I figured I better change what I call the weekly game feature …and better to stray from the word “weekly”.

I don’t buy games weekly.  I don’t even try a new game every week–would if I had the time.  But I don’t.  Therefore, this feature is now simply called “The Watchtower”, a name I thought fitting for what the feature represents. It was also the name of my last WoW guild before it was retired at the end of Wotlk. Strong name all around!!!

Cities in Motion

Genre Sim
Platform PC
Price $19.99 @ Steam
Length Long
Replayability 3.5 (5.0 scale)

This is a pretty good sim and it reminds me a lot of Sim City. It’s not just the looks and the feel of the interface, but the music and the way the game plays. If you’ve played any version of Sim City, you will almost immediately understand what the game is about. It’s got all the tools sim-lovers require for micromanaging their towns. This game is all about creating the best traffic solutions for your town, from buses to helicopters. You get plenty of transportation options and many different types of vehicles. What’s really cool is the vehicles really do represent tactical decisions and that’s often hard for games to pull off. Most games give you the tools but they are of obvious value: the first version of your tool is great and the next one will be better. That is not the case with vehicles in CIM. Good job there!

I find the game very interesting, but I haven’t yet found it to be fun. It’s fairly well made, bugs and other hazards are either unnoticable or subjective. What it really lacks is good information or direction. I’m all about sandbox worlds and exploration, but I have to know what my actions mean within the game. Especially if the game is based on solving problems. CIM doesn’t really do enough to spell out the consequences of your actions or in leading the player to good choices. A good example would be passenger data.

So you build this bus line and at one of the stops a group of passengers become unhappy. You scope out the bus stop to see who the passengers are that are waiting. Well, they are all in front of the college so you figure these must be your white collar and student commuters. The game gives you data on where these people work, play, and sleep so you are supposed to use it to figure out how best to direct traffic. The problem is (and its spelled out on their site and in the manual) that passengers are random in their activities; you can’t know where to take these people by simply knowing where they work, live, and play. This has the consequence of making all that data useless. It doesn’t tell me anything about how best to build my traffic lines. You just gotta build a good system as a whole around the city and hope it works.

But that doesn’t mean this game isn’t worthwhile. In fact, though I had to learn through trial and error (which is a good thing, I just wish it could have happened without the frustration), once you get the flow of how things work you’ll be pioneering metro stations of epic proportions. If you love sims, don’t pass this up. Especially not for 20 bucks.

 

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