It's been 10 years since the catastrophic launch of SimCity, a game so poorly received that it killed the immensely popular city builder series that had been running since 1989. The collapse of the series also led to layoffs at developer Maxis and eventually the closure of its main studio by Electronic Arts two years later.
A few of those former Maxis developers wound up at Magic Fuel Games, a studio co-founded by SimCity senior producer Kip Katsarelis in 2015. And here's some extremely cool news: the studio has developed a new city builder, and it's out today.
The uncool news, at least for PC gamers: Cityscapes: Sim Builder is a mobile-optimized Apple Arcade exclusive. That means it's designed for iOS devices, and also runs on Apple TVs and Macs, but not Windows PCs. That's a bit of a shame if you like playing city builders on PC and are interested in a new city building game made by some of the talent behind the SimCity series, because it looks pretty neat:
You can see some futuristic-looking buildings, monuments like the Statue of Liberty and The Eiffel Tower, and lots of cute, chunky vehicles filling the city streets. There's also a focus on transportation networks, green spaces to please your citizens, and the sustainability of your growing city:
"Choice matters when building a city of the future, one that is profitable, thriving and fully sustainable. Strategize about both environmental and social sustainability; reduce waste and pollution whilst also managing business impacts, both positive and negative on your citizens."
I'll probably check it out at some point—I recently played a city builder called Pocket City 2 on my phone and not only is it great but I'd really love to see some of its features come to city builders on PC. I'm not sure I want to subscribe to Apple Arcade—I'd really prefer to buy games individually, and like Tyler says in his thoughts about the current state of PC Game Pass, it's easy to spend more money on a monthly subscription than the games themselves are worth.
Some related news, good if you do subscribe to Apple Arcade and bad if you don't and don't plan to: Triband, the creators of the excellent comedy golf game What the Golf? also have a new game out called What The Car? and it's an Apple Arcade exclusive, too. I'm really hopeful we'll eventually see it on PC because it looks just as funny and weird as the other "What The" games.
Correction: Cityscapes: Sim Builder is "optimized for mobile," but isn't technically "mobile-only," as we said initially. It can be played on Macs through Apple Arcade.