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.
Someone on Genius seems to think that one of the lyrics from the new Arctic Monkeys album is a reference to a delisted Nintendo DS city builder game... https://t.co/jZkRHxnKv3 pic.twitter.com/VT75u1b78pOctober 21, 2022
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.