This Friday we’re reviewing my current favorite city builder, Cities Skylines. This game out just under a year ago so it is also our newest city builder. First up ambiance!
For my city builder reviews I play the game for roughly and hour and see how far I get. This is however not the first time I’ve featured this game here. A while back I was playing on a map named after me that AKiss4Luck built: Raerei Cove.
So at the beginning (unless you play in sandbox mode) you can do only two things. Place roads and zone. I like to place roundabouts. Because….roundabouts! (You can make them one way – this one isn’t).
Wind power and water are the next two steps. As long as buildings are close together they’ll share power and water. (The blue zone beneath the power plant and houses show where the power will be shared. If they’re far apart, you’ll need to set down power lines to connect them. You can bulldoze them later.
Water requires pipes which also have an area of effect. But you need to place the intake and the disposal. Both need to be in water and you don’t want your intake sucking up the dirty water. . . it will get dirty and your people will get sick. I put them on opposite sides of the map.
True, the graphics aren’t as wow as the most recent SimCity, but it has a certain kind of charm close up.
The details are there, they’re just not as shiny. I mean, I want two yakisoba shops in MY town!
There’s a semi-annoying Twitter feature that showcases a similar humor to SimCity2000, having folks tweet that they’re on vacation and will someone water their plants…the key is under the map. It is fun, but it can feel noisy.
This game is very modable – you find new buildings if you’re tired of yakisoba. Or even build your own custom parks. There are mods that allows you to zone into first person mode, mods that shut up the twitter bird, mods that affect traffic, mods that affect terrain…cuz yeah – you can build your own map.
Back to the game at hand. Both industry and water produce visible pollution, the wind turbines and roads produce noise pollution. All of this makes your people more prone to illness. You can see the area of effect for noise pollution when you set down the turbine. Any people within the larger orange circle will be negatively affected by the noise.
There are three kinds of industry in this game. General, farming, and forestry. General industry can go anywhere. The darker green ground back by my turbines and industry shows where forestry would be good and there’s a yellow-green color when farming soil is good in the front.
Once I unlocked zones I changed my industry to forestry. For zones, you draw little blobs on the map and then can set policies, rules, and even traffic laws per district.
My thinking here was that Sycamore Park in the back (now forestry) would be my industry. The city center would eventually change out to commercial and services, and Rosewood is my residential. At least for this area of town. When I expand into the neighboring areas, I might make a nice farm behind this town.
In my hour of playing I made it to “Tiny Town” with a population of 1,110. Here you can see that I’ve unlocked parks! and policies. I can set smoking bans or pet bans in my districts these have positive and negative affects on taxes, population, and happiness. I also just unlocked the high school.
Here’s my city near the end of the hour.
Nothing is breaking too badly yet, although the 3k treasury is a bit of a worry, I had to wait to place the last wind turbine until taxes came in and that left a few folks without power for a while.As always there is a lot more to this game. And in the case of Cities Skylines a lot more is a LOT more. Cemeteries, unlocking the neighboring squares, setting up subway and bus schedules…I could set up bus routes all day.
Overall, I find the SimCity games very “mayor-centric” and they seem to focus on making you feel good as the mayor. You get to build a mansion and the folks address you by name when they have issues. Here it’s a little more focused on policies and routing. Did you want a comic comparison between the features of the New SimCity and Cities: Skylines? I do honestly like SimCity a lot. But it’s good to know your strengths.
Oh – and there’s a new DLC coming to the game soon as well…Snowfall. Yup – they will have weather.