Metrum is a card game based on the London Underground where each card is a station and the aim is to collect sets of stations on the same Tube line.
- Iconic Design: Based on the London Underground tube map
- Classic Gameplay: Easy to learn how to play as based on Rummy, but with a twist
- Special Cards: Drivers and Ghost Stations are cards with special abilities
- Strategy v Luck: You can choose which cards to pick up on your turn
- Advanced Rules: You can play with advanced rules that allow you to take cards from your opponents’ hands.
The current aim is to launch funding to produce MetRum on Kickstarter. It will be available to back from 1st-30th November 2016 only. I’m trying to raise awareness before the launch, so if you like the game please feel free to share via social media buttons at the bottom of the page, and any publicity will be very much appreciated. Click the follow button on the bottom right of this page to receive an update when the project is live on Kickstarter and you can back it.
The station cards in MetRum have icons based on Harry Beck’s classic Tube map design. There are 10 lines represented with connection stations and single stations on each line.
MetRum is based on the gameplay for Rummy (and Rummikub) where you collect sets or melds of cards, play them to the table and aim to be the first player out by having no cards left in your hand. The game mechanics are set collection and hand management. In MetRum you have to play a minimum of 5 melds before you can go out.
Melds consist of a sets of cards. A line meld consists of 3 or 4 cards all on the same line, where at least one card must be a single station, such as the Victoria line and Metropolitan line melds shown below.
A cross-line meld consists of 4 or 5 single stations all on different lines. You can play multiple cross-line melds as long as each line only occurs once across all your melds. You could play both cross-line melds shown below as there are no duplicate lines across both melds.
You get one point for each line on every station card played in a meld. You get 3 additional points for going out by using all the cards in your hand, and players with cards left in their hand score minus points for those cards.
There are 6 Driver cards which represent the diverse population of London. Driver cards are wild and count as any single station on any line, but you can only have one Driver card per meld. They don’t score any points, but they enable you to play melds more easily. Driver cards score -3 points if they are left in your hand when someone else goes out.
Ghost stations are stations which are abandoned or no longer in use on the London Underground. They count as normal single stations on the line that they are on in any meld. Ghost stations score 1 point if they are in a meld and -3 points if left in your hand at the end of a round. There is a special Ghost station meld described in the advanced rules section, which is why there is a penalty for having Ghost stations in your hand when someone goes out.
Strategy v Luck
In traditional Rummy you are limited to either picking up the top card of a face down deck or picking the top card from the discard pile, which means that to a large extent, whoever wins or loses is largely determined by the luck of the draw. In MetRum players have a choice of cards to add to their hand which makes the game more strategic.
The main method of drawing cards is to draw from a selection pile of 4 cards. You can pick one connection station, one Driver or up to two single stations (a Ghost station counts as a single station). In the example above you could pick up either Elephant & Castle or Waterloo, or you could pick up both Brixton and Fulham Broadway. Alternatively you can also pick up one random unseen card from the top of the stack.
The advanced rules allow you to take or swap cards with opponents when you have played melds to the table. You can only have one instance of taking or swapping cards as part of your turn.
If you play one meld, you can choose an opponent and choose a card from their hand blind (without seeing their hand). You then have to give them a card of your choice back in exchange, which can be the card that you have just taken.
If you play two melds on your turn, you can take a card blind from one opponent as before, but you don’t have to give them a card back.
You can also play a meld of any 3 (or 4) Ghost stations regardless of which lines they are on. If you play such a meld you an look a one opponent’s cards in their hand and choose one to add to your own hand, without having to give them one back either.
At any time during your turn you can add a card to any existing meld on the table, both your own and your opponent’s melds. If you add a card to an opponent’s meld it will count towards their score.
You cannot play another meld after swapping or taking a card from another player.