02 January 2021
Here's what we thought of Metro X
Hisashi Hiyashi is a man who appreciates trains. His 2009 release String Railway saw players create evolving transit maps, forming rail networks by physically laying lengths of string on their dining room tables. His 2012 game Trains applied Dominion-style deckbuilding to its transit tycoon theme. And now he’s back with another take on public transport management.
This time, Hiyashi explores the theme through the currently hot medium of flip-and-fill, the card-based cousin of roll-and-write games like Ganz Schön Clever. Before you begin, you and your opponents each take a wipe-clean board with a different subway map on each side – a knotted, twisting sprawl reminiscent of underground systems in cities like London, New York or Tokyo. On each round you reveal a card from the top of a shared deck showing a number, using it to fill in stops on one of your lines, indicating that one of your trains has passed through.
What makes it tricky is that the tracks criss-cross, intersect and run parallel with one another at different points on the map, and filling in a station can create bottlenecks on different lines, slowing your progress as you attempt to connect starting points to destinations and fill in more gaps than your opponents.
It’s not without its appeal, but it doesn’t feel radically different from the spate of similar pen-pushing games released in recent years. And if you’re in the market for some flip-and-fill fun, neighbourhood-building game Welcome To Your Perfect Home is still the best first stop.
Designer: Hisashi Hiyashi
Time: 15-20 minutes
This review originally appeared in Issue 44 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.
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