Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    It not only makes for a perfect introduction to the genre for those curious few yet to sample a taste of Sim City, as well as providing some more meatier challenges for the experienced simmer. Combine this with the incredibly detailed, smooth and well-conceived graphics and the discrete sound and music, and you have a game that's pretty much a must have.
  2. If you are a fan of City Building Sims than this is a great title for you. Just be warned that the extra need to balance your different social groups will make this one harder to master than some of the other City Building Sims out there.
  3. Much more than a clone of "SimCity", City Life is a deep, realistic urban planning simulation that is both challenging and entertaining.
  4. It scores well in all areas, but the inclusion of StarForce will put a lot of people off. Note to Monte Cristo: Seriously, guys, don’t use StarForce on one of your products again. Ever.
  5. It won't win any awards for innovation (or its horrofic yacht-rock soundtrack), but City Life is still a great, slightly offbeat take on an old-fashioned formula. [Sep 2006, p.58]
  6. The fact of different groups and their interaction adds another dimension to an already neat idea. Budding Mayors will love it.
  7. 82
    If you've got the time and patience for City Life, then you'll surely uncover an engrossing gaming experience that, despite its minor faults (including a still-lacking tutorial, a confusing interface and some awful accompanying shopping centre 'muzak') that does more than enough to stand proud in the company of Tycoon and Sim City.
  8. I love the first person point of view. It does nothing for me as far as making better building choices, but being able to wander around street level and see what all my little people are doing is fun.
  9. City Life adds a new social element to the traditional sim game. It takes some clever planning to keep your city’s populace from destroying each other, but the implementation feels just a bit heavy-handed. The rest of the package is high caliber, except for some questionable taste in music.
  10. The relative simplicity, the choice of structured or freeform play, the ability to mingle with your populace... it's all very successful. If Monte Cristo could just turn the volume up a fraction on the interesting social conflict dimension, and add a few extra building models to make skylines a bit more varied.
  11. 80
    A very decent game with a new twist in the city building genre that will force players to think not only about efficient design, but also the social structure within that metropolis. While that aspect could have been a bit more challenging, the game as a whole does a pretty good job setting up a reasonable caricature of city living.
  12. 80
    City Life is the freshest take on the city-sim genre in memory, managing to be both as challengingly complex as its more gearheaded forebears and more accessible to casual or more philosophical players.
  13. The interface is simple in its design and layered very logically.
  14. While it happens to have an deceptively inconspicuous title, the same cannot be said for the experience it provides.
  15. Dedicated Sim City players are probably saying, "Yes, of course I need that level of detail!", and that's why City Life isn't going to appeal to them too much. But plenty of folks will be glad of a little more abstraction and a little less overwhelming detail.
  16. City Life is all about creating a provocative and challenging social model, then giving you the tools to play with it and the 3D engine to admire it. [Sept. 2006, p.66]
  17. "SimCity" in its later incarnations became too laborious, so that cyber-builders even found themselves planning and maintaining water systems. City Life scores high by keeping things more straightforward.
  18. There are a few things missing, and long-term gameplay in the scenario mode may be a little repetitious but City Life does a nice job of creating a city management sim that has its challenges, but is entertaining and enjoyable.
  19. City Life’s handling of social dynamics adds a fresh new layer to the enterprise of city building.
  20. Despite the familiarity of City Life’s gameplay, the social element is fresh enough to make it an easy recommendation, despite any political overtones it may carry. If you are a city building fan or just have time to kill until Sim City 5 is released, City Life is a good choice, thanks to its easygoing nature and appealing structure.
  21. City Life provides a valuable municipal service by being far more accessible while still providing a decent challenge. [June 2006, p.95]
  22. City Life combines the fun of a city-building game with the challenge of a financial simulation, though it requires patience and perseverance to master.
  23. Juggling to accommodate the intellectuals with the riff-raff offers a pleasant twist on the genre, but this still doesn't quite have the sheen of Will Wright's series. [June 2006, p.80]
  24. It possesses the sort of open-ended gameplay structure that will nurture your addictive tendencies and have you tweaking and expanding your city way beyond the time you promised yourself you would stop.
  25. Falls a little short of the bar set by the likes of "SimCity 4." [July 2006, p.80]
  26. Not as inventive at Sim City, but this clone brings some new elements to the table, making City Life one worth living.
  27. There's definitely enough complexity and strategy here to keep those who make it past the frustrating first steps, but unfortunately I feel this game may only appeal to more determined fans of the genre.
  28. It does not revolutionize any concepts in the genre but it manages to get the basics down right to make an enjoyable urban planning experience.
  29. A well-executed sim, on the whole, but it lacks genuinely unique features. [June 2006, p.86]
  30. An enjoyable city-building simulation that lacks SimCity's depth but emphasises social cohesion.
  31. Games are for relaxation and fun – copy protection that impedes that and causes the user to spend time repairing their OS instead of enjoying their purchased product run counter to that.
  32. 62
    If you really need a life sim fix, I would recommend that other recent CDV game, "Glory of the Roman Empire."
  33. 60
    The social twist on urban planning is a welcome one. But there’s no escaping the mechanical, almost passionless way you need to play the game in order to be successful.
  34. 60
    In the end, City Life is a credible first try at a city-builder for Monte Cristo. The game's emphasis on social engineering and urban harmony is a nice addition to the genre, and if the player is willing to dig through the messy presentation, there's some fun to be had here.
  35. It’s unquestionably good for a city-building romp that will probably last you several days, but beyond this the game lacks the “punch” it needs to keep going.
  36. The plea of distinction City Life enters ultimately fails due to tactical elements so facile they might as well not exist. [June 2006, p.120]
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. Sep 7, 2011
    8
    cool game. makes fun and you can waste a lot of time palying it XD.
    having more traffic options would be great and a better fire control would
    avoid losing your whole city in flames. Full Review »
  2. Axwell
    Nov 27, 2006
    0
    I couldnt be more dissapointed with this game, it held my attention for a mere half a hour, not worth buying AT ALL.
  3. RonnyG.
    Oct 13, 2006
    10
    Great game. Very user friendly, took me only around 10 minutes to figure out without reading tutorial. I love every minute of it. This is like Tetris in a way - addicting, "Just five more minutes, mom!" Full Review »