Games come in a variety of difficulties and complexities. There are platform games such as Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Megadrive and Mario on the NES that require little more than a button push at the correct time and then there are games like the EVE MMO which are large and dynamic, in this case resplendent with a complex commerce and trade structure. CitiesCorp Concept – Build Everything on Your Own definitely fits into the latter category.
Genre: Sandbox city building simulation
Release Date: 29 Apr, 2016
CitiesCorp Concept developed by Saintworks, is a game that took Simcity and expanded it to give you an insanely large amount of control over what you build and how you build it.
The concept of the game, although city building tool is probably a more apt description, is to build a city, entirely of your own design, not only the layout of the roads, and zones, but also what the actual buildings look like, what the shops sell, profit margin etc.
As I may have alluded to in the pre-ample, CitiesCorp Concept is very detailed, and without any in-game tutorials you’re directed to a few YouTube videos for help. Now, don’t get me wrong these are still very helpful and it’s unlikely you’ll truly get to grips with the game without them, but with a game this involved a little bit of hand-holding certainly wouldn’t go amiss. Each section of the game can be utterly bewildering, I clicked into the shop editing section and found myself in a world of shop options, and store types, profit margins and groceries that left me absolutely clueless, but you can’t fail to be impressed with the thought and detail that’s gone in to this. You want to sell orange juice at a certain profit margin in one shop? You can. Drop the prices on your pushchairs? Sure, why not.
The basics of building your city are surprisingly straight forward. You click and drag to layout roads, click to select and place buildings, trees etc. Then you can manipulate them with the various handles for each building; make it taller, smaller, more floors. You’ll be surprised at how much you can edit on the buildings. In fact nearly every part of it is controlled with the mouse.
Graphically, CitiesCorp Concept doesn’t have the polish that the Simcity games have. Everything is a little bit geometric and polygonal, and the textures are a little flat. However, that’s why I think it is easier to think of this as a tool rather than a game.
Sound? Yeah it’s not going to score any points for the quality of its soundtrack either. It’s not irritating in the strictest sense, but it doesn’t engage you. Mind you, what sound could you have for a city-building game? I remember the music in Simcity 2000, and Simcity 3 was repetitive dirge, so maybe poor soundtracks are just par for the course for games like this.
Like many city building games, there is a lot of scope to going back and playing this again. Laying out your city differently, or trying a completely different approach to merchandise. On the second time around, you would of course understand the game more and presumably make much better choices, but you would have to spend the time to fully immerse yourself in the game to get that understanding.
So, the final verdict? I’m trying not to judge this too harshly based on its difficulty and complexity. It is complex, in-depth and not something to dive in to if you only have a spare five minutes. This is going to take time to get to grips with, and time to get everything sorted, but the sense of satisfaction from that amount of effort must be worth it. Having said that, CitiesCorp Concept was just too advanced for me to enjoy. I could have spent days and weeks trying to figure it out, but to me games are supposed to be fun, and this took the city building genre just a step too far for me.
In short, if you’re looking for an in-depth and advanced city building emulator, CitiesCorp Concept might be the thing for you, but if, like me you need something a little more accessible, you might want to give this one a miss.