Much in the same way that Sim City
plays, so does City Life: 2008 Edition
. In fact, it is so similar, that parts of the interface are even laid out nearly identical to that of its competitor. However, City Life
's interface tends to get a bit overcrowded, and isn't nearly as smooth as it needs to be to help keep the flow of the game moving. There are often times that overlays will appear if you're too slow to click on the building icons, for example, and those overlays (although they do come with helpful information) get in the way of the icons that you need to click on.
Again, in an almost uncanny way, City Life: 2008 Edition even mimics Sim City in the way you lay out your building blocks, roads, and other pieces of your cities. Starting with residential areas and a power plant, you'll have to build up your city to a grand metropolis by keeping the residents happy through everything from employment and healthcare, to education and entertainment. City Life does do a bit better job about placements of roads, however, as it allows for various angles, not just the standard 90- and 45-degrees. Because of this, sometimes it is a bit more difficult to place properties, which can be somewhat frustrating.
However, what really sets City Life: 2008 Edition apart from Sim City is that you not only have to build a functional and economically sound city, but your citizens also have to be at peace with each other. There are six types of residents in the City Life universe, and the way they function as a society depends heavily on your city-building abilities and the infrastructure that you lay out for them. Placing groups that are mortal enemies with each other in close proximity across your cityscape is a surefire way to cause unrest in the streets. But if you can manage to put hostilities aside by breaking up your city into demographical sections, you'll be on the road to being the best mayor in history.
When it comes to the build-ability of City Life, patience with the quickness of creating your city is key. If you start to build too fast, you'll certainly run out of money in no time, and taking out those pesky loans can put you in a financial crisis. But if you manage to slowly keep your denizens happy, you'll be in the black all the way to the bank. Another cool thing about City Life: 2008 Edition is that you'll start with one region on a map, but when your city starts to expand, you'll be able to purchase adjacent regions to keep your city growing.
City Life: 2008 Edition also comes with a very in-depth editor mode, which will allow you to totally customize your city-building experience by allowing for a total mod of the City Life game. (NOTE: I was unable to thoroughly test the editor as it is very deep, with access to scripting and other mod tools. The building viewer also crashed on my machine.) You can also choose to play City Life or City Life: 2008 Edition from the Menu, and have many regions to choose from as well. Finally, you'll also have the choice of either Free Play or Scenarios to get your juices flowing.