¡Ay Metro! is a game for Android from RevArts Gaming that aims to give players a taste of what like is life traveling the busy Metro systems in Mexico City. It's a game designed specifically with the Spanish speaker in mind and it's a blend of different mini-games that rely on touch, balance and more to deliver a variety of gameplay experiences that kids and big kids will both find appealing. You collect Metropesos throughout your journeys on the Metro and these can be spent to purchase characters and items to customize your own platforms, giving the game a nice level of personalization to work with. The game has been nominated for best Mexican Game of 2014 and if you read on you might see why that is.
To get started, you'll need to download ¡Ay Metro! from the Play Store which does cost $1 USD but this does mean there are no ads, and then you're ready to 'Jugar!'
¡Ay Metro! throws you right into the action, giving you the opportunity to play a variety of mini games one after another. You'll be given an introduction to each game before you play it. This version of the game reviewed here has Christmas-themes in it, but newer versions will feature different character designs and such.
This game asks you to move your device to keep the sleeping man both upright and awake so that he doesn't miss his stop. This was one of my favorites and it's a nice way to show the fun and light-hearted graphic style at work here. You keep on playing these mini-games in succession until you've lost three tickets on your journey.
When you complete a mini-game successfully, you're earn some Metropesos for it. Speaking of tickets, there's a mini-game that asks you to balance an old man's ticket into the machine, another fun use of balance using the accelerometer in your device.
Losing this mini-game is a fun example of how Latinos often get excited and angry with people for not pulling their weight, it's quite funny I thought!
After a little while playing the mini-games, you'll be given an introduction on how to use Metropesos.
For the most part, Metropesos are used to purchase characters and items to personalize different parts of the 'estacion' giving the players an opportunity to create something of their own.
If you do end up losing three tickets during your time on the Metro, then your game is over and you'll be given a report on how you've done, but you can easily just play again.
Now, I'm not Spanish – that much is probably apparent – but I have been spent time with Latinas and Latinos and I even lived in Spain for a little while. This is also perhaps one of the first games I've reviewed in Spanish exclusively. I know a little bit about Hispanic culture and while my Spanish isn't perfect, I was able to follow along with much of the instructions and text in ¡Ay Metro! However, I would have liked to see an English option, if not just to further the appeal of the game. After all, busy public transport at the heart of a City is a universal annoyance all over the world. As for the game itself, I enjoyed the mini-games and it was nice to play something that took advantage of all the different controls on my tablet; it used touch, balance and more to create a complete gameplay experience that I'm sure a lot of players will find good fun.
- Speed (4/5) – ¡Ay Metro! ran fine on my Nexus 9 and the pacing is bite-sized and accessible for all ages.
- Features (4/5) – A solid collection of mini-games that are a lot of fun, if not a little repetitive over time, ¡Ay Metro! has a lot on offer and shouldn't be overlooked.
- Theme (4/5) – I liked the fun and light-hearted art scheme throughout ¡Ay Metro! and it definitely put a smile on my face, and I can see little ones learning how to speak Spanish to enjoy something like this.
- Overall (4/5) – A nice selection of mini-games that all come together to offer a fun and exciting gameplay experience, ¡Ay Metro! is well worth taking a look at, especially if you're looking for a game designed for Spanish speakers first and foremost.
- Good variety of mini-games here, with many of them using different controls available on a modern smartphone or tablet.
- Fun art scheme is playful and a nice breath of fresh air from games that try too hard to be super-precise 3D recreations.
- Excellent to see a Mexican game like this creating something fun and engaging for the Spanish-speaking audience.
- ¡Ay Metro! has a personalization aspect that gives players the chance to build something fun for themselves.
- Higher-resolution assets would look better on tablets and the latest smartphones.
- English option would be nice for players like myself and Spanish users that want to practice their English, but I hear that is coming in an update.
All-in-all, I had a lot of fun with ¡Ay Metro! and while my own Spanish might not be the best, I did enjoy the game. It's sort of like a Mario Party game for Android, channeling the frustration that Mexicans have with the bustling Metro system, the mini-games are varied and all come together to offer a game with a nice mix of styles that will keep you on your toes.