Oh Cities: Skylines how I love you so. Following the fantastic After Dark expansion (read my review of that here), Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order have now bought us the next content pack, Snowfall. Although slightly late to be anything close to a snowy winter here in the UK, the new expansion brings a new set of challenges, buildings and new ways to play the already awesome base experience.
• Developer: Colossal Order
• Publisher: Paradox Interactive
• Reviewed on: PC
• Also Available On: N/A
• Release Date: Available Now
One of the key features within the patch and expansion is the new temperature system. When temperatures drop, the way the city and the citizen’s changes. People choose to stay in their homes and crank the heating up. With the heating turned up, there is a fluctuating need for electricity. Investing in more electricity buildings is a solid way to deal with this new challenge, but it’s difficult to do that from the offset. With this enabled the early game in a city changes dramatically. No longer can you sit back and watch the city grow, there is a requirement to be a bit more controlling of energy outputs and conservation in warmer seasons. Mis-managing the early game can result in some failure, the temperature drops, heating goes on and suddenly people have no electricity. On this trigger, the city starts to empty, and revenue decreases. Spending whatever money you have left on new electric supplies goes a long way, but it may be too late. It’s a fairly small but effective change that switches the early game balance and mentality, providing a fresh take on building a budding city.
Another key challenge on a snow covered map is how the weather affects transport. Roads can be too icy to travel at high speeds, therefore all travelling vehicles have to drop their speed, potentially causing your city to slow down as much as the traffic. One of the new buildings aims to combat this, working in a similar way to garbage collection. Snow trucks head out around the city, clearing the roads of ice and snow, allowing traffic to flow freely. These new factors tweak the priority of construction within the early game. Normally the aim would be to build up public service, but city infrastructure now has a slightly higher importance. Tweaks like this keep the game interesting, with the expansion allowing for more choice compared to the base game, keeping everything fresh.
Snowfall also introduces a wide range of snow-based attractions and leisure activities for your citizens to enjoy. These are mostly for show, while still offering the happiness benefits to nearby inhabitants. They’re well themed with the expansion and are generally pretty within the rest of the city scape.
Public transport has also had a slight revamp, it’s now much easier to manage transport lines and their statistics. Fan demanded trams have also been introduced, breathing new life into the public transport system, again allowing for more challenge and choice. This brings with it new road types to allow for Trams to be used, allowing a mixture of more road types and traffic management.
Cities: Skylines was already a wonderful game, After Dark allowed for more choice and made the city feel more alive, Snowfall does that too and is a welcome addition to the family. Cities now look more varied, vibrant and with more choice to customise how you see fit. The new weather and temperature mechanics freshens up the formula by changing up construction priorities and energy management in the early game. Snowfall is once again another fantastic add-on to one of my 2015 games of the year. It’s well worth picking up if you’re in love with the game as much as I am.