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Genre: Simulation
Min OS X: 10.6

Cities In Motion
July 11, 2011 | Franklin Pride

Click to enlarge

New Scenario

Mac OS X: 10.6.3 | CPU: 2 GHz Intel Dual Core | RAM: 2 GB | HD Space: 2 GB Graphics: 512 MB NVIDIA GeForce 8800/ATI Radeon HD 3850, OpenGL 3.0 | Note: The game does not support integrated video chipsets found in MacMinis and MacBooks.

When a game is released and sells millions of copies, it often spawns one of two thoughts. The first, common one, is that there's good money in that variety of game and is generally the reason why most games are made. However, there's also another one commonly attributed to games like SimCity and World of Warcraft. Fear. This, unfortunately, leads to few sequels being made for the more impressive titles, which is why it's refreshing to see games that imitate classics. Paradox Interactive's Cities In Motion is one of those. It essentially takes SimCity, cuts out all the portions but mass transit, and adds a people simulator that dictates the spending habits of the different varieties of customers. The question is, has the game lost too much detail to stand on its own?

In this case, definitely not. The required thinking behind the creation of profitable routes makes Cities In Motion an extremely complex and enjoyable simulation. You have to bring the people from their home to their workplaces or entertainment preferences, give them options for mid-day exploration, and a route back home again in the end. In addition to that, you have to make all the transit lines short enough to be able to turn a profit without ridiculous numbers of vehicles running through it. This can commonly take the form of a metro line cutting through a stream, bus stops continuing the network into the suburbs, and a tram line cutting across country to shorten the route to a distant farm. Each different form of transit has its specialty, and you have to be careful to stick to them if you want to turn a profit. Needless to say, it's hard at first. Most players will go broke early and often. However, once you realize that the metro lines make you filthy rich due to their high capacity, speed, and ability to ignore traffic, the game becomes extremely easy.

Not that most scenarios start you with enough money for a proper network. You'll almost definitely find yourself maxing out on long-term loans to finance them, so if you don't place them properly, you'll just end up further in the red. The general guidelines remain the same from scenario to scenario, thankfully. You just have to connect from rail centers to the airport, amusement parks, and department stores. From there, you just need a couple stations in residential neighborhoods and bus lines to drag in all the outlying areas around each metro stop. There's almost no reason to ever use helicopters, boats, or trams unless an objective calls for it, so the game really is easier than it seems when you learn the tricks.


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