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Have You Played... Cities: Skylines

Stimulating City

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I was certain I was done with city building sims. In fact, I think I thought I was done with sims. Gone was the magic of the classic Sim City 2000, the perfect balance of cartoony mayhem and rude interruptions of graphs. It felt like play, not work, even connecting up the water pipes. The genre disappeared down a hole I wasn't interested in descending, a terrifying underground world where graphs ruled. And then along came Cities: Skylines, and I was proven wrong.

It was SimCity: Society that finished my interest. Good lord that was a terrible game. PC Gamer had me review it, the bastards. Then of course there was the incredible debacle of SimCity 2013. So I can't even remember why I tried it Skylines. The previous Cities games had been parp, but I guess I was pressured into it for writing an RPS Verdict. And by my bones, it was splendid! That fucking Twitter bird thing aside.

There it was again, the fun overruling the bar charts, the joy of unrealistically building a city remembering itself, rather than requiring an engineering degree and town planning MA.

It's proper lovely fun.

About the Author

John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, they killed me out of jealousy. I now run

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