Tag Archives: City Building

Cities Skylines review

There’s phenomenal complexity to Cities Skylines. From building residential, commercial, industrial and office zones, connecting them all up with power, water and sewage, then linking them via road and ensuring they’re catered for by police departments, fire departments, hospitals and schools. Of course, on top of all of that you need consider future expansion, traffic management, pollution from power plants and industrial zones, and the cleanliness of the city’s water source. Indeed this is a micromanager’s dream and a very well-crafted city building sim to boot.

Fortunately, for those who enjoy the genre, this is precisely the kind of tasks and complexity you’re looking for from these kinds of titles, and the enjoyment and immersion is through the roof, monopolising your time and gripping you entirely. It is, however, an experience of trial and error in the early game, as you figure out how all the systems fit together and how best to build your bustling metropolis.

The aforementioned complexity can mean myriad of problems, can hurt your city in its infancy, and some design choices to facilitate this console version can exacerbate these problems. It’s all too easy to suffer unknown problems that drain your funds, prevents districts growing, or poisons your people, and it’s hugely frustrating to not find the cause until it’s too late, or even not find it at all.

Cities Skylines

This is due to the city status screen not drawing your attention to certain issues, with the onus on you to check the Inspector tab frequently in case something occurs. Meanwhile, some problems, such as poisoned water sources, point you to the problem but not how to fix it, failing to show you where and why a water source is compromised. Largely this is a UI issue with the Xbox version hiding the Inspector tab, however, with some practise, it becomes easier to diagnose a problem in your city and plan around it. As frustrating as it may be to be building up a small town after hours of work only to have to start again, this trial and error process results in your ability to build a much better city, and indeed this is a big part of the fun.

Cities Skylines

Understanding the complexity of it all becomes challenging by satisfying quests, and the payoff of a large, self-sustained city is a superb prize in the end. You can then start to experiment and building different kinds of cities; different shapes, different sizes, with different policies. And it becomes hugely compelling. And while the UI can make troubleshooting city issues a little tricky, it’s otherwise a well-designed system for the gamepad. Large icons make up the different building categories at the bottom of the screen, selectable through the D-pad, with population, money and city name below them. Meanwhile, the rest of the screen is dedicated to the city itself, allowing you to move the camera around freely, zooming in and out to see the streets alive with pedestrians and vehicles.

Unfortunately, there are some technical limitations with this version, with the ability to accelerate time entirely removed, making the early game extremely slow paced. As your city increases in size and more and more demands are asked of you, the pacing kicks into gear but the early game drags. Additionally, the busier your city becomes, the more hazardous zooming in becomes, with your frame rate taking a huge hit as industrial zones kick out more smoke, more traffic swarms your roads networks, and even the lights of the city as the sun sets. Keep the camera back a bit and the frame rate remains reasonably stable.

Cities Skylines

There’s no denying the compelling nature of building and maintaining your own city, and Cities Skylines is an exceptionally enjoyable title with a huge range of possibilities to explore. However, once the challenge of the early game is overcome, the late game can feel far too easy and inconsequential. Managing the many aspects of your city becomes less of a chore once the cash starts rolling in, in Cities Skylines, and while the included After Dark DLC adds some nice considerations and differences to how your population acts in your city depending on the time of day, it’s crying out for something more akin to the PC version’s natural disasters expansion. Still, Cities Skylines is a rare example of the city building genre on consoles and its transition to the platform, while not perfect, brings with it all the enjoyment of its PC brother.

Thanks to Xbox and Paradox Interactive for supporting TiX

Cities: Skylines coming to Xbox One this spring

Publisher Paradox Interactive have today announced that Cities: Skylines, the hugely popular PC city management game, will release for Xbox One this spring.

Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition will be ported by Tantalus Media and optimised for play on a controller, allowing you to build and manage everything from small towns to sprawling metropolitan cities. Along with the core Cities: Skylines game, the Xbox One Edition will also include Cities: Skylines – After Dark, the game’s first expansion, which adds tourism and nightlife options to the feature list.

Paradox is a company that’s proud to publish and support ‘niche’ games, and we’re happy to be able to bring those specialized experiences to console as well.

said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive.

Cities: Skylines has built one of the biggest and most active communities we’ve seen among Paradox’s fans, and that’s saying a lot. We can’t wait to welcome Xbox One players into that group, and I’m eager to see the towns and cities they can build.

Some of the features we can expect to see in the Xbox version will be:

•Build the city of your dreams: Plan road networks, bus lines and parks. Bring on a smog-filled industrial revolution or create a quiet beach town ideal for tourists powered by renewable energy. Bring education, healthcare and safety to your citizens. Build it your way!

•Multi-tiered and challenging simulation: Playing as the mayor of your city, you’ll be faced with balancing essential requirements such as education, water electricity, police, firefighting, healthcare and much more, along with your city’s economy. Citizens within your city react fluidly, keeping you on your toes with ever-evolving demands.

•Extensive local traffic simulation: Managing traffic and the needs of your citizens to work and play will require the use of several interactive transport systems – use careful road planning alongside buses, trains, subways, and much more.

•Districts and policies: Be more than just another city hall official! Create a car-free downtown area, assign free public transport to your waterfront, or ban pets in suburbia.

Team 17 to publish Aven Colony on Xbox One

I’m a big fan of management titles, so the idea of managing a new colony on an alien planet, as is the premise of Aven Colony, sounds right up my street.

And fortunately, Team 17 will be publishing Mothership Entertainment’s colony building management sim on Xbox One in the second quarter of this year.

Set on Aven Prime, an alien world of deserts, tundras and wetlands light-years from Earth, Aven Colony is a rich simulation of an extra-terrestrial colony. Build, customise and maintain your settlement, manage your resources, encounter a variety of alien life forms and look after your citizens – all while dealing with the challenges of life in an entirely new solar system. Will your plucky settlers survive and prosper on this exotic alien world, and uncover its many secrets?

Featuring a dedicated mission objective system which gradually introduces colony management during the campaign mode, Aven Colony welcomes and enables both novice and experienced players alike to acclimatise to life on Aven Prime. Advance from Colony Governor through the ranks to achieve the prestigious title of Expedition President. There’s also an in-depth sandbox mode with a variety of unique maps to choose from and a full suite of options to customize the game experience.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to partner with Team17 and bring Aven Colony to PS4 and Xbox One,

said Paul Tozour, founder of Mothership Entertainment.

Team17 shares our values and our passion for serving the customer. The itch.io beta has helped our tiny 4-person team engage with the community and grow the game significantly as we build toward some big new features we plan to unveil in the coming months. The Team17 partnership will help us grow that community even further and allow us to serve console customers in a way that we could never have done alone.

Debbie Bestwick, MBE, CEO of Team17 added,

The talented team at Mothership Entertainment have been incredibly focused on delivering a solid, fun and unique city-building experience with Aven Colony. As we continue our global expansion, we’ve spent a lot of time looking for the right partners and they’re definitely the right fit so we’re delighted that they are the second US team to join Team17’s games label. We’re excited to work with them and contribute our wealth of expertise in bringing the game to PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, as Mothership Entertainment have created such a fantastic game that deserves to be shared far and wide.

Constructor HD coming next year

Cast your minds back 18 years and you might recall a city building management game created by System 3 called Constructor. It was a popular title, especially on PC, with a wonderfully unique personality that set it apart from the likes of Sim City.

Well next year, the long rumoured Constructor HD will see a release, and it’ll be hitting Xbox One.

Back in the day, the PlayStation release saw a lot of compromises to get the title to work on the platform. The PC version’s online features weren’t present, the visuals were knocked down slightly, loading was lengthy, and the save file filled an entire memory card. These are issues we won’t be seeing with Constructor HD, hopefully.