"To the delight of fans of simulators"
Developer: Colossal Order
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Tycoon-style games aren’t always successful to appeal to first-time players. To use advertising as an analogy, an action title is like a beautiful billboard or a full-page ad in a newspaper, a proposal to administration and resource management would only be an ad for footnotes. In other words, a map littered with more or less detailed miniatures will never be as instantly catchy as explosions, fire, flaming swords and Greek gods.
However, games like Cities in Motion is proof that, in some cases, disregard the visual appeal of those types of games, and embed them in a set of complex game mechanics full of twists and turns that the overcrowded might call adrenaline administration. Otherwise, compare the feeling of watching the protagonist before falling to a huge print head, resulting in impending bankruptcy of a transport company built at the expense of hard work and a huge amount of virtual money. The difference here is that a "continue" or a "life" does not convince your creditors to grant more time to put things in order. In fact, it's hard not to get involved with the proposal from Paradox Interactive. Although the idea of becoming a tycoon transport is not exactly original, the wealth of detail present in a highly organic environment brings a realism that is a true gift for any gamer interested in more brain than in muscle.
Ok, it's true. This may not be apparent on the synopsis: create lines of bus, subway, boat and helicopter to meet the logistical needs of a city in frank expansion. And that’s the reason it stands out very quickly; do not just build transmission lines and passively watch the exponential growth of your company. That's not how things are, and any good simulator teaches you that. Basically, while bus lines build and distribute, and tracks of the new train design a new subway station, the world economy may fluctuate, requiring a temporary freeze on ticket price, cuts in wages - which is not always greeted with smiles - and a decrease in the fleet. You’ll also have to worry about new advertising campaigns and requests for new lines.
As previously mentioned, the proposal here is deceptively simple: To design and maintain the transportation system of a constantly expanding city. In fact, you get to expand not just one, but four cities: Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin and Helsinki. This is all developed from real data, with its historic buildings and their transmission lines more recognizable. As years go by, the cities get even more crowded. People who need new lines and modern cars mean increasing cost.
A typical campaign of Cities in Motion has its beginnings during the 1920s. The population boom is a reality, and all you’ll have at the beginning are basic vehicles such as cars and buses. However, progressing through the decades brings new technologies, which basically means new types of transport. Examples include the helicopter and traffic jams.
One of the highest points in Cities in Motion is the interconnection between factors involved in a social and corporate body. As any tycoon player might tell you: Be careful, because every action has a consequence and can bring about radical results. However, don’t be alarmed. Cities in Motion brings a very clear and simple tutorial, thus providing an excellent entry point for first-timers. A tip to a quiet start? The bus. Creating the first bus lines could not be simpler - at least by the standards of a management game. Simply choose your route, have bus stops at strategic locations, purchase a bus and assemble a sequel to the charts. The path is then illuminated on the screen, and everything is working.
So let’s talk about economy now. It’s probably not something that catches your attention, and even the tutorial will pass quickly through this part. But like any game focused on economy, it’s certainly possible for your profitable transport company find bankruptcy. But that's okay. Tracking your city's economic progress does not require cross-checking and you will not be subject to misleading analyst reports. Cities in Motion simply brings a set of simple graphics that are easy to interpret - economic growth and more jobs, among other things.
Any initial scenario of Cities in Motion will bring a city with an incipient or nonexistent transport system. The solution found by the population is obvious: come by car or walk. It's good to be aware that your company should prove to be a good alternative, something that does not happen overnight. This means you have to be working constantly, taking care of finances and investing in new lines. But there is another trump card of any good business: advertising. Things are way down? Most people prefer the car to their bus. It is a status that good advertising can quickly change.
However, before you invest your pennies in a costly campaign, it’s essential to pay attention to the social piece that you want to achieve. Billboards are perfect for tourists. The Internet is full of students in the community. Radio and television are great channels to reach the grassroots, while the newspaper will be the vehicle chosen by the more popular "white collars". Each half will be displayed on your screen via a bar representing its weight in every society sector. Moreover, the game still clearly shows a message on the screen when a certain portion of social people does not look favorably upon your company.
There’s also an obvious question that should be addressed: Where's the competition? How come nobody else is trying their luck in a profitable market in the same universe as yours? Sure, it’s fun just watching your company grow, but a little more challenge couldn’t hurt with some rival businesses competing for the same thing. Still, the game is fun even without it.
Cities in Motion is certainly one of the best looking transport simulators out there. The details portrayed by Paradox Interactive are really impressive: passengers entering and exiting the bus, several different models of cars running in the streets and the intricate detail that went in the four historic cities in the game. It is a great reason for you not end up just playing with the map, which would reduce the game shifted to a strategic reality simulation. Thus, whenever a new transmission line is created, you can bring the camera up near the ground to assist the city residents using their newly acquired buses - or to find out that passengers are piling up at a bus stop it's the obvious clue that the fleet should be increased.
In general, one can say that Paradox Interactive has done a pretty reasonable job graphically. There are only a few glaring flaws, though they are still noticeable. The map of Amsterdam is a good example of a "crunch" chart, beginning with its famous canals, for example. Instead of the erratic form of local geography, here you will have an unrealistic rectangular heap. In fact, even the challenge of the unique location is obscured by graphics that are reminiscent - even at a safe distance - the maps of first 8-bit RPGs. Despite some gliding here and there, it is easy to see that Cities in Motion is the result of a team particularly attuned to transport simulation games.
Besides being probably one of the most beautiful games of the genre, the organic environment in which your company resides in brings realism and a sense of commitment that is really convincing. Everything is connected here; a new path line will cause traffic jams, low wages for employees will cause the company’s reputation to fall, a poorly planned advertising campaign can consume money without producing any return, and others.
Developing and expanding virtual cities added a new dimension to management games. After all, as in any endeavor, there will be a part of reality that simply cannot be controlled, even in the hands of an excellent administrator. If you're a fan of games like Cities in Motion, there is an economic move that can easily be encouraged here: Simply play Cities in Motion for yourself, then sit back and watch your empire grow.
Marco Cecilio, NoobFeed