2015 Game of the Year #9: Cities: Skylines

This week Shacknews is counting down its top ten 2015 Games of the Year, as tabulated by both staff votes and input from our own Chatty community. Resting near the top of the pile at #9 is Paradox Interactive's popular new city builder, Cities: Skylines.

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This week Shacknews is counting down its top ten 2015 Games of the Year, as tabulated by both staff votes and input from our own Chatty community. Coming in at #9 we have Cities: Skylines, a flexible sim game with hours upon hours of building enjoyment.

Josh Hawkins, Guides Editor: Way back in 2013 EA released SimCity, and completely trashed my favorite city-building sim. Enter Paradox Interactive, and the guys at Colossal, who completely revamped and renewed my love for city builders with Cities: Skylines. Skylines is basically everything that SimCity 2013 should have, and could have been if EA hadn’t ruined it. It’s a spectacular game to play, and it’s actually taken many of the components that we’ve seen in city-builders and made them simpler, and better to use.

I think one of the best things about Skylines though is the “tough to master” learning curve. It’s such a simple game to pick up and play. Anyone can build a city, but not anyone can build a beautiful and successful city. I often find myself having to remove the idea of something looking good just to make it more efficient. Even after so many months since release I still find myself finding new ways to play the game, and I think that’s one of the greatest parts of a city-builder.

Asif Khan, Chief Executive Officer: Cities: Skylines was a very strong contender for my game of the year choice at the time of its release. I grew up playing Sim City on SNES and hadn't really been compelled by the city-building genre since Sim City 2000. It is important to be able to pick up and play this type of game, but it is equally important that the developers offer plenty of choice to create a truly immersive experience. Cities: Skylines executes on both of these attributes masterfully. The attention to detail and amazing graphics in the game are also very striking. Being about to zoom in and follow one citizen around your city during the day truly elevates the immersion.

Mod support is a crucial part of the success of any PC game, and Cities: Skylines has done the community right. The mod community has created a vast array of mods from prefabricated roads, to custom buildings, custom maps, mods to change game mechanics like traffic and of course mods for infinite money and unlocking all buildings from the start. One of my favorite cities I have crafted takes place on a user generated map of Hyrule from the Legend of Zelda. Colossal Order, the game's developers, have also provided quite a few updates to the game including an After Dark feature that allows players to see their city at night.

All in all, Cities: Skylines is a game that I will play for years to come. It is easy to write off city-builders as unoriginal or repetitive, but Cities: Skylines pushes all the right buttons to create a marvelous gaming experience that has players returning for more. It is truly one of the best games to be released in all of 2015.

Shacknews Games of the Year:

From The Chatty

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    December 28, 2015 2:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, 2015 Game of the Year #9: Cities: Skylines

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      December 28, 2015 2:27 PM

      Glad this made it on the list. I went through the list of mod list the other day and everything is still alive and kicking with recent updates to some of my favorite mods.

      This game is quite educational. Damn did I learn a lot about building and managing roads. I thought I understood how large and small roads are suppose to come together in certain patterns to make traffic flow smooth, but after playing the game and reading some guides, I found out that I had just a shallow understanding and to truly master the game, I needed a deeper understanding of how everything works.

      My wish for the next expansion, if there is one, is to have an event system so that random things could happen, for instance, getting random money, a crazy flood of people migrating into your city, disasters (aliens attack), random flooding, etc.

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        December 29, 2015 4:46 AM

        Disasters and weather effects were two of the top things people wanted to see in future updates iirc (along with night cycles and some other stuff).

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      December 28, 2015 5:55 PM

      I need to sit down and finally crack into this game. I fear for the hours it will consume.

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      December 28, 2015 8:46 PM

      I picked this up on the steam sale TODAY, for 11 bucks.
      So far I have to say it's easy to use, but the roadways are sometimes hard to place nicely, and they dont always want to connect to other roads it crosses.

      I'm having a hard time not running out of money quickly, while still offering services. Perhaps I'm expanding too quickly.

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        December 28, 2015 8:59 PM

        Yeah it's easy to get overzealous building a ton of roads right at the start.

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        December 29, 2015 4:48 AM

        Yeah you have to slow down a bit. After you place services your monthly income will drop. You need to wait some time (or speed it up) to see the effect then zone more tax-generating zones to compensate.

        Takes some time to get a feel for these types of games.

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      December 28, 2015 9:12 PM

      Hell yes!!!!!!!!

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      December 28, 2015 9:21 PM

      good choice. fun game.

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      December 29, 2015 2:50 AM

      I had a hard time getting into this game. Although SimCity is too small, it really isn't that bad. Skylines certainly copied it in a number of areas while feeling less user-friendly to me. Maybe I'll get back to Skylines at some point but as of now I've played SimCity longer than this game. I don't recall ever having issues with SimCity though I also did not play it during the week it released when I know there were online problems.

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        December 29, 2015 4:49 AM

        Did you ever play SimCity 4?

        That was considered the pinnacle of city builders even after SimCity's (newest) release because it did nearly everything better despite being released 12 years earlier. The new one was very limited or even broken in many ways.

        Skylines is a lot more like SimCity 4 than it is like the newest SimCity, which is why I think most people prefer it.

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      December 29, 2015 4:43 AM

      I love this game.

      About to start a new, heavily nodded city.