In Metro X: The Rail and Write Game, players strategize to visit as many stations as possible on the Metro City or Tube Town rail map. Every player starts with a dry-erase copy of the same map, and as each transit card is turned over, players have to choose which rail car window to fill so that the designated number of stations of the car’s line can be claimed. By the end of the game, only the most incredible luck will allow all stations to be filled in, but there is a penalty if too few are filled. The player with the most stations, bonuses, and transfers and the fewest penalty points wins.
On first play, sorting out number cards skip cards, transfer cards, and free spaces can be a bit confusing, and early turns feel random. But play quickly becomes clear and subsequent games swiftly turn competitive. Each game is unique, and the best outcomes are only possible by the perfect combination of luck and strategy. Remarkably, no two cards ever seem to end up identical, even though all players have the same layout and follow the same transits. Once the rules are mastered, game concept is simple, and luck plays enough of a role that even younger players can fare well.
Metro X is great for a quick play (or two or three) on a family or friends’ game night, or for some quiet but fun analytical time in solo mode. We also enjoyed working collaboratively — instead of attempting to win, we debated the best routes to take to maximize the scores. It’s an entertaining exercise — Metro X may have a limited map, but game play is truly unlimited.
Emily Crawford ©2020 Parents’ Choice
Emily holds a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Duke University and a Master’s in computer engineering from Georgia Tech. She is a homeschooling parent and lives with her husband, three children, five cats, and thousands of LEGOs in Blacksburg, Virginia.