Title: Metro X
Designed By: Hisashi Hayashi
Art By: Ryo Nyamo
Published By: Gamewright
Player Count: 1-6
Time to Play: 20 Minutes
You've heard of roll and write games, but have you tried Gamewrights rail and write game, Metro X? Metro X is a quick, thinky game where 1-6 players work to fill in stations on their subway map. Players flip cards and work to complete as many of their subway lines as possible to score the maximum amount of points. As we live in NYC, this game really hit home with us with its theme, We actually played it for the first time sitting on top of the subway line that runs underground in the park near us. And the best part is, unlike the real NYC Metro, this game is clean and there were no delays (while we learned to play).
Metro X is super simple to learn and really quick to get from the box to the table. It also takes up remarkably little space so it is easy to play no matter where you are!
Give each player a reference card, a dry erase marker, and a player board. Decide if you want to play on the "Metro City" or the "Tube Town" side and have all players set their boards to the same side.
Shuffle the deck and you are ready to start. See I told you, set up was easy peasy.
How to Play:
Whoever most recently took a ride on public transit is the designated card flipper. As all players take their turns simultaneously there is no first player. Turns consist of three simple steps.
Have the designated card flipper turn over a new card from the top of the deck.
All players pick one of their train routes with an empty train car window and fill the space(s) according to the card revealed (more on card types in a minute).
Check to see if anyone completed a route and score points accordingly. In single-player games, always score's the higher amount of points. In multiplayer games, the first person to complete a route gets the higher number of points and anyone else to complete the route gets the lower number of points.
The game ends when players have filled in their last available train car window. At this point, scoring begins. Players will score points for completed routes and transfers (see card types below), and lose points for empty spaces. Whichever player has the highest score wins! In solo mode, use the guide on the back of the rulebook to see how good your score is!
There are four types of cards in Metro X:
Number cards - these are the most common. For these - fill in any empty window on a subway car with the number on the card and then cross out the corresponding number of spaces on that route starting with the most available stop. Either stop when you finish crossing out the total spaces allowed, hit the end of the route, or when you hit an already crossed-off station on that route.
Skip cards - these work just like number cards, however unlike number cards you do not need to stop if you hit an already visited stop, you just skip it and go on to the next most available stop on the route.
Transfer cards - fill an empty train car window with an X and then find the next empty stop on that train line's route and fill it with a number equal to twice the number of train lines that stop there. For example, if three routes intersect there, you would fill it in with a "6".
Free space cards - don't fill in a train car window, just cross off ANY empty space on your board.
Note: in the number cards, there is one "6" card that says re-shuffle. When that card is drawn, take the usual action, but rather than discarding it and flipping a new card. Shuffle the discard pile and the deck back together to make a new deck.
As mentioned above, the game ends when the last train car window is filled in. As you always have to fill in a train car window, even if you would prefer not to or cannot cross off any stations, everyone will end at the same time. Whoever gets the most points wins.
Metro X is a solid, small box game. As big fans of "blank" and write games, we were pleased with how easy Metro X was to learn and play. Although simple to understand, Metro X makes you work your brain to score the high points. It is a great mental workout, as you try to figure out how to optimize your routes depending on the numbers you flip.
As the numbers and the order change every game, each play is unique and you cannot rely on the same strategies each round. You need to adjust which routes you pick based on the cards that come up. With the re-shuffle element, there is never a guarantee that the card you want will ever actually come up, so it adds a good bit of mystery and fun that way.
Metro X plays very similarly solo or multiplayer, so for solo players that enjoy when games feel the same even when you play by yourself, Metro X is a great option! We have played quite a few solo games and it is a challenge to earn some of the higher-level titles, so you really have something to work toward.
We like that Metro X has dry erase boards, similar to the Qwixx Deluxe version as they are more reusable than a paper score pad. Yay, sustainability!
Overall, the game has a clean look and feel to it. The first time you look at the maps, it might take you a minute to get your bearings but once you have played a game it makes a lot of sense and is easy from that point onward. The routes even have unique patterns on each color so that player's who are colorblind can distinguish the differences too.
We really enjoyed Metro X and will definitely be continuing to get it to the table in the future. And for the price, you really can't beat it!
Pudgy Cat Games makes no profit off reviews. Should you wish to purchase Metro X, you can help support us by purchasing the game through our Amazon Affiliate Link below. It will cost you nothing extra, but will help support our site! More information can be found on Gamewright's website.