City Life

City Life

City Life

Ghetto fabulous.

A new couple have just moved-in a few doors down from me. The bloke is some big wheel in the city. He wears handmade suits and drives an Aston Martin Vantage. The woman manages an art gallery, and spends her spare time meditating and taking photographs of picturesque beggars. Tonight, me and few of my working-class mates are going to go round to their house and welcome them to the neighbourhood in the traditional manner, i.e. batter them with baseball bats then set fire to their dog...

Does this incident sound at all familiar? If it does then I'm guessing you are either an evil thug who should never be allowed to breed, or you've played a bit of this absorbing class-obsessed urban management sim. In City Life everybody is pigeonholed into one of six sociocultural groups. Some of these groups can coexist quite happily, others end-up scrapping like stray dogs at a sausage lorry accident if you mix them together. Part of your job as a town planner is creating nice neat homogonous ghettos by luring particular groups to particular areas with appropriate clusters of buildings.

Sounds easy doesn't it? Well, actually it is fairly easy. Hitting the population and monetary targets necessary to win scenarios can be tough, but keeping communities compartmentalised and calm is often disappointingly simple. There you are, you've built your fancy SWAT team HQs, police barracks, and mega-fire-stations in readiness for a huge Rodney King Riot (big disturbances are possible according to the manual) and all you tend to get is the odd bit of harassment and the occasional brawl. The game is crying-out for a mod or patch that either reduces inter-class tolerance levels or makes creating monocultural districts harder.

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