Game Info:

Cities in Motion 2
Developed by: Colossal Order
Published by: Paradox Interactive
Release Date: April 2, 2013
Available on: PC, Mac, Linux
Genre: Simulation
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Price: $19.99

Thank you Gamers Gate for giving us the Monorail expansion to review!

Cities in Motion 2 picks up where the first game left off and lets you design various methods of mass transit.  While I miss the helicopters from the original game, monorails can be added to this sequel for $9.99. There are other add-ons available, and you can buy the collection for $35 or just the base game for $20 on Steam.  Multiplayer and day/night cycles are other newly added features in this title.  The cities are more dynamic and their success relies on the player to design efficient and affordable public transportation systems.  

When you start the game, you can choose to start a campaign (which requires you to complete the tutorial), play online, or play in the sandbox mode.  Instead of locations and time eras, you get to work in non-specific cities.  Landmarks like Big-Ben can be purchased in a separate DLC package. The sandbox area lets you do whatever you want with various options like unlimited cash, disabling city growth and random objectives.  After completing the tutorial, I recommend playing in sandbox with unlimited cash to familiarize yourself with building complex trollies, trams, metros, and monorails.  

Bus routes are not only inexpensive, but they are also easy to set up. All you need to do is place a few bus stops, create a route, add a bus and you’re done! When you create a route, you have to close it with the first stop in order to complete it. While bus signs are adequate, there are fancier bus stops that provide shelter which makes the customers happier while they are waiting and avoiding the rain.

Cities in Motion 2

Strong Points: Fun concept; Linux support
Weak Points: Steeper learning curve than the original; DLC nickel-and-diming.
Moral Warnings: None!

Water Bus (Boats) routes are pretty straight forward as well since all that you require is a depot, docks, boats and water.  I don't know why, but sometimes the boats refused to stop at some of the docks I put in place.  Apparently there are some limitations with boat paths and bridges and roads connecting parts of the cities will get in the way as well.

Trams usually carry more passengers than buses, but in order to use a tram you first have to build tracks for them to ride on. The tracks can go almost anywhere but some of the rounded corners and cul–de-sacs can be tricky. Putting in tracks costs money so make sure the routes save time and are cost effective.  Trollies are similar and require their own tracks to be placed as well.  

Metros are the most versatile since you can construct metro lines above or underground. There are multiple depths to work with underground to avoid any water that would get in the way. You cannot combine underground routes of various depths, however, you can merge an above ground line with an underground one. Metros are costly to implement, but they are very profitable since you can carry many passengers at once.

Monorails are the fastest, most expensive, and arguably the coolest transit system to build. I'm not sure if it's worth half of the game price to enable this feature though.  I suppose if you really enjoy this game and want new challenges it's worth considering.   

Cities in Motion 2
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 70%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4/5
Controls - 4/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The campaign mode offers various missions that will involve setting up routes to connect high traffic areas. Sometimes you are told what kind of route to setup, but most of the time you are free to choose how you want to complete the objective. Missions are given to you by the overseer and some influential customers request routes as well. Most objectives carry a cash reward once completed.

Other than completing your mission objectives, there is no score system or any other form of a take away from completing a scenario. You can go under financially and the city may give you a subsidy or two.  There is plenty of data available to find out how much coverage you are offering and what your most and least profitable vehicles are. When you set up a new stop the buildings that will be serviced by it will be in green and they fade to yellow and red if they are out of reach. The more coverage you have, the better you look to the board of directors.

You can keep an eye on the vehicles used in routes to see how full or empty they are.  If you notice all of your vehicles filling it, it’s time to add more to your route. You can re-arrange vehicles form slower routes to the busy ones with a couple clicks. When a vehicle is selected you can watch it making its rounds in a window on the lower right hand side. When you’re working on your lines you can make them visible or invisible if you just want to focus on a specific one.

Cities in Motion 2

The 3D graphics and water effects look great when you zoom in.  The character and building models are a bit on the bland side. There’s a DLC available that offers new vehicles instead of the handful you start with for each transit system. It's a shame that the developers are banking on the DLC instead of offering a full featured game from the beginning.

The sound effects are pretty spot on with the bus, trolly, metro, and boat noises.  The background music is pleasant to listen to, but isn't memorable. There is no voice acting and all of the dialogue is text based.

Other than Cities in Motion 2 hanging on start up once, I haven't experienced any other issues running it.  While it's harder than the original, it's still a fun game once you get past the steep learning curve.   Unfortunately, there were no multiplayer games for me to join so I cannot comment on that.   I got my copy of the game in a Humblebundle sale and got my money's worth.  Sadly the regular version of the game is so stripped down compared to the DLC bundle version. I would recommend buying the latter if you see it in a Steam sale.    

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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