A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cities: Skylines – Snowfall is a downloadable expansion for the Cities: Skylines city building simulation game. Players still work to build efficient cities from the ground up, this time coping with harsh and persistent winter weather conditions. Players need to analyze a host of constantly changing data to adjust their city development to meet the needs and desires of the people. The game has a steep learning curve, with a lot of the important bits learned through basic experimentation.
What's it about?
Winter has come, and it's here to stay in CITIES: SKYLINES - SNOWFALL, the expansion to the popular city management simulator. With the coming of the snow, players must deal with a whole new set of complications in their burgeoning cities. Players will need to find new and creative ways to help their people deal with the cold, whether it's adding more insulation to buildings, piping heat in directly, or completely replacing their existing utilities. Not only that, now players need to find ways to keep the streets clear of snow for traffic and deal with other hazards the cold weather brings. On the upside, with the winter weather comes a host of fun new winter activities for players' towns. This might mean bringing a hockey team to the city, or opening up a fun seasonal theme park. You can't fight Mother Nature, but how you choose to cope with her is entirely up to you.
Is it any good?
This complex simulation gets somewhat trickier with the addition of the winter elements that players need to accurately respond to so that their city can thrive. Planning and developing a city can be hard enough on its own, balancing what the people want with what's needed by the community as a whole. But what happens when harsh weather decides to take up residence within the city limits? That's the premise behind Cities: Skylines - Snowfall, the chilly new expansion to the popular city building simulator. With the snow comes a number of new options, including new public transport systems, winter theme parks, the sparkle of the Northern Lights, and more. But the real focus of Snowfall is the cold ... the blistering, unforgiving cold.
These new weather patterns aren't just for show. The introduction of cold weather means struggling to keep the people warm. A simple thing usually taken for granted, heat proves to be a massive hit for an urban infrastructure. The energy alone is a huge drain, causing power outages and the like throughout the city. It's not cheap, either, as just about every way the expansion includes to keep people toasty also means burning through the city budget. That's on top of how the new weather affects existing issues, such as traffic patterns and building construction. Do you require buildings to add more insulation during construction? Which streets need to be prioritized for clearing away snow? Considering Cities: Skylines was a relatively complex game to start with, adding a new layer of difficulty and complexity without much to balance it out could prove to be a bit much for younger or more casual fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about government and city management. What process is used for cities to grow and expand? How can cities plan for things like natural disasters, population explosions, etc.? What are ways that citizens can get involved in the process?
Talk about the science behind weather. How can people plan for adverse weather conditions, and what are some ways the weather can directly affect our daily lives?
- Platforms: Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $12.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Paradox Interactive
- Release date: November 17, 2017
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Cars and Trucks, Science and Nature, Trains
- ESRB rating: E for No Descriptions
- Last updated: December 12, 2017
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.