Cities: Skylines (PC) Review

By David Lovato 20.03.2015

Review for Cities: Skylines on PC

City-building has been a popular sub-genre of simulation gaming for a long time. Reaching as far back as Utopia in the '80s and made popular by games like SimCity, it's difficult to imagine what a new entry into the genre could do that hasn't been done before, but developer Colossal Order has decided to throw its hat into the ring anyway with Cities: Skylines.

Beginning a game of Cities: Skylines can be overwhelming for newcomers to the genre. Those familiar with city-building games will probably find everything they are looking for exactly where they would expect, but for everyone else, there is a series of tutorials to show them around. It's a lot to take in; not out of place or overly complicated, just a learning curve that might be steep to fresh faces. Fortunately, things are explained well enough to get going, and the rest can be learned by doing. Cities: Skylines leaves players to their playground, setting up roads and "zoning" areas for either housing, commercial, or industry. New zones are added later, as are several other features, like districting (setting certain zones to focus on things like forestry or farming).

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines on PC

From there, things are smooth. New features unlock with each population milestone, like adding bus lines, adjusting city-wide (or district-wide) policies, erecting new buildings, and so on. There's very little grind-time; gamers always have something they can be doing while waiting for the population to reach the next milestone, and there are three speeds included to make the game world go by quicker for those moments of downtime or money-collecting. Strategy plays a key role in building and road placement, keeping citizens happy, avoiding pollution, and keeping the electrical grid running. The latter is one area of criticism; in-game decades can go by without a problem, and then a building or even entire neighbourhood will suddenly have no power, despite all aspects of the user interface claiming they should. Whether this is a glitch or something just not explained well isn't clear, but adding another power source or running more lines from old ones is a good enough temporary fix. Another issue is that metro and bus lines can be quite finicky, not placing where they should and sometimes getting stuck in weird, inefficient loops, but for the most part things go where they are meant to with little struggle on the part of the player.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines on PC

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It doesn't necessarily offer a lot that won't be found in other city-building games, but what it does offer is an open, friendly play-world where gamers can do what they want and have fun doing it. Cities: Skylines doesn't push its audience around or ask too much of them - where similar games might have forced online connectivity or reliance on fussy AI, Cities: Skylines instead opens its arms and asks players to come in, call the shots, and have a blast.


Colossal Order


Paradox Interactive





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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