Cities: Skylines is a city-building simulation game. Its goal is to develop a city, not only from the urbanistic point of view but also along with all the services required. In this respect, you are a sort of city major in charge of administering such areas as public transportation, health care, employment and pollution control. Unlike other games, there is not an actual story behind it.
This is not an easy game to play; not so much because of its mechanics as the use of effective strategies. So, it is excellent news there is a special game mode that lets you forget about the budgetary restraints and focus on the building process. On the contrary, if you think that the normal mode is too easy, it is possible to move to a harder mode instead. Unfortunately, the available tutorial leaves a lot of unanswered questions, so you need to find your way by yourself most of the times.
The game’s interface is quite easy to understand. Much of the space is devoted to displaying the city and its people. Likewise, there are filters that allow you to visualize specific data, such as those of public transportation, property values and pollution levels. Similarly, some buildings are signaled with icons indicating specific problems, for instance, when a house needs repairs or a business lacks customers.
Just like other similar games, you start with a small plot of land and a given amount of money. From then on, it is for you to decide what to do without neglecting any of the infrastructure that makes a city work. As you create lodging and services, you see more people wanting to move in to your city. There is a wide range of types of buildings available as well as services like airports and subway trains. However, not all of them are available from the start. In this respect, you need to reach a certain level for them to be at your disposal.
The game has very realistic graphics with a lot of details. In this regard, there is also a powerful artificial-intelligence engine working “under the hood”. The city looks almost like a real city, with people commuting and walking their dogs. As a result, the game is quite demanding as to hardware resources, for instance, mainly graphics cards.
You get much information in the form of statistics and charts. Besides, there is a sort of Twitter sim that shows comments by the city inhabitants. If you do not pay attention to numbers and comments, your city can become ruined and people may move to somewhere else. However, it would be good that beginners could receive more explicit tips about what is going wrong and how to solve the issues.
All in all, Cities: Skylines is my favorite type of game. It requires a lot of planning to succeed but it is also very time-consuming. The product is available for various platforms and there are also multiple expansions that add more specific scenarios, like facing catastrophes.