106 of 113 people (94%) found this review helpful 14 people found this review funny
49.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
If you've ever been annoyed at public transport, here's one for you. See if you can do better. Cities in motion is a simulator game where you can be the one to work out the public transport of a city. Sounds easy enough, just some bus lines here and there. A tram line on this road here, and everything is connected. And then you give it a while, and there's 8 busses waiting for that one bus stop with a waiting line of 250 people. Clearly you didn't think that one through. But that's okay, where a normal job as public transport planner would have you fired for that, here you can try again or fix it somehow. So then you can add subway stations, boats, and helicopters, and before you know it you're covering the city and hours passed.
The interface and controls are easy to learn(If a little odd at times), and the game mechanics are easy enough as well. However, mastering the game mechanics and planning out the city public transport is much harder. You'll have to go through several attempts to figure out what goes wrong and how to fix it, and you may want to take a look at the actual public transport system in your city for ideas. Edit: Also, it has some inaccuracies. Amsterdam does not look anything like that. And you can just build a subway tunnel under the Berlin wall. Replacing old vehicles is a pain too.
As for the technical details, it's surprisingly good. Every citizen appears to be modeled*(*I didn't count them. at least a large enough amount of them to make the cities feel alive), and you can follow them through their morning commute, shopping trips, and visits to others. And this is all supported by the game mechanics, you can set a citizen as interesting person, and the game will show you a portrait of him where he goes. (Warning: Long) In my latest case, I looked at a factory in Vienna, and found a red car driving from the top of a parking garage(Mentally following it through the roof as it drove down) next to it down to the ground floor and onto the streets. So I asked, why is this person not using the public transport system to work and back? Wilhelm Klein, factory supervisor - Drives by car from his home, connected to the public transport, to work, also connected to the public transport system. He then went shopping at a big department store, which too was connected by public transport. After that, he went to a church far outside of Vienna, in a smaller village where I did not yet expand to. He then returned home.
I didn't have the money, but I figured I'd have to connect that place somehow when I did get money. So I went on to look around town, just watching people board the bus and go around. After a while, Wilhelm was moving again. Another day at work. This time, he wandered to the tram stop down the street and was quickly picked up by one of the passing trams. He then got out at a connection to the subway, but instead took the bus at that same subway station, and rode it all the way down to work. A while after, he boarded the bus again and I watched him go back to the tram station for what I assumed to be the way home. But not this time. This time he went into the subway, so I look at his info screen and see his destination is a ministry building near the town center and then back home with a direct tram line. I connect the extra village with a busline, and I speed up time a bit.
When I check back on Wilhelm, he has a new job. He is hired as secretary in the ministry building he went to way back then. Perhaps he couldn't handle his supervisor job at the factory, or perhaps he never really wanted it in the first place. But either way, Wilhelm is happy now, and he can go with a direct tram line from his home to his work, and from there, anywhere in Vienna he wants.
Mission succesfull, the citizens of Vienna can stay in motion
78 of 96 people (81%) found this review helpful 8 people found this review funny
33.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 6, 2015
Initially, this game was right up my alley. I am a huge tycoon / sim junkie and I was able to grasp the basics right off the bat.
However, the main issue I have is the sim engine itself is incredibly difficult to work with. To make money, you need to move passengers from point A to B. Optimum lines for doing such tend to be a little too popular and in order to keep up with the demand, you need to add more vehicles. More vehicles clog up the roadways (which don't seem to thin out no matter how many people you have using the public system in the first place), which deceases your efficiency even more. In the midst of this entire mess, you have to constantly babysit your wages and ticket prices as the in-game economy fluctuates. Too high, and your already angry customer base will ignore you completely, leaving you with no income. Too low, and your lines get flooded, which then turns into a rinse and repeat of the first problem.
I managed to successfully beat the first scenario after a countless number of restarts, and I am still hung up on the second after 22 hours of play. In the end, you always end up broke and PO'd unless you did things 100% the way the designers intended. Deviate just a little, and you're toast.
In the end, CiM is just a puzzler pretending to be a sim. Avoid unless you have the Buddha's patience.
I spent many MANY hours playing Transport Tycoon, OpenTTD, and both Aerobiz games for the SNES, and this falls into the same vein of transport business simulation. Thankfully, it also lives up to that standard of excellence. It's very easy to grasp some of the core concepts, but it is definitely more difficult to master the game. If you're into business simulations, this is absolutely worth playing.
90 of 126 people (71%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
33.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
It was for me great fun to play this game in the begin - However there is a super enoying bug that will happen eventually in any city with metro trains and renders the whole system unplayable.
Usually in the late stage of the game there will be always an important metro station where trains rediculously will just not leave before they are completely full (which takes very long because they are waiting very long for single people who are just entering the station)!!! This causes heavy jams in front of the stations where trains que up infinetly. People on subsequent stops can hardly enter the train thus get angry. Also you can not add more trains to the line because they will only add to the que in front of this one faulty station
This is messing with the whole (!) metro nework and there is absolutly nothing what you can do about it ...
The bug is known but the developers sadly don't care about it.
Also beware of high CPU Loads and memory leaks. After some time the Game will slow down as hell.
The missions are mostly funny, but instead of encouraging and guide you to build a reasonable network, it rather forces you to build non-profitable lines. There is in general not much assistance or feedback to understand why your system is working or not as well as the statistics are not so useful.
The mod system is great - very active community.
bottom line: In the beginn it's a good fun to play this game but it lacks long term motivation because of enoying bugs and lack of reasonable feedback.
PS: The screenshots are very misleading about the actual gameplay! Please use google picture search or steam community tab if you want to get a real impression of the game interface.
46 of 55 people (84%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
97.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 3, 2014
Brilliant! I've spent more time on it than steam says (offline play) - a lot of it as well. It's a great transport strategy game. The work of a genius, and can run on my laptop with only 6GB RAM and awful everything else. From that point of view, it's even better than number 2. The campaigns are great fun, and challenging, for example, they ask you to build a tube link...but you only really have enough money for a bus route, so do you save up, or hope the line is a success. Also the ability for custom games, and map creation make this a truly amazing game!
49 of 71 people (69%) found this review helpful 5 people found this review funny
75.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 5, 2015
Cities in Motion is one of those games you just cant help but enjoy playing. Its got a lot of positives going for it and then.... inevitability the longer you play it, the more frustation creeps in. In the end it will wave goodbye to all that goodwill that it built up in the many hours of previous play.
The game tries to be at its core a simplified mass-transit simulator. You take control of a company looking to build several transport routes across a number of recreated cities in the hopes of gaining enough money to expand the network and eventually complete a number of mission objectives. All the while you have to deal with maintaining the infrastructure and vehicles, keeping your public reputation as high as possible and generating a profit to pay your workers.
There are 2 campaigns. I only completed the first, which consisted of 12 scenarios, each of them stand-a-lone so you are not penalized when you begin the next one. Objectives come in the form of petitions, which tend number around 12-18 per scenario. Their content is a variation upon a theme, such as; build x number of lines, build a line from a to b, keep your vehicles maintained above y, transport z passengers, increase or decrease prices, remove n number of stops, stop a line for x weeks, etc. For the most part these are all fairly easy to carry out and you are only restricted by money, at least at the start.
There are five types of transport lines which you can use to carry passengers around the city: bus (road), trams (lines), metro (underground), ferry (water) and heliports (air). Each has several (around 35) vehicles in total with their own strengths and weakeness such as; carry capacity, reliability, speed, attractiveness, which provide benefits and weaknesses to your strategy.
Add to this the need to tinker with prices as an abstracted economy rises and falls, the ability to finance through bank loans your next big project and you get the picture. Take all of these ingredients and you get what is a fun, enjoyable and not to difficult game to play. For the most part the game works. However... as you play more and more you get to see that the game isnt exactly well designed. Or built.
You can essentially perform gamey actions to circumvent the restrictions that the developers have in store for you, allowing you to build up cash reserves quickly without any bad effects. Once youve completed the first few maps there is little to tax anyone looking for something with a harder challenge. The first campaign maps encompass four cities; Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna & Helsinki but, once you have figured out the best strategy for each one, you can re-apply the same strategy over and over, despite the different starting circumstances.
The biggest let-down has to be the bugged campaign scenario 2 petiton that never triggers. This means you can never complete the associated achievement, unless you find a user-made editor, that allows you to access the relevant file and edit one word in the code. One word!! Thats unforgiveable given that many patches were released for this game and this major fault is still not fixed! The other major issue (if you are an achievement hunter) is that another achievement requires purchase of 34 base game vehicles. Of which I have attempted to acquire twice. The base game even includes more than 34 vehicles. Unfortunately the counter stops at 15 for me. I know others have had the same problem.
Despite having many, many dlcs, you do not need any of them to get all the achievements. The fact that the developers (and publisher) do not force you to buy all the extra dlcs they made to get 100% achievements would have otherwise been a great plus for this game.... but alas no..... I highly suspect that you will need to purchase at least some other dlcs (with extra vehicles in them) to get this "all vehicles" achievement.
Its really disappointing... because if not for these core issues I would say that overall Cities in Motion is an above average, if slightly lightweight mass-transit simulator. One that I would have recommended to those of you interested in the genre or looking for something non-violent. As it is all that good work was undone on the final straight.
* If the developers ever fix these two achievement issue I will happily change this to a YES recommendation. ** The Complete Collection achievement can be triggered by downloading a MOD (of all the vehicles reworked) For some reason in their unpacked form they register.
It's one thing to build a city, but another thing entirely to manage it. Games like SimCity are high-level simulations that let you build services like trains and bus stops and then forget about them, trusting their operation to whatever imaginary middle-managers you have. Cities in Motion is the game for them, a simulation entirely concerned with developing and managing transit systems. And while that might not sound like the most thrilling thing in the world, it's presented in such a relaxing, charming way that it's hard not to find joy in.
Each scenario in Cities in Motion sets you in a fully-realized 3D city, where every building and landmark is named and given uses to the populace. You run a startup transportation company, charged with arranging bus lines, tram routes, subway tunnels, and more to achieve goals and turn a profit. The first part is pretty simple and fun, as you get regular missions to connect different parts of the city in various ways. This can be anything from running trains from downtown to the suburbs, to building a bus stop for one very lazy fellow's house.
The second part, turning a profit, is where you might get stuck. There are a LOT of factors to consider when drawing a bus line or even just placing a stop. There are seven classes of people to ferry around, including blue-collar workers, tourists, and retirees. They all live in different parts of the city and have different transit needs, so just running lines from apartments to shopping centers might not cut it if those apartments are where students or CEOs live. There are also a mess of vehicles to outfit your routes with, each with different price tags, speeds, safety ratings, appeals, and fuel consumptions. Add to that your control over wages, ticket prices, and advertising, plus a full economic model for the city that can change the business landscape during recessions and crisises, and you may very well have trouble grasping why you're not making any money.
At least the interface won't be what's standing in your way. Cities in Motion has some very helpful information overlays for the city, as well as useful graphs and charts of your company's performance at all levels. Routes are shown in clear paths overlaid on the city, and floating tabs over your stops display all the key information you need to make informed decisions about your service. The 3D models of everything, from the buildings to the buses to the people, are surprisingly detailed and pleasantly animated. The sound design is exactly what you're expecting as well, with pleasing jingles and chimes over a mostly relaxed soundtrack. You'll find plenty of content to keep you busy as well, with loads of campaigns, scenarios, and sandboxes spread across the many cities of the world. It'll take some effort to break into, but Cities in Motion does everything it can to make the steep learning curve a fun one to climb.
20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
27.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 13, 2014
This is one of those games that takes a certain kind of player. If you love building and management games than this is a lot of fun. I have played both this and the second Cities in Motions. Both are fun, but in different ways. Cities in Motions 2 offers you a lot more control of how you can lay down your tracks (and roads because the sequel allows you to build your own roads) and now limit you to the four cardinal directions and diagonals. But the cities feel a little bare bones because they just have buildings.
In the first Cities in Motions the cities have train stations, ports, airports, and the roads and highways actually go off map instead of a loop leaving you in this mysterious cities that is completely cut off from the outside world...
Though Cities in Motion 2 compell you to build depots where you buses, trams, and subways which makes repairs and maintainance much easier on you.
While the game play is honetly a little better in the sequel the city feels more alive and real to me in the first game. I actually recommend both, but check out let's plays on youtube to get an idea of them if you want to know what you're getting into.