This document applies to Beta 14, available as Early Access on Steam and standalone downloads on Humble Bundle. For the rules for the last Alpha release, see Alpha 13b rule book.
The following is intended to document all aspects of the game and be accessible to first-time players. Reply below with any suggestions or corrections. Also available on the Steam Community.
The goal of this game is to transport as many passengers as possible as quickly as possible by building and managing subway routes and appropriating resources, and avoid overcrowding at stations.
“Commuter” is the normal mode. All general (non-mode-specific) rules apply.
“Scenic” is the endless mode. The mode-specific rules at the end of this document apply and prevail over the general rules.
- Return. Click to access the pause menu. The game is paused when in pause menu.
- Total passengers delivered in this game. Serves as your score.
- Clock. Displays time of day and time of week. Black between 6 PM and 6 AM, white between 6 AM and 6 PM, red when paused.
- Game speed control. Click the clock to bring it up. From top to bottom: pause, normal, fast. Click the appropriate button to change the game speed; or, press Spacebar to pause (when on normal/fast) or unpause to normal speed (when on pause), or press the left arrow key to switch from fast to normal or from normal to pause, or press the right arrow key to switch from pause to normal or from normal to fast.
- Hud panel. Click, drag up or hover your cursor on the dotted line at the bottom of the screen to open it; or, press the up arrow key. Click or drag down the dotted line to close it; or, press the down arrow key.
- Lock. Hover your cursor on the dotted line to make it appear. Click it to lock the hud panel; or, press the up arrow key when the hud panel is raised.
- Remaining trains and cars. To put a train or a car on a route or train, drag the appropriate icon on the hud panel and drop it on the desired route or train.
- Routes. Big colored dot - route in use. Small colored dot - route available. Small grey dot - locked route.
- Remaining tunnels.
If you enter the pause menu when the game is paused, selecting “Resume” and returning to the game will not unpause it; otherwise, the game will resume at normal speed.
All actions can be performed on pause, unless you are in the pause menu.
There are four types of stations:
- Square - fewest on the map, fewest entries, most exits;
- Triangle - moderate amount on the map, moderate entries & exits;
- Circle - most on the map, most entries, fewest exits;
- Unique - each station has its unique symbol. Circle or triangle stations may turn into unique stations.
At the start of a game there are 3 stations: a square, a triangle and a circle. Stations spawn randomly on the map as the game progresses.
Passengers spawn at each station at a rate determined by the type of the station (see above), the time of day (peak/off-peak), the station’s proximity to the center, and game progress (more frequently as game progresses). Each station spawns passengers traveling to every type of stations excluding its own. Except in the case of unique stations, where passengers designate a specific unique station at which to exit the system, passengers just want to go to a type of station, and are OK to exit at any station of their type.
A passenger is represented by a symbol identical to the type of station (or the unique station) the passenger is traveling to at the upper right corner of the station s/he is currently at or the train car s/he is currently in, and disappears when s/he reaches the desired type of station / the desired unique station and exits the subway system.
Passengers take into account distance, train crowdedness and transfers to decide which route(s) to take and where to make transfers.
The game starts with 3 routes available, but more can be unlocked. The total number of routes varies by map.
To open a route, click and hold a station and drag to the next station on the route, and then connect additional stations if needed. When done making the route, release the mouse. A train will appear at the original station (the one you clicked on to initiate the opening process) and proceed to serve the route, first running towards the second station on the route. If you have no trains left, the route can still be created, but with no trains running; trains may be added later.
The terminals of a route have T-shaped handles that can be used to edit the line. To extend the line, click and drag a handle to the next station (or stations in sequence). To remove a terminal (or the last/first few stops) from the route, drag the handle at that side over the station (or stations in sequence) to be canceled.
Loop routes can also be created. To create a new loop, follow the directions to open a new route, except that after including all the stops on the route, drag the cursor back to the originating station and release. To convert an existing route into a loop, drag one of the handle over stations you may like to add, and then to the other terminal and release.
A loop route only has 1 handle. To break a loop, grab the handle. The “handled” station will now be a terminal, and the last station added to the route that is adjacent to the terminal will now be the other terminal. You can now edit the end you are holding as you wish, and/or drop this end and edit the other end.
To add a station mid-route, click and drag the segment between the two stations that you want to add the station between to or through the station to be added. To cancel a station mid-route, click and drag the segment immediately before or after the station through the station to be canceled. You can add and/or cancel multiple consecutive stations in this manner.
When a station spawns on a existing route segment, it will be automatically added to that segment.
Whenever you grab a route for edits, or click the route dot in the hud panel, the stations on that route is highlighted for your reference.
After an edit, if there is a train running on segments that are no longer part of the route, they will continue running on the old route to the point where it and the new route meets, and then take on the new route. A train will reverse at the next stop if the point of merge is behind the train. If a route with no trains is edited, and a free train is available, it will be automatically put on the route.
To cancel a route, cancel all stops except a terminal; or, click the corresponding route dot in the hud panel, and then click the X button that appears. Any train running on it will proceed to the next stop, drop off all passengers, and disappear, and the train and any cars appended to it will be returned. If there is a route with no trains when a train is returned, the train will be automatically put on the empty route. When all trains have been returned, the route slot will be freed. If the route does not have any trains when canceled, the route slot will be freed immediately. Before the route slot is freed, you can use it to open a new route, but no trains will be running on it until the route slot is freed.
Rules for Routing
As part of the minimalism features of this game, a link between two stations can only be either:
- A straight line segment in one of the eight directions (north, south, west, east, northwest, northeast, southwest, southeast); or
- A combination of exactly two (2) line segments, each fitting the description in Paragraph 1, connected at one end of each with a bend of 45 degrees.
If a station is exactly in one of the eight directions of another station, then the link between these two stations will be a straight line segment; otherwise, Paragraph 2 above applies, and there are two possible track placements, absent other restrictions. You can choose between the two by forcing the line to come out in one direction as you draw. Turns at stations must be either 0, 45, 90, 135 or 180 degrees. A 135- or 180-degree turn is a sharp turn, and is rendered as such.
Each of the eight directions of a station have three platforms for tracks. The first route to be drawn coming out at that direction will occupy the center track, and additional routes in that direction can use the two side tracks. After the three tracks are used no route can be directed out in this direction. Note that a handle counts as one track.
No two routes may cross except at stations they both serve, or immediately before or after such stations.
Certain routing causes a route to pass through a station it does not serve. Such a route is said to bypass the station on the lower level, and it is made clear by special rendering of the route at the station. Bypassing routes do not use platforms at bypassed stations, and therefore may run directly under another route serving the station, causing the former to be obscured. Note that crossing a route at a bypassed station is prohibited by the preceding paragraph.
A route can have up to 4 trains. Each train car holds 6 passengers. Trains run in one direction until reaching a terminal, and then reverse. Trains on a loop run forever in one direction. Trains make all stops except that a stop is skipped when:
- The route does not make a sharp turn at the station; and
- The station is not a terminal of the route; and
- No one on the train wants to get off at the station; and
- At least one of the following conditions is met:
(a) No one at the station wants to board the train; or
(b) The train is full.
Trains take time to accelerate and decelerate, and have a maximum speed.
When a train is put on a route, it will appear at the location of the cursor, and will run towards the station on the route closest to the cursor. Dropping a car on a specific train will put the car on that train. Dropping a car on a route will put the car on the train nearest to the cursor. All cars board and alight simultaneously.
To relocate a train or a car, drag it to the new location. You may use it to move a train or car to another route, or move it somewhere else on the route and/or change direction. The moved train or car will run to the next stop, drop all of its passengers, disappear, and reappear at the new place.
Any two trains on a route (except trains running in opposite directions on a loop) will be kept a distance no less than 1/3 of the route length automatically: if a train is too close to the train ahead when it makes a stop, it will be held until the distance requirement is satisfied.
A tunnel is used every time a route crosses a river, even to connect two stations on the same side of the river, provided that no more than one tunnel is used between two consecutive stations. If one way to connect two stations involves no tunnels, and the other includes a tunnel, then the use of the second way of routing is prohibited.
The initial number of tunnels at the start of the game varies by map. When an edit eliminating a tunnel is made, the tunnel is returned. Tunnels are called “bridges” in some maps.
The clock in the top right corner keeps track of the time of the week. An in-game day lasts for 20 seconds. A game starts at 12:01 am on a Monday (but the clock does not appear until noon). Every Sunday at midnight you will be given a train (called a “locomotive”) and an asset of your choice. Two choices are given from the following 3 (the choices offered each week are random):
- Line: Unlock another route. Will not appear after all routes are unlocked.
- Carriage: 1 car.
- Tunnels: 2 tunnels.
If a station holds more than 6 passengers a countdown clock of 47 seconds will start at the station. A game ends when any station’s clock expires. The clock does not run when a train is stopped at the station. Once a station is no longer overcrowded, the countdown clock will recover at a rate of 1 s / s. It will disappear when it fully recovers, but if the station become overcrowded again before that happens, the clock will start running at the current state. Note that the on-screen progress circle takes 45 seconds to fill up, so the countdown clock expires 2 seconds after the circle fills up.
You will be able to convert an ended Commuter Mode game to a Scenic Mode game, at which point you will be awarded budget increases for efficiency milestones achieved in Commuter Mode.
Accelerated Start is an option available from the Options menu.
In Scenic Mode, the game never ends, even if a station is overcrowded. No station accumulates more than 8 passengers: when a station reaches 8 passengers, no new passengers will appear, and passengers alighting there for transfer will disappear. Instead of the total passengers delivered in a game, the game displays an efficiency score, which is the number of passengers delivered in a day (7-day rolling average). Instead of weekly, a budget increase occurs when the next of a series of efficiency milestones is achieved. The progress towards the next milestone is displayed as a pie chart next to the efficiency score.