Cities: Skylines

Our favourite city builder arrives in your hands.

Cities: Skylines has come to Switch, because by the end of time, everything will have come to Switch, including you and me. In case you aren’t familiar with this particular game, it is a city managements sim, a sim city if you will. You build infrastructure, accrue wealth, try to keep your citizens happy, and generally try to keep your little township growing into a full-blown metropolis.

The challenge comes in the form of juggling the ever-growing workload that comes with an increased population, it isn’t as stressful as it sounds though thankfully. At least, it isn’t when the controls don’t feel like they are actively trying to sabotage your best laid plans. While the game runs fantastically on PC, this is all about the Switch port. The Switch version falls into some troubles as soon as you start messing about with building in the tutorial. Simply placing things can be a mammoth task because you just don’t have the same surgical level control that you do with a mouse. The UI completely lacks intuition initially initiating an ingrained irritation that takes a bit of time to overcome.

Sinking some time in certainly helps you to adjust to the little nuances that the control scheme has, but it still isn’t all that great. There are some performance issues as well, stutters and drops aren’t an uncommon occurrence as you approach city size and certainly aren’t helped by the finicky movements that are required. It may well be that the Switch just can’t handle the level of processing power required to keep everything running but it doesn’t make it any less irksome.

The issues can all be pushed through of course so it isn’t a deal breaker, but it does make it a lot harder to love. Given the attention to detail required here not being able to manage that innately with the tools available to you Is off-putting. The game is still very good, but this isn’t the best version of it at all. Of course having access to it on the go is certainly worthy of consideration as just that is a lot more than the previous versions, but that is the benefit of the console not the game itself.

Everything still looks good, the core gameplay is still fantastically rewarding and encourages you to just play around with how you are building up your districts and which energy resources to use. So if this is the only version available to you then it is certainly worth a look – and for a city builder on a handheld device there isn’t anything better – otherwise it would be very hard to recommend this over the other versions which are superior in both controls and their performance.

We’ve previously reviewed the brilliant PC version of Cities Skylines here.

Jason Coles

Updated: Sep 20, 2018

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