Metro Simulator 2 review for Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox, PlayStation

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Platform: Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, PS4, PS5
Publisher: Ultimate Games
Developer: KishMish Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Ultimate Games have been responsible for porting a lot of pretty subpar job simulators over to the Switch. Games like Demolish & Build Classic, Motorcycle Mechanic Simulator 2021 and Pocket Fishing are, without hyperbole, some of the worst games on the system, full of bugs and dull gameplay that make you wonder why anyone thought they’d be a good fit for the Switch in the first place.

But as bad as they are, Metro Simulator 2 represents a new low. Somehow, it’s not just worse than all those other terrible job simulators, it’s so bad that it laps them many times over. It’s probably the absolute nadir of the genre, which should tell you something when you consider how bad those games listed above are.

To be fair, I should acknowledge that I didn’t get much beyond Metro Simulator 2’s tutorial level. It’s quite possible the game turns into the greatest thing ever once you get to the second track. I mean, the game’s description on its various storefront pages even brags about featuring “24 stations, various tunnels and objects inside them.” Maybe those objects are mind-blowing incredible, and this whole thing is a sneaky prequel to the Metro series. Both are set in some version of Russia, right?

But the reason why I couldn’t get much beyond the tutorial is why I’m skeptical that happens. See, Metro Simulator 2 is both densely impenetrable in terms of what it asks of you, and, possibly, completely broken. It drops you into a tutorial that supposedly shows you how to make each train move, except…well, it doesn’t.

First off, the text on the screen is tiny. Like, I was practically putting my face against the screen to read what some of it said, and even then I still didn’t get it all. Similarly, the game asks you to flip lots and lots of itsy-bitsy little switches, and it doesn’t allow you to flip them unless your cursor is right on top of it – there’s little leeway to flip in their general vicinity, and the game doesn’t allow you to use touch controls. (You can zoom in, but then the camera crawls across the screen at the slowest pace you can imagine.) And then, to top it all off, you reach a point where you literally can’t click anything: there’s a red arrow pointing to a giant crank, except the crank doesn’t move regardless of where you press, which means you’re out of luck.

And not just out of luck for the tutorial, either – you’re effectively shut out from the rest of the game. I tried going back and redoing the tutorial, except I found it was gone as an option. I was allowed to try my hand at the first level, which was a repeat of the tutorial, but it was here I learned that Metro Simulator 2 is strongly opposed to holding your hand in any way: all those switches you had to flick in the tutorial? You better have memorized the order in which you flicked them, because you need to do it in the exact same order once again. And, of course, once you pass the point where the tutorial stopped working, you’re on your own entirely. You could, in theory, check YouTube for a walkthrough, but the one or two I found showed people having similar issues – and while it was kind of hilarious to hear someone get more and more frustrated with how unresponsive the game is, it hardly suggests that the game is in a playable state.

All this is without even getting into how well Metro Simulator 2 runs on the Switch – which, too, is a point against it. While I obviously didn’t see many of those “24 stations” the game promises, I did see that loading screens took several minutes to load any time you started running a scenario. I also saw that the developers apparently tried compensating for the weaker Switch hardware (since the Steam page is full of complaints about the game barely running on midrange PCs) by dialing down the graphics, which wasn’t the best idea, since this meant that the text occasionally borders on the illegible – and seeing as this game has a lot of text, that’s a huge negative.

Is Metro Simulator 2 the worst game on the Switch? It’s quite possible. There’s a lot of shovelware to be found in the eShop, and I’ve only played a fraction of it, but there’s a strong argument to be made that Metro Simulator 2 might be the worst of the bunch.

Ultimate Games provided us with a Metro Simulator 2 Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.

Score: 0.5