorious options for alternative names such as the ones already mentioned in Week 129 of Our Week In Games here.
A more professional games journalist would leave that joke there and concentrate on doing the review. I am not a professional games journalist (but what makes a game journalist a professional? – Ed)……
I’m a big fan of the clean styles of Fights in Tight Spaces, and am really pleased to share the news that this card based fighting simulator has now launched into Early Access on Steam. Hit the break for the low-down of what to expect while Fights is in Early Access and a new trailer.