PC/Mac/Linux, Switch •
Another interesting announcement during the Nintendo Direct that I didn’t watch came from Paradox, makers of all things epic and real-time. Turns out they’re getting in the Switch game as well and their first (and maybe only?) release is the outstanding city builder, Cities: Skylines. The best part is that it wasn’t a tease announcement. No, they were announcing that the game was out for Switch right then and now.
I’m not going to go into details about Cities: Skylines. If you’ve played a city-builder, you know what to expect. Or maybe you don’t, because the detail and options you have in Cities: Skylines dwarfs anything I’ve seen in a city-builder before or since. You can really make the city of your dreams in Cities: Skylines or, if you’re like me, nothing but sprawling, crime-filled slums. That’s not intentional, I just suck at everything.
The Switch version has been revamped by Colossal Order to fit on the smaller screen and, for the most part, it works. Like some other Switch ports (I’m looking at you, Darkest Dungeon) the text can be way too small in some areas, but the UI has been completely changed for the joy-con controllers. I played around with it a bit last night and trying to build roads in straight lines was far trickier than it ever was with a mouse, but not ridiculously so. I think a few hours of practice and I’d get the hang of it. The menu for building options is along the bottom of the screen and objects are selected or deselected using buttons. Each tool has its own radial menu that is cleverly accessed by holding down the ‘Y’ button, a secret which took me a while to figure out even though it was prominently featured in the new tutorial that begins your first building session.
The game felt like Cities: Skylines, albeit smaller, which is the good news. Of course, I’ve only just started playing so we’ll see how the Switch handles a city when it’s more than a couple ranch homes and a general store. I’m especially excited to plug my Switch into the dock and play on the TV in the living room, which I hope to do over the weekend.
The Switch version of Cities: Skylines brings with it the After Dark and Snowfall expansions which are only 2 of the many, many additions available to the Steam version. I’m guessing we’ll see more via DLC down the road.
Cities: Skylines is developed by Colossal Order and only published by Paradox. As such, I’m not sure if this is a sign of other Paradox titles coming to Switch or if this is a one-time deal. As usual, Paradox isn’t talking.