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Bhazor
10-11-2011, 01:34 PM
I just recently ordered a netbook for myself, an Acer Aspire One 522 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Acer-Netbook-Dual-Core-Processor-Windows/dp/B004TBMLF8/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1320930921&sr=1-1), mainly as a way of taking notes in lectures and typing up work on the lengthy daily commute (1.5 hours each way three days a week). Playing games on it is a distant third.

I don't expect it to play anything from the past couple years but so long as it'll play Civ IV and maybe Fantasy Wars/Elven Legacy I'll be happy. But I was wondering if anyone with a similar netbook can make some recommendations for games. Given the lack of a mouse I have no real expectation of playing shooters or micro heavy stratedgy games.

A few points
1) The netbook doesn't have a disc drive so any game should be available online.
2) The screen resolution is 1024x720 (which I believe is just enough to support Civ IV)
3) The whole reason I got a netbook was to travel light. So no games that need peripherals like a mouse.
4) The trains don't always have Wi-fi (because apparently trains travel backwards in time) so no MMOs or games which need to "phone home".

Heres a couple videos I found of the 522 playing games for reference regarding specs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PhwGWLxj-A
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGz5F3wQTVU&feature=related

Update:
Thanks everyone for all the suggestions. Keep them coming.
For anyone else interested I'll be making a list of all the games I test and how they performed.

Age of Wonders- Shadow Magic This seems to suffer serious lag at 1024x720 so I have to play in a 800x600 letterbox.
Civilization 4 (including add-ons/mods) I'm pleased to say this worked great. Bit of a slow loader on the largest maps (about 2 minutes for the Super Huge debug scenario) but the AI turns pass quickly (<20 seconds) and the interface suits a touchpad. However, if your vertical resolution is less than 720 you'll need to do some ini tweaking. It also looks lovely on the small screen.
Company of Heroes Freezes for minutes at a time.
Defense Grid Runs great but reliant on timing so I think a mouse is probably required.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Plays but with unplayable lag.
Dragon Age: Origins Runs great albeit with long load times.
Elder Scrolls III Morrowind Runs smoothly even with some of the graphical mods enabled. Also it's dice based combat means accurate mouse work isn't neccesary. So long as you can vaguely face towards your opponent you can win a fight.
Flatout Works surprisingly smoothly albeit with all the Physx stuff disabled. Sadly the Physx stuff is about half the game.
Frozen Synapse Bit of lag but nothing serious. The main problem is that it requires very precise mousework. Something a touchpad doesn't handle well.
Half Life 2 Works great but unplayable on a touch pad.
Irukandji Serious lag from all the particles and no graphical options I can find
Jagged Aliance 2 Works great.
Limbo Serious lag issues and input delay. Unplayable IMO.
Mass Effect Runs OK but with lengthy load times and some lag
Medieval Total War 2 Won't run due to unspecified error. Not sure whether thats due to hardware or not.
Neverwinter Nights 2 With shadows turned off it runs buttersmooth. With shadows on its a full second delay between button press and action. So do not play with shadows on.
Night Sky This works great.
Orcs Must Die Runs well but really needs a mouse to be playable.
Portal 2 Perfectly playable but occasional stuttering on physx intensive set pieces.
PSX (Playstation Emulater) This works great.
Rayman Forever works great albeit after some tweaking (http://www.gog.com/en/forum/rayman/occasional_stutter_hitch). There is some definite audio stutter during loading but the gameplay is super smooth and the style is pretty well suited to a keyboard.
Rayman Origins Plays super smooth and looks absolutely gorgeous.
Rome Total War This works suprisingly smoothly at upper medium settings at 1280x720. The ability to pause and queue up orders as well as FPS camera controls make this well suited to a track pad. Strangely the graphics are noticably worse on the campaign map and look very blurry even with AA. The battles though are pin sharp.
Shogun Total War 2 This runs surprisingly. Unsurprisingly it's unplayable with single digit framerates, ten minute load times and hang ups in unexpected places.
Space Chem This works great.
Startopia This works greats. Special mention goes to the camera panel (a little trackball you can use to control the camera) which works well on a netbook touch pad.
Super Meat Boy This works great.
Victoria Does not work, requires a minimum resolution of 1024x768.
Torchlight A 15 second delay on entering an area as it loads geometry but once loaded it's smooth. Unplayable with a touch pad though.
Unity of Command Works great
Viva Pinata Won't load, insufficient RAM.
Yourself!Fitness Runs well though you'll need to play in 800x600. Great for a work out if you're staying at a hotel and don't want to jog through a strange city in lycra pants.
Znes(Super Nintendo Emulator) This works great

A good reference for netbooks is also available here.
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?2075-Netbook-gaming-Collected-advice-resources-and-links&p=66578#post66578

CMaster
10-11-2011, 01:39 PM
You can share your Desktop's optical drive over the network to get around that particular issue.

Sean O'Connors games are good for this kind of thing, although they remain overpriced.

Platformers are also good - the likes of Spelunky et al.

Bhazor
10-11-2011, 01:44 PM
Well I don't actually have a desktop at the moment (pro tip: don't buy unbranded PSUs off ebay) but thats something to bear in mind.

I do really like Spelunky though and Cave Story too.

thejimster
10-11-2011, 01:49 PM
Older games like Planescape, Baldur's Gate should all be fine I reckon (I've certainly enjoyed them on a small laptop/netbook with no mouse before). Rollercoaster Tycoon/Theme Hospital/Dungeon Keeper (I'm just looking at my own library!) should also be fine and are great fun.

lunarplasma
10-11-2011, 01:51 PM
Why not try some old DOS games? Personally, I would try the Panzer Generals, or even (my favorite) Fantasy General.

Also, Spacechem?

Casimir Effect
10-11-2011, 02:01 PM
The lack of mouse is a limitation, else I would have said Torchlight which has a 'netbook mode' in the graphics options. In terms of games which can be played with keyboard only I'd recommend Recettear and Cthulu Saves The World. I think those little RPG maker games will be a place to search for non-mouse games.

Corpekata
10-11-2011, 02:14 PM
If you haven't snagged the current Humble Bundle yet, do so. The titles are all pretty keyboard only friendly.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 02:16 PM
I've spent the last year and a half stuck with a netbook like yours.

Everything in GoG is fine except Gothic 2.
Warcraft 3 and Dota 1 work like a charm offline. Civilization IV, Dominions 3, HOMM5 and Alpha Centauri are a must.
Indie games work only if 2D and XNA 3.X or older, my choices are Terraria, Super Meat Boy and Isaac. Minecraft is laggy and unresponsive :(
Half Life 1 and mods work, HL2 or anything source doesn't.
Roguelikes like Stone Soup or Spelunky are cooooool too. Desktop Dungeons alpha and beta work fine.
Oh! UT2004 works fine, but Painkiller barely is playable, and Ace of Spades works great.
Diablo 2, Torchlight and Din's Curse are great argps.
N64 emu barely works, PSX is ok-ish. GBA, Mame and CPS2-3 work fine, same with GGPO. Dreamcast and NDS no.
You can play boardgames online with Vassal and Brettspielwerten.
Morrowind works so-so. I haven't tried oblivion + oldblivion tho.
SPACECHEM
Flash in low quality and depends on the game. Same with HTML5. Unity Player 2D games hog your PC and can't really be tabbed, but they're playable.
Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Nox, Neverwinter Nights and Temple of Elemental Evil work.


That's what I've collected from my Games folder today.

Bhazor
10-11-2011, 02:23 PM
I've spent the last year and a half stuck with a netbook like yours.

Everything in GoG is fine.
Warcraft 3 works like a charm. Civilization IV, Dominions 3, HOMM5 and Alpha Centauri are a must.
Well its good to get confirmation that Civ IV works on a netbook. The only thread I was able to find on Civ Fanatics was from 2009 and pretty out of date. One guy actually boasted "I have 500k of RAM" like it was Gods own rig.

I definitely like the sound of Theme Hospital as well haven't played that since high school. Is that available online anywhere or should I just wait for it on GoG?

So how well does a multi-touch trackpad work with RTS games then?

Also yes I did get the latest Humble bundle. Frozen Synapse and Space Chem? Yum.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 02:25 PM
[/LIST] Well its good to get confirmation that Civ IV works on a netbook. The only thread I was able to find on Civ Fanatics was from 2009 and pretty out of date.

I definitely like the sound of Theme Hospital, haven't played that since high school, as well. Is that available online anywhere or should I just wait for it on GoG?

So how well does a multi-touch trackpad work with RTS games then?Unplayable IMO. I only play Dota/UT when I have a mouse and feel like going fullscreen and sitting in a chair. Sofa gaming rules.

Corpekata
10-11-2011, 02:31 PM
Well its good to get confirmation that Civ IV works on a netbook. The only thread I was able to find on Civ Fanatics was from 2009 and pretty out of date.

I definitely like the sound of Theme Hospital, haven't played that since high school, as well. Is that available online anywhere or should I just wait for it on GoG?

So how well does a multi-touch trackpad work with RTS games then?

Also yes I did get the latest Humble bundle. Frozen Synapse and Space Chem? Yum.
There's a new one out, Humble Voxatron Debut. Includes Gish, Binding of Isaac, and Blocks that matter if you beat the minimum.

Bhazor
10-11-2011, 02:35 PM
Yeah I have the Voxatron debut bundle too. Sorry, had a brain wrong and forgot they were two seperate bundles.

@Pakoito

Dang, thought I might finally have a chance to finish C&C Red Alert 2.

CaptainCasey
10-11-2011, 03:24 PM
Macbook Air, put windows on it, and then you're travelling light without any graphical/power problems.

Yes it's like $800 more than a Netbook, but TOTALLY worth it.

Bhazor
10-11-2011, 03:39 PM
Macbook Air, put windows on it, and then you're travelling light without any graphical/power problems.

Yes it's like $800 more than a Netbook, but TOTALLY worth it.
Nope. Half the battery life, less than a third the hard drive and, impressively, a weaker graphics card.
For ~4x the price.

This is about Netbooks not Laptops theres a big difference.

db1331
10-11-2011, 03:52 PM
Macbook Air, put windows on it, and then you're travelling light without any graphical/power problems.

Yes it's like $800 more than a Netbook, but TOTALLY worth it.

The idea of a Mac ever being "worth it" is hilarious to me. Yes, by all means, spend an extra $800 on a Mac, then put Windows on it, essentially turning it into a gimped PC. That makes much more sense than buying a faster PC for less money.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 03:57 PM
The idea of a Mac ever being "worth it" is hilarious to me. Yes, by all means, spend an extra $800 on a Mac, then put Windows on it, essentially turning it into a gimped PC. That makes much more sense than buying a faster PC for less money.But Timmy, a 15' IntelQuad, GTSX60 laptop weights 3,5kg and the air just 1,5 for twice the money and half the power. DON'T YOU SEE IT? Air is the ultimate gaming device.

DigitalSignalX
10-11-2011, 05:11 PM
Wasn't there some new internet gaming service that was purporting that new AAA titles could be streamed to netbooks with full fidelity? Onlive.com I think.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 05:15 PM
Wasn't there some new internet gaming service that was purporting that new AAA titles could be streamed to netbooks with full fidelity? Onlive.com I think.Yeeeeah on paper it's cool but I've found it quite...unreliable. I'm in Spain so maybe people from UK get it right.

SephKing
10-11-2011, 05:18 PM
I've spent the last year and a half stuck with a netbook like yours.


Half Life 1 and mods work, HL2 or anything source doesn't.
Oh! UT2004 works fine, but Painkiller barely is playable, and Ace of Spades works great.
Diablo 2, Torchlight and Din's Curse are great argps.
Morrowind works so-so. I haven't tried oblivion + oldblivion tho.
Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Nox, Neverwinter Nights and Temple of Elemental Evil work.




Those would be a bit tricky "without a mouse" no?

OP, i'd recommend some good ol' adventre games like Grim Fandango, The updated versions of the Monkey Island or something more recent like The Whispered World.

Other suggestions: The Longest Journey, Braid, Machinarium, Limbo and maybe an old total war game like the original Shogun (too micro heavy?).

Bhazor
10-11-2011, 05:32 PM
Well my netbook just arrived an hour ago and about three days early. Its the cutest lil netbook. Yes it is. Yes it is. I don't know whether to type or wave a bit of string in front of it.

Just downloading Open Office, Avast and Steam. I think the games I'll try first is Rayman on GoG and Civ IV.

Tommorow I'll start redeeming my Humble Bundles.

Keep the sugestions coming and I'll start adding a list of working games in the OP for anyone else who wants a bit of hot netbook action.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 05:46 PM
Those would be a bit tricky "without a mouse" no?Some are some are not, I made the full list and let OP choose.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
10-11-2011, 06:33 PM
The lack of mouse is a limitation, else I would have said Torchlight which has a 'netbook mode' in the graphics options.

Just a headsup. Even my Ion powered netbopok chugs in Torchlight's netbook mode. It's a bit of a fib so don't buy Torchlight expecting to be able to play it on any sort of netbook/integrated chipset notebook.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 06:38 PM
Just a headsup. Even my Ion powered netbopok chugs in Torchlight's netbook mode. It's a bit of a fib so don't buy Torchlight expecting to be able to play it on any sort of netbook/integrated chipset notebook.Celeron 1.2, Intel GMA 4500MHD works fine for me.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
10-11-2011, 06:44 PM
Celeron 1.2, Intel GMA 4500MHD works fine for me.

Maybe it is the 1366*768 resolution which is nailing it then.

pakoito
10-11-2011, 06:45 PM
Maybe it is the 1366*768 resolution which is nailing it then.I have the same resolution. Try GameBooster, updating drivers or something?

Wooly Wugga Wugga
10-11-2011, 07:33 PM
I have the same resolution. Try GameBooster, updating drivers or something?

I don't want to sidetrack the thread too much but except for Torchlight my little netbook impresses me with the games it can run. Odd.

TailSwallower
11-11-2011, 12:25 AM
Wasn't there some new internet gaming service that was purporting that new AAA titles could be streamed to netbooks with full fidelity? Onlive.com I think.

He doesn't want to have to phone home though when he's on the train, so no onlive.

Binding of Isaac definitely. Addictive little game, and if you've already got the bundle then you're set. Voxatron is also keyboard only, but it didn't really grab me.

Solium Infernum (http://www.crypticcomet.com/games/SI/Solium_Infernum.html) and Armageddon Empires (http://www.crypticcomet.com/games/AE/armageddon_empires.html) maybe? There are demos at the links. Not sure about performance, but from a resolution and lack of mouse point-of-view you'd be fine. If you're quick I think they're still on sale...

There's probably plenty more games you could give a shot if you were willing to look a bit weird with a gamepad in your hands on the train...

DigitalSignalX
11-11-2011, 12:32 AM
Trains in the UK don't have wireless?

Moraven
11-11-2011, 12:33 AM
Just a headsup. Even my Ion powered netbopok chugs in Torchlight's netbook mode. It's a bit of a fib so don't buy Torchlight expecting to be able to play it on any sort of netbook/integrated chipset notebook.

Agree, I had a newer Notebook at the time Torchlight came out. Really was not playable to be fun. Latest netbooks should be fine with it.

CMaster
11-11-2011, 12:36 AM
Trains in the UK don't have wireless?

Some do, but far from consistently.
However, I've never been on a train where the wireless is anything like fast or reliable enough for something like Onlive, either, especially if there are several other laptop/smartphone users around.

sabrage
11-11-2011, 12:39 AM
The Binding of Isaac has some pretty massive slowdown on my rig (to the point that it's unplayable on anything but the lowest graphics setting,) so I can't imagine that it would be much better on a netbook. It's a great little game, but I think that McMillen needs to step away from Flash and start playing with the big boys.

TailSwallower
11-11-2011, 12:56 AM
I'm amazed by all this talk of wireless on trains. What amazing future land do you people live in? I think I'll come visit next year (it's already planned, heh).


The Binding of Isaac has some pretty massive slowdown on my rig (to the point that it's unplayable on anything but the lowest graphics setting,) so I can't imagine that it would be much better on a netbook. It's a great little game, but I think that McMillen needs to step away from Flash and start playing with the big boys.

True, I forgot about that. I've got a reasonably beefy laptop and Isaac slows down when there's lots of stuff on screen. I haven't played it since the latest update a day or two ago, so maybe that was a performance/optimisation update? A man can hope.

pakoito
11-11-2011, 01:04 AM
The Binding of Isaac has some pretty massive slowdown on my rig (to the point that it's unplayable on anything but the lowest graphics setting,) so I can't imagine that it would be much better on a netbook. It's a great little game, but I think that McMillen needs to step away from Flash and start playing with the big boys.Same as with Super Meat Boy, the game on slow quality is playable with slowdowns, but it's clearly at ~66% the original speed, which makes it easier. Normal Quality was unplayable so I had to wait to the last update. I was able to finish the game anyway so just suck it up a bit. And seriously, I played Torchlight too and my Celeron is worse than your ION, maybe it's some tech stuff going on.

Also, there's wifi on some buses and trains in Spain. Not a lot of them, yet.

sabrage
11-11-2011, 07:12 AM
I haven't played it since the latest update a day or two ago, so maybe that was a performance/optimisation update? A man can hope.
I played a full game (died on Mom) since my initial post, and there didn't seem to be much improvement. There were some creative new room designs though! I got one that was just filled with bombs and rocks and you had to blow your way across... Or I would, if I didn't have demon wings.

I think the performance issue is one inherent in the limitations of Flash, and it'll probably always persist. I can't really tell much difference between the highest and the lowest quality graphics anyways, so it's really not a big deal (though some of the boss battles get really annoying when they grind to a halt.)

Also, people still ride trains?

CMaster
11-11-2011, 11:58 AM
Also, people still ride trains?

Depending on your start point and destination, it's sometimes the quickest (and normally the most comfortable) way to travel.

Anthile
11-11-2011, 12:25 PM
Disregard Torchlight, acquire Din's Curse.

Casimir Effect
11-11-2011, 01:51 PM
Disciples 2 is another one that would work really well. Everything is nice and turn-based so speed is not required. The graphics are mostly static, pre-rendered so won't tax any sort of machine. And the complete version of the game (found in various places with gog.com perhaps being the best) is fucking huge with hundreds of hours of content and lots of replayabililty. Also it's a really good game, very addictive and more-ish.

TailSwallower
12-11-2011, 02:25 AM
I thought Super Meat Boy might have been Flash art, but built on a better engine, because I didn't experience any slowdown on that at all. If it is pure Flash then they need to do to Isaac whatever they did to SMB, because SMB runs flawlessly (and needs to), and Isaac seems like it would be less intensive, but still runs horribly in busy rooms.

Hensler
12-11-2011, 04:36 AM
I'd say anything turn-based strategy. I'm partial to Jagged Alliance and Silent Storm games myself. I can use a USB mouse with my little laptop, but it's not usually worth the hassle when traveling, so those games serve me well.

TailSwallower
13-11-2011, 11:23 AM
I played a bit of NightSky from the latest Indie Royale bundle. I'm sure it would work on a netbook because the window it runs in is relatively small, and it also uses keys only. Great little game - really enjoying the atmosphere and the puzzles.

Bhazor
17-11-2011, 01:44 AM
After playing around with the netbook I've found a couple of things.
1) The multitouch track pad is pretty responsive. Certainly moreso than I thought it would be. Certainly it can handle any non micro intensive rts (Total War, Dawn of War etc). Probably wouldn't be much cop for shooters but I honestly don't care.
2) Though a small HD screen looks very impressive playing movies it has its problems. Namely text. For the resolution on this net book the screen should be an inch larger. Instead it crams everything down and so text is often hard to read. I have the same problem when typing but then I can just zoom in on Open Office.
3) Even moderately demanding games (Civ 4) will eat batteries. An hour and a half on that burnt 52% of my battery. Fortunately, netbook power cables are slim line and can be charged very quickly. With normal use (ie typing) it lasts a solid 7 or 8 hours.

All in all I'm very impressed with the power of the little guy. As far as portable gaming goes it beats my 3DS into a peaked cap.

Bhazor
30-03-2012, 08:40 PM
The biggest problem for the last couple months has been Steam refusing to launch in Offline Mode.

So yeah

Fuck.

TailSwallower
30-03-2012, 09:53 PM
Basically, what you have to do is switch Steam to offline mode while it is still online. Which is absolute bullshit. I had massive problems with it traveling through Europe 'cause whilst all the hostels I was staying at had wifi, some of them were pretty spotty. Spotty internet means Steam can't launch properly, which means you can't set it to Offline mode.

Basically, a) if you even think that you might be taking your netbook somewhere without internet, set Steam to offline, just in case, and b) Offline mode is a stupid piece of crap that doesn't work.

Cooper
30-03-2012, 10:40 PM
My solution has been to keep Steam on my netbook in perpetual offline mode. I don't use any off the friend / community functions, so just use online mode when I want to add a new game, then go straight back to offline mode.

Loads of multiplayer games have no problem running even if they're launched from Steam's offline mode.

Smashbox
30-03-2012, 11:40 PM
I hear a lot about this problem - I have no doubt it exists - but steam launches fine offline for me when the Internet is down. I wonder what the problem is.

AJH
31-03-2012, 12:26 AM
The problem with Steam's offline mode only occurs if you shut it down while it's part-way through updating or downloading. Essentially, if it's trying to update or download anything (be it a game update or a Steam launcher update), and it's shut down half-way through (or even a bit through), Offline mode won't work the next time you start it up. As Steam auto-updates all the time, as do the many games downloaded to your account, it's quite easy to not notice that it's happening (TF2 updates virtually every week). If you turn your computer off when this is taking place, turn it on again without a net connection, you won't have access to Steam. If, when you shut Steam down, nothing's updating, then you'll be fine in Offline mode.

The only way to get around it is to not shut Steam down when updating. If it's updating, you're under time pressure, and it won't finish before you need to get your flight (but you want offline Steam on that flight), the only solution is to delete the entire game off your computer to stop it keeping the update going.

Wooly Wugga Wugga
31-03-2012, 07:53 AM
My issue is that if I leave Steam in offline mode for too longs my games seem to uninstall themselves. When I go into download mode they say 0 out of 6 gig downloaded. I then need to reinstall them and download all the patches again (I buy all my games retail due to my useless connection.)

Bhazor
31-03-2012, 12:22 PM
And people wonder why I support Gamersgate.

Jhoosier
05-04-2012, 01:24 AM
I went on vacation last month and took my Aspire One 722 (I think that's what it is). When I got bored, I played Proun and Runman - race around the world. Both are low requirement and fun. Also free, I believe.

Unaco
05-04-2012, 02:00 AM
A lot of games from Steam will still have the executable in your Steam folder, so you can run them without having Steam actually running. Steamworks games will be inaccessible though. The trick for me, and many others, is to run in online mode, and make sure you save details. Then, when you try to run Steam again, make sure you have no net connection at all, turn off wifi etc. Then it detects no network and pops up Retry/Offline Mode. YMMV on that though, but I use Steam pretty much exclusively for games on the Netbook (no optical drive). Have no problems getting it to run offline if I'm not connected to a network, even if there's one available.

I picked up a Netbook last Summer, mainly for work, but I went for an Asus EEE 1215 something or other, because I thought they looked awesome since the first time I saw one. It's got reasonable grunt, for what it is... Intel Integrated graphics, but also one of those NVidia IONs, dual core, 1GB RAM. Nothing special, but it runs Frozen Synapse with a slight stutter when panning/zooming, and runs Europa Universalis III - long load times, and I hate using a trackpad, but it works. Things like Civ 4 as well. Though games like that are quite the drain on battery.

I stick mostly with turn based, or slower paced games (hate trackpads!). Dungeons of Dredmor and Zangband for RL fix, SpaceChem (though I need to find a way to synch saves between netbook and desktop), Baldur's Gate 2, XComs, Avadon Black Fortress and 1 or 2 of the Avernums. I also bought Eschalon Book I and II, and intended to playthrough on the netbook... but couldn't get either to run smoothly enough, even when I made sure it was forcing the dedicated 3D, turning all the power saving, performance decreasing stuff off. Found out it runs perfect with the OpenGL driver... figured that out last week, so I'll be playing those through on it soon. They seem like pretty decent RPGs, reasonably basic, although that's not the word... they don't seem too fancy or gaudy, quite solid, robust. Simple like an honest farmer next to a city type.