How Punishing is Cities Skylines?

Cities SkylinesThe excitement of actually being able to play the game has somewhat overshadowed real analysis and purely by accident this evening I noticed something I wasn’t really expecting.

A few nights ago I started a new city for fun, no plans, just building testing out more of the game mechanics. This evening I loaded up the game ready to play again but got pulled away to deal with something else. I forgot the game was running and noticed it was still live a few hours later. I was not expecting to find what I did.

Without any management I was expecting the find a city that was on the verge of complete collapse but what I discovered was a city that was still functioning with no major problems. Sure there were burned out buildings, lots of deaths and other things I would expect to find. Then I looked at the the money that had come in.

The bank balance was sitting at 1.4 million with an income of 8K plus coming in on average on every cycle. The population had also increased to 28K, and despite living in a city that was largely unmanaged, the citizens were all happy in general. Residential was the most unhappy at 42% but it kept fluctuating back into the 70% zone. Industry, office and commercial were all fluctuating up to 90%+.

I wanted to see why the money was really ticking up and discovered it was a single road junction that was bringing in the cash which is a little odd (see image below). If that single junction highlighted in red is removed, the city starts to lose money rapidly. What it is doing it routing the traffic right into that industrial zone which means industry is getting to where it needs to quickly thanks to the junction.


While I don’t expect to be completely punished the game appears quite forgiving, perhaps a little too forgiving?

With 1.4 million now in the bank it’s easy to sort out the burned out building, the residential happiness problems and continue to expand into a fifth zone on the map. The major plus here is the city can be saved!

Cities Skylines

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  • WessK

    I’ve been watching lots of lets plays and it does seem rather forgiving. Even when people are making lots of ‘mistakes’ and generally treating their citizens shabbily they are able to make a significant positive weekly balance. Maybe the higher difficulties would address this? What were you playing on?