The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza Spotlight: Mass Transit

It’s quittin’ time in the Big City, and rush hour is about to begin! It’s up to you and your team of urban planners to get all these Commuters home to their families. You will need to skillfully work together to construct transit routes out to the Suburbs, but City Hall bureaucracy limits how much you can help each other! If you can manage the red tape, and your team works like a well-oiled machine in getting everyone home, you will ALL succeed at Mass Transit!


Designed by Chris Leder (who also designed Roll for It!) and Kevin Rodgers, Mass Transit is a limited communication, lightweight cooperative game in which you are working together to expand various commuter lines (bus, train, and ferry), to get 6 meeples from their jobs in the Big City to their homes in the suburbs, while having to contend with traffic stops and dead ends. It’s quaint, it’s charming, it’s addicting.

Mass Transit is a lot of firsts for Calliope Games: our first cooperative game, our first game with a solo mode, and, believe it or not, our very first game with traditional meeple tokens! Can you believe that? I almost didn’t, and had to go through the components of each of my game boxes to confirm. But yes, indeed! (And when you back the Kickstarter you’ll receive stickers to customize your meeples!)

If you’re hoping to learn a little more about Mass Transit then look no further! Well, okay, you can look further on this page. That’s where the information is. But you don’t have to go further than that!


Mass Transit Rapid Rundown:

Mass Transit plays with 1-6 players in about 20 minutes. Players will set up the Big City board and place the 6 commuter meeples at the 6 starting locations. Everyone then draws 4 cards. Each round, players will take turns playing at least 2 (but more if you would like) cards to either extend a route, or discard a card to move a meeple to the next station.

Extending a route: 

Six transit routes lead out of the Big City toward the Suburbs. When you first play a card to start a route, place it to extend the road, canal, and rail lines on one edge of the Big City board. You can then play later cards next to either the Big City (to begin a new route) or an existing route (to continue it). The colors of the cards don’t need to match and most likely won’t! The focus is on getting the meeples further along the track via the stations on the cards.

Moving meeples: 

In order to move your commuter meeples towards home, you must first discard a green walk card to have a meeple walk from the big city to the first station. After that, you can discard a card in your hand that matches the color of the route you want to take. So if you want your meeple to head home via train, you will need to discard one red train card to move your meeple from one station to the next. If there are cards in between with no stations to stop on, it looks like that train is going express!

Traffic, Dead End, and Urgent Cards: 

Of course commuting is never as easy as hopping on a train and going home! You’ll be facing Traffic Stops that require you to stop along the route before you reach the next station, requiring you to discard another card to get moving again; Dead End cards that force you to walk to a different method of transportation; and Urgent cards that must be played before your turn is over (unless you’re able to get your last meeple home). How your team handles these cards can be the key to your success. 

Getting home: 

Suburbs cards are the ending points for your commuters. Each Suburbs card shows a number (3 or 4) just above the house icon; this number represents the minimum number of cards that must be placed between the Big City and that Suburbs card. Once your team has played that many cards, you can play a Suburbs card to end that commuter line. You will still have to discard a card to move the meeple home. If you can get all 6 meeples home, congratulations! You win the game!

Limited Communication: 

Bureaucracy is a real pain! Even though you are all working together, you may NOT tell other players exactly what is in your hand or where you will play on your next turn. You can discuss the current map on the table and say vague things like, “This could be a great express route” or “I can’t wait to ride the train!” to get around the red tape; however, you can never suggest what actual cards to play or what the next move should be. How well do you and your team really know each other?


Mass Transit is coming to Kickstarter as part of The Calliope Game Night Extravaganza! on November 10th, 2020. You’ll be able to get 3 fantastic card games that scratch three different itches, and together make for one incredible game night. You can check out the Kickstarter page here to be notified when the campaign is live, and if you want to talk more Mass Transit you can follow the game on Board Game Geek.

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