Playtime: 20 Minutes
Choo choo! Have you ever dreamed of designing a subway route? Well, maybe not. That’s okay though because Metro X turns the whole subway planning thing and makes it a lot of fun.
How To Play
Metro X gives every player a whiteboard with a subway map on it and a dry erase marker. The 15 Transit Cards are shuffled, then the game begins.
A card from the Transit Card deck is flipped at the beginning of the turn. The card will usually display a number, which indicates how many spaces a player can fill on a subway route. Everyone’s map has multiple routes with even more stops. These routes often share stops. Every space on a route is filled with an “X,” when filled. Players will try to complete as many routes as possible before the game ends, but they can are limited in how many times they can use each route.
While it sounds to easy to move along routes, the stops intersecting will likely cause issues. For example, if a five is revealed in the Transit Deck, players can mark five spaces unless they encounter an “X” that was crossed off from a different route. This is even more impactful since most routes only allow two uses before they close up. A few cards change up the game a bit. Some cards allow you to continue through stations that have already been filled. Others give free spaces. Players can’t count on them coming often though, so they will need to plan accordingly.
A game of Metro X ends when all of the available uses for each route are filled. Players will earn points for every route completed. They will earn bonus points if they finished the route before any other players. Players are also penalized for every empty station on their map. Whoever has the most points wins.
Pacing And Interactivity
Metro X allows all players to make their moves simultaneously. Because of this, the game moves at a great pace and doesn’t any downtime between turns. Turns are short, and most of the time spent throughout the game is just thinking. Metro X is great for those who don’t like waiting much, but it is also a great game for a room full of thinkers. The cards indicating what’s next for players introduces a lot of luck into the equation, which will prevent perfectionists from spending too much time on a turn. There just isn’t any point in having action paralysis knowing that the next turn can completely throw a wrench into everything.
Metro X isn’t at all interactive though. Players can’t attack or help each other. Instead, they will focus on their own networks. Players who like interaction might feel turned away from the flow of Metro X. The lack of interactivity isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does feel like everyone is playing a game of solitaire. In fact, there is a solo variant where all the rules are the exact same, and the only thing that changes is the scoring at the end.
Metro X varies greatly from game to game, and it encourages multiple playthroughs. The whiteboards are also double-sided, giving players two maps to choose from before starting the game. The random nature that the Station Cards bring ensures that the game feels fresh, even with multiple playthroughs. It does go further than other roll and write games.
Those who like pushing their brains will get more playtime out of Metro X. The single-player mode in particular has plenty of replayability. The drive to get a high score will motivate solo players to do their best. Unless the player is a genius, it will take some time to master Metro X.
Theme and Components
Metro X doesn’t use a lot of fo components, but it still looks great. The whiteboards that players will plan their routes on looks just like a subway map. It’s a simple but effective aesthetic that really brings the theme together. The map is easy to read and allows the game to be simple to follow. The cards look like subway stops. Everything is just cute and looks fantastic.
The components themselves are all fine. The cards are of average quality and the whiteboards and markers are what you would find in most tabletop games that utilize them. Metro X doesn’t feel cheap, and the experience is a good value when you consider the price.
Metro X Is Great For Fans of…
Fans of games that include route-making will certainly enjoy Metro X. Those who enjoy games like Power Grid or Ticket To Ride will enjoy planning out their subway routes in Metro X. Fans of Roll and Write games will also have a good time with Metro X. Those who just like planning things out will want to check out this game.