I’m not good enough at Cities in Motion, this is a hard game even on the easy setting. Currently with 15 hours played I’m on the 3rd level yet, but I’m not frustrated. Cities in Motion plays rides the line between a more classic transport game like Transport Tycoon and a puzzle game. You are given a city to which you must apply your commuting magic through a mix of Buses, Trams, Metro trains, Water Buses and Helicopters. The puzzle element comes in to play in how you links these together around the existing city whilst at the same time avoiding gridlock. I’m amazed by the passengers who are extremely clever and will happily chain together multiple forms of transport to get to their destinations. In the unlikely event that students want to get to college you can have small bus systems feeding underground systems or trams. I quickly learnt the fewer stops a single transport line serves the better as passengers will only get off and make room for more passengers at their destination. The mechanics of the little peeps you are carting around is really clever, everyone in the simulation is persist, some days they will go to work, some days they will go to the shops. You really can have a mixed system of lines which feed off of each other, once i realised this the game really came alive and is a huge improvement over the old Transport Tycoon style system.
So when haven’t i finished the third level? Its quite hard to make a consistant profit. All my transport lines themselves are running a small profit but various other profits are dragging me down. Optimisation seems to be the name of the game here and each time i retry it i learn something new. When I do eventually get to the point where I’ve dug myself in to a unescapable money problem it hasn’t been a waste of time because I’ve learnt something in the process. You have to learn to pace yourself and make full use of the different methods of transport.
Two things suprised me about Cities in Motion, firstly was how polished it looked for a fairly small release for an unknown developer and secondly how small the installer is. The graphics are have a slightly grainy classic look to them which fits the game well and the engine is very slick and fast loading. The camera can be rotated round in 45 degree angles and zoomed anywhere between a birdseye view and a building top level.
Generally the laying out of track works very well however there are a few quirks when trying to lay tram lines on existing roads. For some reason you will often have to do small sections at a time, especially when going around corners. I suspect this is due to how the game over lays your tracks on the existing city layout. That said it does do an extremely good job of automatically working out things like high for you as you wind overground metros over buildings and under pipes.
This is 1st class stuff , if you are in anyway inclined to like business or transport genres I would urge you to at least give the demo a try