This little-known Nintendo DS city builder just got a bizarre moment in the spotlight

City Life
(Image credit: Monte Cristo)

A long-forgotten Nintendo DS city-builder released only in Europe has been given a peculiar new lease of life on the latest Arctic Monkeys album.

In the final verse of 'Sculptures of Anything Goes', the third track on 'The Car' (which released on October 21), are the lyrics "the simulation cartridge for City Life '09 / is pretty tricky to come by."

That would appear to be a reference to the Nintendo DS version of City Life. Originally released on PC in 2006, two major features attempted to set City Life apart from the likes of SimCity; the first was that players were able to work in full 3D, placing buildings at different angles to create unique cities. The second was its detailed map of socio-economic classes, in which members of different classes would align with those similar to them, but were opposed to those with notable differences.

Relatively well-received critically, City Life spawned two expansions, and would go on to become the Cities XL games, released in 2009 and 2015. Most important here, however, is the Nintendo DS version, also released in 2009. Only available in Europe, the port doesn't seem to have made too much of a splash - perhaps that's due to the genre's dominance on PC, or simply the console's lack of ability to keep up, even with the 2006 edition of the game. Perhaps that's why the band is having some trouble finding copies.

As noted on Genius (opens in new tab), in their lyrics the Arctic Monkeys are likely referring to the inability to access older Nintendo titles via official channels - as noted, Nintendo has been discontinuing older eShops for a while, and it's not actively looking to preserve the titles set to be lost as a result. In 'Sculptures', however, the lyrics specifically refer to the "cartridge," suggesting frontman Turner is looking for a physical copy. While hardly prevalent, a quick couple of searches on Amazon and Ebay turned up relatively cheap editions of the game, so perhaps there's some poetic license at work here.

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Exactly why the band would draw on such an obscure title isn't clear, but given 'Sculptures' apparent focus on unpicking long-held perceptions of the band and what its work "should" be like, perhaps this is a hark-back to the group's late-noughties heyday. Either way, you'd think that for all their success, the Arctic Monkeys could probably buy whatever games they want, even at retro Nintendo prices.

Dwelling on the nostalgia of it all? Here are the 25 best DS games of all time.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.