Cities: Skylines - Nintendo Switch Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Wes Maulsby 25.01.2019

Review for Cities: Skylines - Nintendo Switch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cities: Skylines was originally released in 2015 by Paradox Interactive, and quickly achieved critical and commercial success with ports to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One releasing in 2017. With the Switch version, this is now portable, which comes with new opportunities for players to take on the role of mayor from anywhere, while also introducing some new challenges that the game and system do not always meet.

The gameplay chops of Cities: Skylines has never been in doubt. This city simulator strikes a keen balance between players managing their cities on both a macro and a micro level. The macro side of things includes all of the bells and whistles expected from a city builder: land usage, power, water, districts, economics, education, healthcare, police, etc. There is nothing lacking from this aspect, and it is able to deliver each of those experiences with refinement and detail. For this Switch version, this game makes use of HD Rumble in order to help players find that perfect placement for key buildings throughout their cities. As with any other simulation of this type, careful planning early on will not only save players from a lot of headaches down the road, but will be crucial when the cities begin their growth more up than out. Mastering early game placement is the only sure way to lead to late game success.

While the macro side of things is all well and good, where Cities: Skylines truly shines is on the micro level. Management of roads, traffic and the various means of transportation within the city are what elevate this title above the competition. Public transportation, in particular, is a key strength, as the level of detail it provides will be crucial for any aspiring city magnates to be able to push their creation from a smaller town to a sprawling metropolis. Mastering bus routes, tram lines and taxi services early on will lead to further late game transportation and allow players to most effectively propel their cities into the stratosphere. These sort of small scope details are where the greatest strength of this title lies, and any players wanting to see the end game for their city would do well to get the hang of them early on.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Nintendo Switch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Being released three years ago, there has been quite a bit of additional content released for Cities: Skylines in the form of several expansions. Two such expansions come built into the Switch version, After Dark and Snowfall. These expansions add content and difficulty to the game from the outset. City building has more options thanks to the leisure experiences added in After Dark, as well as a day-nigh-cycle which can be turned off for newer players. Snowfall added an additional set of challenges in the form of winter, and the need for heating elements. Water pipes and homes will need to be monitored and upgraded so as to not succumb to the bitter cold, but the proper management of these systems is what is going to separate the novices from the pros. Botching the cold weather management will cost players financially and will only lead to a number of very unhappy citizens.

Unfortunately, those are the only two of a number of expansion which can be obtained on other platforms. There are six major expansions available to PC players, and three available to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners. There are additional "Content Creator Packs" available on the other systems as well, which allow for further customization of a player's city. While it is not outside the realm of possibilities to see a number of these expansions and even the content creator packs eventually come to the Switch version, it is important to note their absence at this time.

Another aspect of this which is lacking at times is performance. When playing handheld or docked, there will be some noticeable stuttering, and slowing down as the city expands. This is especially noticeable when the game auto saves. This slowdown is avoidable by either pushing back how often the game auto-saves or by simply turning auto saving off, but those can both be risky options when taking the game on the go and risking a battery outage in between saves. Outside the auto-saves, there is some slowdown when in handheld, but the game still mostly performs as it should. Players can still zoom all the way in to inspect all the details as they watch their citizens mosey about their days, and admire their handiwork expand and take on a life of its own.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Nintendo Switch Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Cities: Skylines is one of, if not the premier city building sim on the market. The amount of detail it is able to cram into every facet of the experience can feel intimidating at first, but getting to know all of the features at their disposal will be both crucial and satisfying in the player's pursuit of the greatest city on Earth. Some performance issues place a damper on the experience, as does the absence of content available in other versions of the game. Regardless, for Switch owners wanting to get their fix of constructing their very own megalopolis would be hard pressed to find a better resource than this.

Developer

Tantalus

Publisher

Paradox Interactive

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

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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