Cities in Motion is a simulator released in 2012. The aim of the game is to successfully build transport lines and manage the transport in either a major European city or a city that you have built. When coming onto the game, I was impressed that you get many options on how to play to suit you. For example, you get scenarios – one of which is one where you are in charge of transport in a range of cities starting with 1920’s Berlin and the other is where you are in charge of transport in a 2000’s Munich. You can manage a city in any decade from the 1920’s to the 2020’s and as a 21st century person, I found it captivating to see old fashioned transport. You are not able to build helicopter lines for the first few decades.
Also, you can go sandbox, which is where you can choose out of several cities including: Amsterdam, Helsinki, Munich, Berlin, Vienna and not forgetting the city that you built (if you choose to build one). You can always decide what to call your business – I have gone for names such as Monkfish Travel LTD and Hindering Hindrance LTD. Anyway, once in your city, it is up to you on whether to run it well or not.
At first, you have a slightly limited budget but I like to spend my first time in a city just looking around and clicking on and watching pedestrians (you can do this and you can even find out their name, where they live, there job but the first thing it will tell you is whether the pedestrian that you have clicked on is unemployed, a business person, a white collar worker, a blue collar worker, a student, a tourist or a pensioner. Naturally, if they are a business person they will usually have a larger house in a prosperous suburban area of the city. I like clicking on pedestrians.
The positives and negatives
The graphics on the game are fine – nothing wrong there. Some areas of the cities that you get with the game look very architecturally pleasant whereas others look more sketchy. This though is realistic. As for transport itself, you choose to build: bus routes, tram routes, tube train routes, ferry routes and helicopter routes (if you are in a more modern decade). The vehicles get more modern as you progress through the decades. Most vehicles have both pros and cons – for example you could choose a fast but unreliable vehicle or a comfortable but uneconomical vehicle. The vehicles that win in most areas are more expensive and before buying a vehicle the game gives you a description of it with a picture. I like to go for vehicles which have a large capacity as you get more money :). You get more choice of vehicles in modern decades.
You also get to choose how much money to charge for each mode of transport – if you price passengers too high then they will get moody! You choose how much to spend on maintenance of vehicles and stops, how much to pay employees and you can take loans. Sometimes people in the public or the city’s mayor will ask you to build a line somewhere or renew vehicles; sometimes passengers even ask you to put a line on their doorstep! You must decide whether or not to do what they tell you but the ramification of refusing is that your reputation will suffer – it is measured on a satisfaction scale in the top left of your screen. Personally, I think that it is great that a simulator can offer this much detail and freedom.
However, I can warn you that passengers can be exceptionally impatient when waiting for transport. For instance, if Mr Jim wanted to go from his flat to the hypermarket and the bus takes a while, he will go home in a strop with an unhappy red face next to him. At each stop, it tells you how many passengers are waiting and how happy they are but I think that they get unhappy far too easily. Also, you can see how many passengers are on the transport in the grey box above the vehicle.
This simulator can also become tedious after you have built lines everywhere. For me, I just like to spend a little bit of time in one city to avoid tediousness. Furthermore, I would like it if you were able to drive your transport as well as manage it.
I like this simulator a lot. I love just looking around the city at all of the people, all of the buildings but most of all, all of the public transport! Its sophistication really impresses me; you have the freedom to do so much in your city. Also, I find that this simulator gives me more satisfaction than most when I do well at it because you need to manage your money like a real business person and think things through; this simulator isn’t for the stupid. I would recommend this simulator to somebody who wants a simulator with freedom, creativity, challenge and transport all in one and aside to one or two little negative points where really I am just nit picking, there isn’t really any drawbacks.