Cities: Skylines is the newest city simulator that seems to have been making a splash recently. It has been called, “The game that is better than SimCity,” or, “The Game That is SimCity If SimCity Was Good,” or, “The Game SimCity Would be If EA Didn’t Screw Up.” Whatever people were saying about it, I wanted to try it. Thanks to a gracious benefactor I was able to experience this game first hand.
Now I’m not 100% went wrong with SimCity, I only paid a bit of attention to it. I guess biggest gripes were online only, small cities, the fact it’s on Origin. Well Colossal Order, the developer of Cities: Skylines, came along and decided they wanted to make their own city simulator. They have a couple of games under their belt, Cities: In Motion 1 and 2, but this game is the first one they’ve made that you can actually build the city. An ambitious project for a reportedly small developer.
So how is the game? Well, I’ve only put several hours into it but so far I would say it is good fun. At first glace it is a beautiful game (see the screen on the left). It plays a lot like SimCity. You’ll build roads, put down zones for residential, commercial and industries. You’ll adjust taxes and all that jazz as well. But what does it better than SimCity? I can’t say for sure with my limited time with the game. From what I understand you can get pretty detailed with the road layouts. The game puts a large emphasis on traffic flow and being able to direct the flow of traffic efficiently around the city. You can also paint different districts in your city and apply different polices to each of them. It’s also got a lot of mods in the steam workshop.
In my playtime, about seven hours according to steam, I spent three years trying to dig myself out of a $7,000 hole. When I first created my city I neglected to check the wind graph. I built some wind turbines in a non windy area so I ended up with a lot of blackouts. I was also spending a lot of money on water which ended up making me go into debt. Through some strategic budgeting I was able to get out of the hole and I’ve got a pretty sizable city now. Who knows where I’ll go from here but this is definitely a quality game that I’ll keep playing.