City Life Edition 2008 review

Time to orchestrate some class warfare

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Balancing the social tensions

  • +

    SimCity-like familiarity

  • +

    New scenarios and buildings


  • -

    Scenarios lack imagination

  • -

    Feels old and gussied up

  • -

    Perplexing class structure

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The original City Life distinguished itself from other town management games with its class structure. From the Have-nots to the Elites, each neighbourhood had to be delicately balanced, keeping the rich and the poor apart to prevent social unrest, while providing adequately for all. And now it’s back, repackaged with a collection of new scenarios.

In a way familiar to anyone who’s played SimCity, you begin with a plot of land, and are tasked with creating a successful and socially calm metropolis. While much is recognisable - building residential zones and commercial areas, along with amenities - you’re immediately challenged by the influence of social conflict. In this world the rich and the poor do not get along - to the point of violence and, eventually, rioting.

Eighteen new scenarios add to the original 22, all unlocked from the beginning. These range across difficulty levels, with some much tougher environments and challenges on offer. Although, beyond the request of one that you keep out of the way of the local cannibals, they do tend to lack a sense of imagination.

More info

DescriptionCity Life offers a vast amount of detail, a hefty editor and a unique approach to social design. But can it out-do Sim City 4?
US censor rating"Rating Pending"
UK censor rating"7+"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)