Cities: Skylines is an open ended city building simulator released in March 2015 by Colossal Order. It is available on Microsoft Windows, OS X and Linux while an XBox One port is also planned. In the game start with a plot of land next to an interchange exit from a nearby motorway. The player proceeds to add roads and residential, industrial, and commercial zones. Providing basic services like power, water, and sewage. As the city grows, the player will unlock new city improvements including schools, fire stations, police stations, health care facilities amongst other things.
Now granted, Cities: Skylines didn’t have to stretch that far to beat SimCity for customer satisfaction. All you really needed was an expansive area to build in and support for customer content. A lack of always online DRM is a lovely bonus as well.
Much like their previous games Cities in Motion 1 & 2 Colossal Order actually built the game from the ground up with the intention of making it as modder friendly as possible. Skylines also works on a huge scale, you start off on a tile 2×2 kilometres, but can purchase up to nine of them expanding your city however you want to. With another mod you can actually unlock all potential tiles as well.
On top of all that though it’s also an insanely fun and addictive city building game. It’s great building and planning, rebuilding, replanning. In a situation that feels far more rewarding than SimCity.
Unsurprisingly one of the biggest challenges in the game are roads and traffic. It’s not just traffic congestion you need to worry about, it’s logical traffic routes for everything. From garbage collection to fire services there are a lot of vehicles needing to get around your city. Figuring out the best way to build roads and intersections will take time but is an incredibly enjoyable and satisfying experience once you crack it.
Cities: Skyline sold 250,000 copies during its first 24 hours after launch and approximately 1 million copies after a month. By the end of 2015, the game had sold 1.8 million copies. So not only did it receive great reviews from critics and players alike, it also sold really well too.
This game is an instant improvement from the much criticised SimCity. You could argue that this is the new leading man in city building simulators. It’s almost everything you’d want it to be, there will always be things to improve after all. But this game is what SimCity should have been, but where Maxis blundered Colossal Order benefit.
Overall Cities: Skyline is an addictive, surprisingly flexible game that is a lot of fun and has a lot of replay value. If for some bizarre reason you enjoy city building games but haven’t checked this one out yet, do so!