TableTopTakes: Metro X
We’ve been over this many a time. I like Roll and Write or Flip and Write games a lot. So when I saw a chance to pick-up Metro X, it seemed like a good idea. This is a flip and write game where you are building out metro lines, trying to complete as many as you can.
As you play this game, you are flipping over cards and filling them in on a bus line/subway line. For example, I flip a five and decide to fill in five spots on the blue line. I cross out that many spots and put the number five in the first open spot on the bus for green. This shows that I’ve filled in something on the green line once. I flip another card, it’s a four, I could fill that in on the purple line, but purple shares a station with green four spots out, and I already filled in that station, so I’d be wasting one if I filled in purple. So I put it in blue, and you do this until you have every spot on the buses filled in. There are some special cards as well, there’s a free space that allows you to fill in a spot, and there’s a transfer which scores you points for how many different lines come into that station. You get points for completed lines and for transfers, but you lose points if you have too many stations not filled in.
The game does one thing that I really want my roll and write games to do, and that is that everyone plays at once. I flip a card and everyone picks and fills in on their own sheet a line. Theoretically that could mean that everyone would make it identical, but the odds of that are extremely low. But I generally want my light games like this one to have little to no downtime.
Saying that, though, I do think you have some interesting decisions to make. Odds are you won’t fill in every station or get every route, so you need to play where and when you are placing on lines so that you aren’t cutting yourself short. I did not mention one type of card when I was talking about that, and that is the skip card. It allows you to start in the first available spot on the line, and then skip over a group of filled in ones to continue filling it. So you have decisions when you get that to see how much you can fill up, because the more you put in, the more lines cross, and the more likely you are to not be able to fill in the full number on the card flipped, hence wasting some.
I also want to point out the components for the game. They are really nice. It comes with dry erase markers which are nice, which of course means it comes with laminated or dry erase boards, so you don’t have to do that yourself. Or, you won’t run out of sheets as well if you don’t laminate. It also has an insert to keep everything sitting nicely, which it does. Overall, just well designed components for the game. The box might be a little bit large, but because of the insert, nothing rattles around.
Metro X is a very solid game. While I do think that there can be some interesting decisions in the game, it isn’t too difficult to teach or play. I think that will make some people believe that it doesn’t have decisions or that many hard decisions, but there are definitely a number in the game that I would consider tough as you try and optimize the puzzle, and I like that aspect of it and that aspect generally in games, easy enough to learn but interesting decisions.
Overall, I think that this game won’t be quite enough for some players, but a lot of people will enjoy it for how simple it is but for making them think. I like it well enough for that, and I’m definitely glad that I picked it up. The game looks nice, plays nicely, and is easy enough to learn and teach, and I think you need some games like that in most collections.
Overall Grade: B+
Gamer Grade: C+
Casual Grade: A
Have you played this roll and write game? What do you think of it?