"Cities Skylines": Fun and Educative Game

Updated on July 10, 2020
Al Stine profile image

AL is a casual gamer with a strong preference for PC simulation and roleplaying games.

"Cities Skylines" Title Screen
"Cities Skylines" Title Screen | Source

Cities Skylines is a city-building simulation game with all the tools used to create a realistic city. The game mechanics make it easy and fun to build an aesthetically appealing city of your choosing. It is also very educational, as the player is introduced to realistic city elements of the economy and environment of a real city.

Playing the role of the mayor, the player is expected to know how to balance taxation of residents and industries, provide employment and education opportunities for the city dwellers. Provide health and security infrastructure, proper roads, and communication networks. At the same time, be able to provide enough social services, entertainment, and a constant supply channel of goods and services. By the time a fully functioning city is established, the player will feel qualified enough to run for a real presidential position.

Establishing the City

Like any major city, the player has to begin building the city from the ground up. A secured parcel of land, some finances, and a well-established plan or vision of the city is a good starting point.

Before any road networks are built, the player has to envision and establish different city zones, from industrial, commercial, agricultural, to residential and recreational areas. This is a good education in city planning, the player has to discern which zones should be adjacent or next to each other, otherwise, the residents next to an industrial area will start falling sick due to pollution.

It is also important to pay attention to the resources around the purchased parcel of land. These are the sources of food and raw materials for all the products used in the city.

Management of the City

After the city zones and road networks have been established. The industrial, commercial, and residential areas will start popping up. This introduces the player to the fun, thrills, and hardships of running a real city. It enables the player to develop a real sense of appreciation of the essential services, and servicemen and women that ensure that the city is secure and functioning.

The zones and residents will require connections to the water and electricity grids. They will require health and safety services, educational facilities, employment opportunities, and entertainment and recreation facilities. For all these services to function properly, a good road network is very important.

Development of the City

Over time, the city will gradually evolve, the structure of the houses, commercial buildings, and industries will appear more developed as a reflection of the growth and progress of the city.

In the development phase, the player can now experiment with whatever type of city they want to have. They can choose alternative sources of power, switching to cleaner and greener alternatives. The player can also decide to lower the taxes of the residents, introduce more commercial zones, more schools, healthcare, the options are limitless.

The residents will respond with 'tweets' to the developments taking place, giving the player the general atmosphere of the city. As the city progresses, special infrastructure such as rocket launching sites, museums, cinemas, and other new buildings and skyscrapers will become available to the player. Giving the city a more modern and realistic appearance.

Miscellaneous City Events

To keep the player involved in city management, random events occur around the city. Natural disasters, diseases, crime, and fire outbreaks occur throughout the city causing the player to constantly evaluate the city planning and establishing disaster preparedness schemes. These events can at times be catastrophic enough to wipe out the entire city population and infrastructure causing the player to start rebuilding all the lost progress.

Expansion Packs

Some additional content can be added to the game as free or purchased downloadable content (DLC) or expansion packs.

Expansion Pack
Date Released
Sunset Harbor
26 March 2020
21 May 2019
23 October 2018
24 May 2018
Green Cities
19 October 2017
17 August 2017
Mass Transit
18 May 2017
Pearls From the East
22 March 2017
Natural Disasters
29 November 2016
Match Day
9 June 2016
18 February 2016
After Dark
24 September 2015
List of major expansion packs provided by the developers' Paradox Interactive

A Fun and Educative Way to Relax

City Skylines might not provide the adrenaline rush involved with other video games, but it is a fun, educative, and a relaxing way to spend a lot of hours. It introduces the player to several aspects of everyday life that go unnoticed. As the player enjoys the game, they will unknowingly be introduced and educated in a variety of fields. They will learn about taxation, the structures of the economy, supply and demand, and the decisions involved. They will acquire a general appreciation of the environment they live in, the water and electricity they use, the transportation network, health, education, and safety services.

If you have a lot of indoor time, playing Cities Skylines is a fun way to re-imagine the outdoors in a way that fits and suits your imagination, while at the same time, acquiring a good education on how the world functions.

Have You Played "Cities Skylines" Before?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 AL


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    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      Kyler, with enough time and training I need not worry about anything.

      I was a very active gamer not so long ago. Played most of your games too. And my machines are very much active, with the lockdowns in place, time is very generous. I will be ready.

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      Thanks, Liz,

      Actually city planners use this nowadays as a simple simulation for future projects. Its also good hobby and a tool,

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      3 months ago from Corona, CA

      Sims, city-builders, and RTS games are my bread and butter! Granted I'll actually gamble on games like CoD, Destiny, or GoW because I absolutely smash the competition, but I grew up on things like Sim City, Command and Conquer, Dawn of War, etc.

      I recently exploded my rig and can't use this crummy laptop for anything but flash games, but the second I replace it I'll come and let you know so we can put your money where your mouth is! Ha!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      It seems to me that there are a lot of city planners in the past, who would have benefited from playing this game. You have reviewed it well.

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      Strange enough, I would not have associated this game with you, Kyler.

      You seem to be the adrenaline rush gaming kind of guy. Good to know you are a veteran. I know of those perks, I find the fun in grinding the city from the ground to the top. Struggling with finances for infrastructure adds a realistic feel to the game. I play and plan the city as realistic as I can possibly imagine it.

      During the lockdowns, I have also started playing some games outside my comfort zone. I now play Global Strike, War Thunder, and Helldivers. If you play one of these games I'd be glad to join you and kill you.

    • Al Stine profile imageAUTHOR


      3 months ago from South Equator, East Pacific

      Thanks, John,


      Actually it's easier once you get the hang of it. The beauty lies in its complex nature, it gives a sense of accomplishment once you become an established player.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      3 months ago from Corona, CA

      A funny little addition to this article from a veteran of the game, myself:

      Delete every piece of the game and do nothing but establish a complex road system that connects one side of the map to the other. Make sure no space is wasted, it has to be more complex than a Rube Goldberg machine, and then use nothing but toll booths at random intervals throughout the process.

      Absolutely hilarious way to make tons of money with no consequences other than natural disasters if you have them turned on.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This sounds like a a complex and sophisticated game. It would be challenging but very rewarding and educational. Thank you for sharing, Al.


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