My town is far too small for a subway system, and so I’m often overwhelmed by the complexity of metro stops when I’m visiting a big city. It’s not hard to get lost or turned around, particularly in stations where multiple lines cross on several levels. StationFlow breaks the overall design of subway stations down and illustrates how they wind up being the labyrinthine warrens they sometimes become.
StationFlow, which is currently in early access on Steam, starts you off fairly slowly: one platform, and one set of entrances and exits. Your first task is to get these all linked up so that people can get into the station and onto a train, or off a train and out of the station.
Subway passengers largely being people like me, they’re liable to getting lost, particularly as your station gets larger and more complicated. A big part of playing StationFlow winds up being putting up appropriate signage and information placards so your crowd of colourful little train people can find their way to where they want to go.
As time goes on and your station gets busier, you’ll unlock new things to put in your station and new entrances and platforms to link up. Passengers will need washrooms, vending machines, escalators, and tickets.
If they go too long without seeing a sign reassuring them that they’re on the correct path, they’ll get frustrated and angry, and your station will lose points on its grade for the day. But the more people you can guide through your station, the more money you’ll make – giving you the funds necessary to dig more tunnels and hook up more lines.
While it’s not made by the same developer, StationFlow could easily be considered a companion piece to Mini Metro, which uses the distinctive iconography of subway maps as the basis for an interesting and similar design puzzle. Design your rail routes in Mini Metro, and then build the stops in StationFlow.
StationFlow will be leaving early access April 15, and DMM Games says it will be adding a host of new features when the launch date arrives. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve played so far, so consider this a friendly PSA to give it a peek.