Mini Motorways (Switch) – Review
Follow Genre: Puzzle game, sim game
Developer: Dinosaur Polo Club
Publisher: Dinosaur Polo Club
Platform: PC, Switch, Apple Arcade (iOS)
Tested on: PC

Mini Motorways (Switch) – Review

Site Score
Good: Simple but very addictive gameplay mechanics
Bad: Soundscape is very bland
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Imagine a game where you’re tasked with managing traffic jams. Probably doesn’t sound like a good time, right? You can probably imagine our expectations for Dinosaur Polo Club’s game Mini Motorways weren’t exactly very high when we read the game’s premise. Our opinion changed rather quickly once we actually got to grips with the busy streets and bustling traffic that Mini Motorways had to offer. Read on to find out why Mini Motorways should find a shortcut to your games library.


Who needs a story when there’s traffic to direct? Mini Motorways doesn’t waste time setting up any sort of narrative. Upon starting a new game, the basics of gameplay are explained and the game expects you to figure things out for yourself from there. This is a game that is simply about directing traffic in the most efficient way possible and improving your own high score by doing so.


We weren’t impressed with Mini Motorways’ visuals at first glance, but the minimalist art design quickly grew on us. The game mimics the design of modern real-life traffic maps, using a minimalist art style with bright colors. Not only does this look sleek and elegant, but it also fits the game’s mechanics to a tee. An added bonus is that because the game makes use of deliberately simple visuals, it isn’t too taxing on the Switch either and performance is buttery smooth. Our praise of Mini Motorways’ graphics doesn’t end here either, as it turned out that there were options present that allow customization of the visuals as well. There is a color blind mode, which is a godsent for players that are visually impaired as a lot of the game’s mechanics is based around colors. There’s also a night mode -comparable to dark mode on your phone- which turns the background black. A cute touch here was that when the game switched to dark mode, it made the cars turn on their headlights.


Given that Mini Motorways was originally designed as an Apple Arcade title, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that not a whole lot of thought was put into Mini Motorways’ soundscape. The background music fits the atmosphere but it only provides the bare minimum. Likewise, sound effects are bland and underwhelming, and eventually drown out the music. The overall lack of thought that was put into Mini Motorways‘ audio is not necessarily a bad thing because it means you’re not missing out on anything important if you’re just turning off the sound entirely and listening to your own music of choice while you’re playing the game. That said, sound design is probably the one area of Mini Motorways where we’d say there is room for significant improvement.


A simple idea executed well is often all you need to create a fantastic video game, and Mini Motorways is a perfect example of this. The core mechanics are easy to pick up but they are implemented in such a clever way that the end result becomes nothing short of addictive. Your task is to manipulate the flow of traffic in the most effective way possible by drawing roads between buildings of the same color, on a series of maps based loosely on real-life cities. As you do this, more buildings appear on the map, and as long as they are the same color, connecting them is easy enough. Eventually, new colors start to pop up, which also need to be connected, and before you know it, you’ve created a massive network of roads. You only have limited resources at your disposal, however, so you’ll need to act accordingly and your roads will inevitably intersect, which brings additional challenges. You can’t just create separate road systems for each building color and instead need to ensure that any traffic problems that arise are dealt with. In order to overcome these, you’ll need to make clever use of items like traffic lights, bridges, roundabouts, and tunnels. We could go on and on about the mechanics as there are a lot of very subtle nuances to Mini Motorways’ gameplay, but in all honesty, the game’s beauty lies in how intuitive it is, and it’s best experienced for yourself how elegant the game plays.

The description above actually makes Mini Motorways sound far more complicated than it is in practice. Don’t get us wrong, there is plenty of challenge to be found here, but the game’s level of difficulty lies in the puzzles themselves rather than in figuring out how everything works. Mini Motorways itself is intuitive and incredibly streamlined. You can control the game with classic button controls, but it’s completely playable using the Switch’s touch screen too -which shouldn’t come as surprising given that the game originated as an Apple Arcade title. We were initially worried that the game would quickly grow stale or that there wouldn’t be enough content to keep us coming back, but things like daily challenges kept us motivated to become better at Mini Motorways and ensured that we had something to work towards -as well as increase the game’s replayability and longevity. There are online leaderboards as well, but given the scores reflected there, we still have some work cut out for us if we’d want our name to appear at the very top.

The elegant gameplay mechanics, intuitive controls, and clever level designs all come together to create a game that is accessible yet challenging at the same time, and it’s difficult to find anything wrong with Mini Motorways…. Except for the price point of the Switch version, that is. The game is included in an Apple Arcade subscription, so it’s hard to compare pricing here, but the €14.99 Switch port of Mini Motorways comes in at nearly double what it costs on Steam. While we’re certain you’d be getting your money’s worth out of the game in terms of hours logged, we can’t help but feel that the Switch port feels overpriced, given the inherent simplicity of the core mechanics. We’re absolutely nitpicking here as Mini Motorways is a great little game, but if your gaming budget is tight, we’d understand if you were to hold out for a discount on this one.


If you have an Apple Arcade subscription, then you should be playing Mini Motorways already. The same goes for those that play on Steam, where picking this one up should be a no-brainer. The Switch version is a bit more difficult to recommend, but that is only if you’re having difficulty stomaching the price point. If you can get past that, Mini Motorways is nothing short but an essential addition to your library. It’s sleek, addictive, and most importantly, incredibly fun.

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