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I have always been a fan of city simulation/building games. As far as I could remember, the first city building game I played was Pharaoh. That game was awesome at that time and I spent hundreds of hours on it over the years. Then a lot city simulations came into play with one from Maxis which is SimCity.
The most recent and probably the best city-simulation management game out there at the moment is
Cities Skylines. It is the best because of it’s support for modifications and regular updates. SimCity didn’t have that much of a support for their gamers that’s why when Cities Skylines came out with mod support, people started rushing in and ultimately built a community full of support and mods, all free to download.
Cities Skylines has been released backed in March 11th of last year and I could still remember the excitement I had days before the release especially with all the other gamers out there posting gameplay footage on YouTube. I know it’s already late for a review, but I would like to share my thoughts on the game as well.
Cities Skylines Review
Cities Skylines is a city-simulation/city-building/strategy game developed by Colossal Order for Paradox Interactive. They are also behind the game series Cities in Motion. Paradox has been around since 1999 and has been publishing games mostly focused on PC-based strategy games. The company is based in Sweden. Check out their website here.
The goal in Cities Skylines is to build a city from scratch to hundreds of thousands of populations. It is more of a sandbox game and the missions/goals in the beginning of the game are population centered. You need to reach a certain amount of population before the next building/additional land/achievements can be granted. Aside from the population goals, there are no other specific missions in playing the game making it quite boring when you’ve gotten the hang of it and have established a steady income.
It is easy to start earning in the positive once you’ve had all the basic needs and a lot of residential housing available. Commercial and Industrial will follow and like in reality, keep your industrial zones away from the residents and place them near the highway to avoid clogging your streets with big trucks.
Traffic, traffic, and more traffic
Speaking of streets, traffic in this game is the real challenge – like all the other city-building games out there. When you start out, you are presented with a few options which are needed to establish a small community. Two-way roads are immediately available for you to start connecting to a highway and you can quickly zone your roads.
Sure you’ll get confident and say, “The traffic here is really is to manage” and then you look at your population which is less than a thousand. The real traffic challenge starts to creep in when you reach a population of more than 12,000. This is going to get even more difficult or frustrating especially if you have a mod that disables despawning. By default, vehicles in Cities Skylines will automatically despawn/disappear if they don’t get to their destination for a specified amount of time. This means that if traffic is blocking the way to their destination and it is taking a lot longer than usual to reach that place, they will somehow vanish into thin air.
You can spend all your hours fixing your traffic or you can make your city grow and become even bigger. There are a lot more to Cities Skylines than just the traffic you know. Once your city grows, more roads and buildings will be available. This can then broaden your options give you more room for creativity and management. Some advice to free up traffic is to create roundabouts and multiple exits/entries into areas of your city. Traffic Management is fun but it can also tax a lot of your time and when you look at the time again, it’s already been 4 hours already.
The graphics in this game is alright. I say alright because I wished it would be as good as the SimCity graphics but I guess you can’t have everything. It isn’t as smooth as I would like it to be and it looks very cartoonish and unrealistic especially the tint of the colors. They are so bright making them look like plastics. The cars look like toys instead of being cars. I don’t know why I don’t like the graphics that much but maybe it’s because I loved the graphics and the details they’ve put into SimCity 2013, a game I really liked before Cities Skylines came along.
Overall, playing this game would with the current graphics wouldn’t bother a lot of people. The assets were well thought of and are creatively designed.
Sound and Music
The game has a great soundtrack, fits the game very well. The background music is like a symphony of achievements waiting to happen. The sound effects are noticeably nice and responsive. They try to make it as real as possible.
The game’s mascot provides all the humors with the updates you get when one of your citizens have something to say. It’s like a Twitter feed for Mayors with hashtags and funny quotes. Other funny things you will find in this game are the glitches which seem funny when you see them happen.
Unfortunately, the game has no multiplayer and I don’t think it’s going to be added to the game. Trading with other mayors would be nice and fulfilling.
If you love city building/strategy games then this game definitely fits your profile. You won’t regret buying and playing this game for the price it offers. There’s thousands of gameplay content you can experiment with and it never ends. Your creativity will be your limit and your limit will be the annoying traffic you just can’t seem to figure out.
Recently, a new expansion for Cities Skylines has been announced. This first expansion After Dark was a success because of the new features it added to the game especially the option of having night/day in the game (previously only daytime was available). The new expansion called Snowfall is all about, you guessed it, SNOW.
There are a few prominent features added to the game like weather effects for winter, rain, and fogs. With weather effects, there is a new need for heat during winter which can be remedied by building new pipelines for heat to travel in. It’s just like the water pipes, heck, water pipes can be upgraded to also deliver water and heat as well combining the two into one.
There will also be extended options for public transportation like the tram. The tram has been heavily demanded by fans and players of the game for some time resulting in its addition to the game.
With winter comes other problems as well but the expansion comes with solutions too. There will be snowplow depots which you can build and road maintenance workers which you can employ.
And as an added bonus, Chirper will have new hats and new tweets as well. Nobody can make this game funnier than Chirper. #FreetheBird
You can watch the release trailer below and I’ve also gotten some screenshots from Paradox’s website.
The game is due for release on February 18, 2016.
© Paradox Interactive
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the giveaway. Just follow the instructions below for your chance to win a Cities Skylines copy on Steam. If this giveaway goes well, I will be giving away a copy of the Snowfall expansion as well so stay tuned.
Winner will be announced on YouTube during a gameplay of Cities Skylines Snowfall expansion. Subscribe to Notes on Hobbies on YouTube to know if you won. Click here to go to the channel and click Subscribe.
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