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Taking social classes for subcultures... What next? Radu Mitrache (14) 1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars1 Stars

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Far from being the Sim City clone it may initially appear to be, City Life is a deep and challenging city builder that fans of this niche genre will enjoy. The concept of having to provide for and maintain harmony between the six subcultures really makes the game an original experience and despite the many similarities to Sim City 4 the game never actually feels like a simple clone. Being able to zoom right down to street level and witness what your inhabitants are doing does actually add something to the whole experience. It's also impressive the way the game performance doesn't bog down once your city begins to become quite large as even a medium size city on Sim City 4 caused noticeable slowdown. Enjoyable city building games don't come along that often but City Life is certainly enjoyable and is a worthy purchase for fans of the genre.
Daily Game (Jun 10, 2006)
Before its fourth quarter blitz of strategy titles, CDV hopes you'll spend the summer creating cities rather than destroying them with City Life. A refreshing departure from the publisher's stable of war games, City Life focuses on the challenges of urban planning and management with a bit of social experimentation. Expanding beyond previous city simulations, while at the same time borrowing elements from them, the game offers a remarkably engaging experience that pushes expectations of the genre. While there is certainly room for improvement, City Life is an enjoyable game that deserves attention from simulation fans and casual gamers alike.
JustPressPlay (Jul 07, 2006)
Overall this is one city building game that is almost as good asSimCity. There are different elements that keep the game exciting andinnovative. For me I was addicted and frustrated with the game at thesame time. It’s an easy enough game to handle, but difficult to createthat one perfect city. I wish there were a couple of tweaks to thegraphics and sound of the game as well as more diversity when it comesto creating the perfect town in different maps. But don’t be put off bythis fact. You’ll spend hours trying to make that perfect town whereeveryone is satisfied.
PC Gamer (Aug, 2006)
OK, I'll admit it. I groaned when I first heard that Monte Cristo was developing a city-building game called City Life. Pretty loudly, too. After all, 17 years and a gazillion sequels have come and gone since the release of SimCity. These days, does anyone want to party like it's 1989?
82 (Jun 01, 2006)
If you've got the time and patience for City Life, then you'll surely uncover an engrossing gaming experience that, despite its minor faults (including a still-lacking tutorial, a confusing interface and some awful accompanying shopping centre 'muzak') that does more than enough to stand proud in the company of Tycoon and Sim City. Whether you want to create peace in the world or create havoc in society, you're sure to find it if you invest a little time and patience into this addictive and engrossing title. Just remember: 'with a little understanding you can find the perfect blend...'
IGN (Aug 10, 2006)
Overall, City Life is a very decent game with a new twist in the city building genre that will force players to think not only about efficient design, but also the social structure within that metropolis. While that aspect could have been a bit more challenging, the game as a whole does a pretty good job setting up a reasonable caricature of city living. Those gamers that are fans of city building will find a lot of fun within the City Life box if they can do without the flash and presentation they're used to in games like SimCity.
For me, it’s these little moments, when you can zoom right in and forget for a moment about your lofty Godlike perspective and see what it’s like for the little people, that City Life’s inherent charm comes through. It’s the simple satisfaction of watching your fledgling urban squall grow from nothing to an all-consuming metropolis. But it’s also the smile on a little girl’s face. City and Life. This is a game that does what it says on the tin.
80 (May 07, 2006)
Perhaps my only real criticism of City Life is that it can be somewhat simple once you get into it. My first city plunged me deeply into debt, having taken out too many loans, but I soon figured out the trick to rectifying this—destroying the most unprofitable/unneeded businesses and services—and was quickly back into the black. In some ways this is actually a bonus; being unable to recover from debt always put me off Sim City, but more hardcore players may find themselves seeking a greater challenge. Aside from this, the only issues I found were minor text-related slips; a few bits of untranslated text, a typo or two, none of which affect gameplay.
80 (May 04, 2006)
Sim City isn't the game I'm writing a review of but it is the basis of the title I'll tell you all about. City Life is a game in which you need to build a city and take care of everything while trying not to get into too much debt.
1UP (Jun 15, 2006)
But for one clever conceit, City Life would be a nice but unremarkable management simulation. Yet this simple idea permeates everything, transforming the familiar placing of roads, schools, etc. into an entirely different game. A game that has something to say, whether you agree with it or not. What is this magical gem of an idea? It's this: cities are cauldrons of class warfare and only skillful planning can steer them from either economic failure or fiery chaos.
Yahoo! Games (Jun 15, 2006)
Over three years have gone by since the last in the tremendously successful Sim City series, and there's no sign of another in the near future. Maybe that's creating something of a gap in your gaming life -- and if so, it's a gap which French developer Monte Cristo's newest release, City Life, will be more than happy to fill for you. City Life takes the unique approach of splitting its population into rigidly-defined social classes, and uses that to build a novel -- if slightly simplistic -- take on the traditional city management formula.
80 (UK) (Apr 28, 2006)
A new couple have just moved-in a few doors down from me. The bloke is some big wheel in the city. He wears handmade suits and drives an Aston Martin Vantage. The woman manages an art gallery, and spends her spare time meditating and taking photographs of picturesque beggars. Tonight, me and few of my working-class mates are going to go round to their house and welcome them to the neighbourhood in the traditional manner, i.e. batter them with baseball bats then set fire to their dog...
79 (May 04, 2006)
Am Anfang macht City Life trotz fehlender Einführung einen Heidenspaß, da es gar nicht einfach ist, euer noch winziges Städtchen zum Erblühen zu bringen, Steuergelder einzunehmen und es gleichzeitig allen recht zu machen. Die sechs Klassen sind einfach ein toller Einfall, aus dem man aber noch mehr rausholen hätte können. Habt ihr nämlich erst einmal geschallt, wie der Hase im Stadtgebiet läuft, wird alles zur Routine. Löcher im Stadtsäckel kommen dann nur noch selten vor. Spannend wird es noch einmal, wenn die Reichen Einzug halten. Sie wirbeln alles durcheinander und bringen Unordnung in die urbane Idylle. Wohin nur mit ihren Quartieren, ohne dass es Zoff gibt? Danach fällt die Motivation dann aber leider ab, da auch eine neue Partie recht ähnlich verläuft. Hier rächt es sich, dass es keine dynamische Wirtschaft gibt, die mehr Spannung bringen könnte.
I'm ashamed to admit that, having played so much Grand Theft Auto, while I was in first-person view in City Life I wished I could run up to a passing car, beat the owner senseless, and drive off into my city. But that's my problem, and doesn't reflect any failing on the part of City Life.
GameZone (Jun 19, 2006)
Sim City! There – it’s been said. While City Life, from CDV and Monte Cristo, bears a strong resemblance to the EA/Maxis franchise, this PC title forges its own place in the city simulation genre with some interesting elements that are tied to the population that inhabits the city you build.
City Life is echter de beste titel in zijn genre in lange tijd en het combineert de verslaving van het zo goed mogelijk inspelen op de behoeften van je inwoners naadloos met het financiële plaatje. Zo wordt het nooit te makkelijk. Het is geen SimCity, maar het komt indrukwekkend dicht in de buurt.
GameSpot (Jun 02, 2006)
City Life combines the fun of a city-building game with the challenge of a financial simulation, though it requires patience and perseverance to master.
PC Powerplay (May, 2006)
Neben der einfachen Steuerung hat's mir die tolle Grafik angetan. Zwar finde ich das Setting von Tycoon City New York viel interessanter, den Leuten in City Life schau ich aber lieber bei ihren Tätigkeiten über die Schulter, während ich ihre Stadt zur großen Metropole ausbaue.
Out Of Eight (Jun 22, 2006)
City Life breathes new life into the modern city building genre. The approach is different enough from competing titles to make City Life unique. I like the ability to freely “walk” around your town with the camera, the social methodology to the game, the difficulty associated with poor urban planning, and the good user interface. City Life could be improved with more varied graphics and less monetary penalties for building social services. The editor allows the user to circumvent the monetary limitations of the game, and also alter any of the game’s maps (for example, I flattened a mountain where I wanted to place a movie theater). Aspiring civil engineers will find a worthy challenge in City Life.
I was also looking forward to making the city go BOOM whenever I felt like it, like in SimCity. You don't have that option. No UFO's, natural disasters, crazy monsters or terrorists to attack your town. On the plus side it is pretty fun to look after all these citizens. Eventually building a massive city is quite an accomplishment, so it becomes something to be proud of. If you ever get sick of SimCity and you want something new, give City Life a shot.
Gameslave UK (Apr 15, 2006)
If you're anything like me, the first time you see this game you'll be thinking "yeah, it's just another Sim City Clone, who needs one of those?" But after staying up until 6am the first night of having it installed trying to figure out how best to plan my city, I can easily say this game is way too addictive for its own good.
75 (Apr 19, 2006)
Lors de la sortie de Sim City (le premier opus), le fondateur de Maxis avait promis lors d’une interview que le premier à créer une ville parfaitement équilibrée, sans tricher, devrait lui envoyer la disquette de sauvegarde, et qu’il se chargerait personnellement de la présenter aux personnalités politiques de son pays. Mais visiblement, personne n’a réussi à relever le défi, et il serait surprenant que Monte Cristo lance ce genre de défi pour City Life, bien que le risque de le perdre soit là aussi très mince...
74 (Apr 28, 2006)
City Life ist im Prinzip ein ziemlich dreister Sim City-Klone, der aber anfangs viel Spaß macht. Dank der unterschiedlichen Bevölkerungsschichten ist der Aufbau der ersten Stadt sehr fordernd. Da ein echtes Tutorial fehlt müssen Anfänger das ein oder andere Mal eine Karte komplett neustarten, viele Fehler verzeiht das Wirtschaftssystem von City Life nicht. Zudem ist es schade, dass eben dieses Wirtschaftssystem nicht wirklich realistisch arbeitet. In meinen Städten hatte ich am Ende sicherlich an die 50 Spieleentwickler-Büros errichtet, um die Arbeitslosenzahlen zu senken und Geld zu verdienen. Ein riesiges Einkaufszentrum erwirtschaftet dafür nur Verluste. Aufgrund dessen und auch weil die Motivation nach dem Aufbau der ersten großen Stadt merklich absinkt, erreicht City Life nicht ganz die Wertungsregionen von Sim City 4, zumal viele Bereiche wie Tourismus, Verkehr oder Umweltkatastrophen allenfalls am Rande im Spiel
PC Games (Germany) (Apr 24, 2006)
Die moderne Städtesimulation wartet mit den bis dato wohl schönsten Metropolen auf und simuliert eine bunte Gesellschaft. Genug für eine neue Referenz? Wow! Die vorab von City Life veröffentlichten Bildschirmfotos machten schon phänomenal was her. Und tatsächlich fallen die Städte sehr ansehnlich aus, die Kamera lässt sich von der Landschaftsübersicht bis hin zur Fußgängerperspektive einstellen und in den Straßen steppt der Bär.
GamingExcellence (Aug 26, 2006)
Overall City Life seems to be a solid game, but its presentation may turn many players away. Items are not as simple to place as they could be, even though this is one of the long list of main features of this game. The interface is very difficult to get used to and the tutorial for the game is almost a complete joke. Most games I've seen lately feature a tutorial where basic, small missions introduce the gameplay features in a step-wise fashion. In City Life the tutorial consists of a couple of screens of text and images in the game's menu. There's definitely enough complexity and strategy here to keep those who make it past the frustrating first steps, but unfortunately I feel this game may only appeal to more determined fans of the genre.
PC Action (May 14, 2006)
In bester Sim City-Manier erschaffen Sie eine virtuelle Stadt mit Häusern, Apotheken, Schulen, Fabriken. Das war's aber schon an Gemeinsamkeiten. Jetzt beginnt der Spaß: Sechs Bevölkerungsgruppen schreien nach Versorgung. Die Hippies bilden zusammen mit den Tagelöhnern und den Arbeitern die ärmere Gesellschaftsschicht. Kurzweilig, aber aufgrund schlecht erklärter Zusammenhänge manchmal unübersichtlich.
70 (Apr 19, 2006)
Délaissant un peu le côté financier et l'exhaustivité d'un Sim City pour se tourner vers les problèmes d'entente entre communautés, City Life saura convaincre les amateurs de gestion et les novices grâce à sa réalisation efficace et à son interface intuitive. Bref, voilà donc un titre que l'on peut aisément recommander.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Apr 28, 2006)
Ondanks het originele uitgangspunt is City Life, wegens te beperkt en onrealistisch, niet meer dan een Sim City Light...
GameStar (Germany) (May, 2006)
Wer noch nie eine der Sim-City-Varianten gespielt hat, wird Spaß mit City Life haben. Denn Will Wrights legendäres Konzept funktioniert nach wie vor. Das einzig eigenständige an Monte Cristos Stadtsimulation, die unterschiedlichen Bevölkerungsgruppen, bringen nur mehr Detailfummelarbeit und wenig Spaß. Nö, dann feile ich lieber an meinem New York in Tycoon City herum, denn da kann ich mich viel besser mit "meiner" Stadt identifizieren.
GameSpy (Jun 19, 2006)
On Thursday, October 27, 2005, a riot began in the Paris suburbs. While small at first, the riots eventually spread as disaffected youths from the country's poorer districts took to the streets, setting cars on fire and kicking off a wave of violence that rocked the country, forcing France to confront the friction between its social classes that threatened the whole country. It's not surprising, then, that a product like City Life, an urban planning and social simulator similar to Maxis' SimCity franchise, would come from French developer Monte Cristo. While City Life asks players to solve the same problems that have always bedeviled simulated mayors -- setting up a traffic grid, attracting an industrial base, promoting tourism, and balancing a budget -- it adds to it a fascinating layer of social awareness, urban harmony, and class warfare. Unfortunately, some basic flaws in presentation and strategic modeling suck a good deal of life out of things.
Once you do manage to get the weight over your head the first time, you can employ the same basic strategy on every map, at every difficulty. Sure, terrain and other impediments require a bit more ingenuity, but the thrill quickly wears off. City Life is half of a great game, a must-buy—-but only from the bargain bin. Like a Rubik’s Cube, once you get it right a few times, you just don’t have much reason to pick it up again.