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It’s been a busy few years for city-building games. Cities: Skylines picked up the mantle where SimCity infamously dropped it in 2013, and since then it has ruled the roost, offering several detailed DLCs and an extensive Steam modding community. New Cities is a game currently seeking crowdfunding from studio Lone Pine which looks more like SimCity 3000, and that has fans of the genre excited.
Cities: Skylines, for all its brilliance, lacks in a few key areas of city-building games. Mostly, the need for strategy, traffic management and a lack of economic variance which could cause your town to go bankrupt in the old 90s city-builders. You build some roads, set up power and water, and watch your city grow. Even with the added DLCs, the game feels more like a city-painter rather than a strategic challenge.
In the trailer for New Cities, there are a few key aspects to focus on: multi-layered simulation, economic recession and variance, and the challenge of building high-density buildings. The dev talks at length about the reward of finally finding those skyscrapers in your city, the magic of which is lost in a game like Skylines.
In terms of general aesthetics, the game also looks a lot like a 90s city-builder. It’s almost isometric, although you can move the camera around, and the cities are blocky and nostalgic-looking. The game actually looks great, and the dev touches on the fact that you can customize buildings and change up the textures, giving players the freedom to completely modify their city.
There is the inclusion of the usual city-building tropes, including heatmaps for pollution, education and crime, and combatting these problems is all to do with placeable buildings that cover a specific area. Public transport, parks, industry and traffic management make a big part of the game’s challenge.
New Cities is set to release in Spring 2020, and you can visit the game’s early access page on Steam now. The game is currently seeking crowdfunding on IndieGoGo, where you can get access to the Alpha testing phase, early backer rewards and the opportunity to shape the future of the game.
CITY BUILDEREARLY ACCESS
Cities: Skylines lacks in traffic management?
Have you ever played the dang game?
Yeah, traffic AI is buggy at best. Need a few mods to make sure it’s manageable, especially the awkward lane changes.