City-building simulators have a new mayor in town
£22.99 Developer Colossal Order, colossalorder.fi
Requires OS X 10.9, 3.0GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, see website for graphics cards
SimCity was the undisputed king of city builders, but there’s a new contender to the crown. Cities: Skylines has incredibly deep, engrossing mechanics capped off byt stunning presentation.
There are so many things to manage in Skylines, with budgets, taxes, resources, transportation and pollution just a few of them. The game unlocks more mechanics as your city grows, so you aren’t immediately overwhelmed if you’re new to the genre. You’ll place a few roads and set up districts for housing, industry and retail. The more you build, the more people will flock to your ever-growing city, and you’ll have to support the citizenship with hospitals, schools and parks. You’ll have to manage the flow of new traffic through road planning and public transport. Good planning requires patience, and if you expand too fast you’ll run out of money and resources quickly.
A social media feed keeps you updated with how people are doing, a subtle way to keep the player informed without over-explaining things or hand-holding.
Skylines breathes new life into the city-building genre with intelligent, satisfying systems that suck you in.
Whether you zoom in on an individual resident or out to see the scope of your creation, Skylines’ presentation shines, with sights and sounds that make cities feel alive. There wasn’t a moment when it didn’t look fantastic, and aside from one quickly-solved technical hiccup, it ran beautifully too.
Intuitive, addictive building
Huge plots of land
Trouble sources can be unclear
Citizens will tweet gratitude at having a fire department to rescue cats from trees.