Cities: Skylines aims to please all the people in Parklife

So many people

It feels rare for a week to go by where Paradox don’t announce another expansion for their growing stable of strategy and simulation sandboxes, but it’s also hard to complain when they look as nice as Parklife, the next expansion for Cities: Skylines. Adding yet another direction for your perfect city to grow in, Parklife – unsurprisingly – spans parks of all kinds, from national forests full of hiking trails right up to cash-guzzling corporate theme parks, and it’s due out next month.

Parklife allows you to designate a chunk of land as a dedicated park district; a tourist spot and recreation site however you slice it, but the contents of it can range from a dense woodland nature reserve to public zoo, all the way up to a heritage site with some preposterous lord’s castle sitting at the top of it all. I hope there’s an option to eat the rich git, but I somehow doubt it.

The new park districts in this expansion are governed by their own set of rules and policies. Being parkland, you’re probably not going to want to have main roads cutting through everything, but fortunately you’ll be allowed to place functional buildings adjacent to footpaths for once. Decorative props can also be placed anywhere within the district as you see fit.

As is standard for Paradox, the release of Parklife will be accompanied by a major free update for Cities: Skylines, adding a bunch more features and quality-of-life improvements, including a general rework to the tourism system, UI and some improvements to the mod tools. The patch will also make the camera a little more flexible and introduce some inherent tweaks to the nature of foliage that should result in lower noise pollution in heavily forested areas.

Cities Skylines: Parklife is due out next month on May 24th, and is priced at £10.25/$13.50, and a couple quid extra for a ‘Plus’ version which includes a new 16-track radio station with a Dixieland/Bluegrass vibe as well as some other cosmetic gubbins. You can wishlist or pre-order it as you so please over on Steam.


  1. lglethal says:

    Seriously Dominic, you have an expansion called Parklife and you didnt make a single Blur joke? I’m disappointed in you…


    • MiniMatt says:

      image alt-text

      • lglethal says:

        The joys of viewing articles on a mobile phone. :rolleyes:

        I’ll check it out when i get home. Apologies Dominic…

        • MiniMatt says:

          it’s not exactly a joke, but it’s a proper reference and now I’ve explained it and killed with fire any humour it may have held.

          March home and see for yourself. You look like you need the exercise. You should cut down on your pork life, mate.

          I’m sorry.

        • mike69 says:

          No need to apologise, alt-text is an accessibility feature that RPS insist on misusing. They could caption their images semantically if they wanted to, and their giant mobile audience could join in the japes.

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          Tap and hold on images to see alt-text.

      • Dominic Tarason says:

        Plus the side-bar text on the main site.

        I feel I did my due diligence here.

        • MiniMatt says:

          Can I just say, as you’re here, how much I appreciate the nod to the RPS alt-text pun tradition?

          Marsh Davies is the king of alt-text and Alice the queen, but if you fancy some minor princeling position I reckon it’s as good as yours.

          Oh and your Iron Harvest articles made me buy actual art prints today like some bourgeoisie, so… yeah. That too.

          • mike69 says:

            Why stop with the alt text, let’s get some jokes into the aria-label attributes too – really do over those that rely on accessibility features provided by code standards!

          • MiniMatt says:

            Fair comment. As last time I really had to consider accessibility in context of alt text was in “does it look ok in Lynx”, genuine question – how important is alt-text in accessibility?

            Again, genuine question, does the alt-text atop this article provide any less meaning than “parklife12.jpg” might when parsed through a text reader?

            Third, genuine, question – how nailed are “standards”? Last time I was playing with HTML the blink tag was a proprietary “standard”. (which thankfully died).

            Stress genuine on all those – I really don’t know this stuff any more. Not trying to “actually” you. You appear to know more about this, teach me: is alt-text a thing we should worry about in practice as well as in principle?

    • Risingson says:

      I think that it even does not need it. I read the headline as “Cities: Skylines aims to please all the people in ….


      Moreover, read the following comments down and add a Parklife in the end.

  2. Railway Rifle says:

    Is confidence a preference? Can a morning suit(?) be avoided? Can you watch gutlords marching?

  3. Flavour Beans says:

    Hopefully, the hiking trails will be open to mountain biking. It’s not just about the joggers… who go ’round… and ’round… and ’round…

  4. pookie191 says:

    And so the great circle of life continues..Paradox releases content and Pookie becomes poorer.. Woe is me!

  5. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Will there be birds in the forest parks? Will they need food?
    I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows too
    It gives me a sense of enormous well-being.

    • Marclev says:

      Do you realise that Pigeons are horrible disease carriers, they’re basically like flying rats? No way should you be feeding them, much less feeling good about it!

      Sparrows are cool though, AFAIK.

  6. Calculon says:

    Is it still just a city painter? Has the AI, the economic functions and other deep guts of the game added more substance?

    I see an update to tourism which when I played was pretty broken – so maybe it’s got some actual substance now?

    • Cinek says:

      No, they’re not. It’s yet another assets pack with some afterthought polices thrown in. Minor mechanic additions are limited to sightseeing routes, buildings attached to paths instead of roads, and a tool to mark park area much like you mark districts (note that it doesn’t paint parks, just marks existing assets as a “park”, eg. you could already place trees and paths, but they did not function as a “park”).

      Overall it’s mildly better than those pointless BS like Green Cities, but still… sux and doesn’t add any depth of note to the gameplay. Which is quite surprising given the expansions they release for CK2 or EUIV, or other big Paradox titles… you know: expansions that focus on adding mechanics.

      • tapette101 says:

        To be fair CS has gotten everything right when it comes to city-building mechanics. It’s so much more complete and satisfying as a sandbox citybuilder than any competitor ever was.

        The one thing I find games like SimCity had over CS is the life and overall “feel” of your city. I loved CS right from the start but eventually I had this sneaking impression all my cities felt static devoid of life; like building legos, in a sense. These additions (they’re not expansions, I’ll grant you that, but they’re also cheaper then what goes for an expansion these days) go a long way to restoring this life and fun and they add even more depth to the game.

        Because depth in a city builder is what? Complex mechanics like Stellaris, HOI4 or CK2? I believe it’s measured in the options you have in designing the city you want, in which case Paradox has nailed it and continues to nail it.