|a game by||Indi Software Co., Ltd.|
|Editor Rating:||6.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||9.5/10 - 4 votes|
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|See also:||Simulator Games|
There are some game genres that will stand the test of time as they will always be relevant. First-person shooters, sports games, fighting games and racing games are just a few of the types of games on that list of timeless genres. Another genre that falls in this bracket is the building and simulation game. These became popular in the nineties and have continued to captivate audiences ever since. So in 2003, a game developer called Natsume would aim to cash in on this trend with a title called Metropolismania.
This title is inspired by other city builders such as Sim City, City Tycoon or Cities: Skylines. However, this title focuses less on the city building aspects with the impetus being placed on the relationships between the residents and the general happiness of the population. It’s more about people management within a city you’ve made rather than building a fully functional cityscape.
Far From Pretty
It’s best to start with the most jarring point that you’ll notice immediately about this game. It looks pretty bad. The art style, if you can call it that, is poorly designed, has a series of very simplistic or blurry textures, the models are incredibly simple and rough around the edges. In short, this title would be more akin to the original PlayStations library in terms of presentation. We are all in favour of a simplistic design but if you make that artistic choice, everything should be inch-perfect and this game can’t even achieve that.
The sound quality sadly falls into the same bracket of underwhelming and poorly produced. The sound that is present in the game is repetitive and overly simple but its the omission of sound in areas that damages the game more. Dialogue is accompanied with no sound, sound effects are minimal and there is absolutely no variation in the soundtrack aside from the looping background theme.
It’s about people
Speaking of the dialogue, aside from it being purely text box based, it is one of the strongest assets of the game. The characters that you will meet within your city are diverse and have a series of quirky personality traits that leads to some interesting interactions. You’ll have Nerds, moms, spoiled teens, hard-working dads and pretty much any other stereotype you can think of running around in your city and your job is to keep them all happy.
You’ll do this by granting requests and building new parts to the various communities such as parks, schools, hospitals and the like. Building the city is really just a necessary chore rather than a core mechanic of the game. You play the role of a mayor or city councillor rather than an omnipotent city-building god-like in other games. It’s an interesting angle, to say the least, but it’s clear that the lack of focus on the building aspects has led to a lack of smoothness when doing so.
Looks can be deceiving
While this game may not look good enough to be released on the platform that it was, it does have a number of redeeming qualities. The unique focus on the Populous over the city building mechanics is fun and differs from the normal simulation games out there and the conversations you’ll have with these people are humorous and genuinely interesting most of the time.
It’s nowhere near as deep as the other city sim games on the market but Metropolismania has a certain inescapable charm that makes you want to choose it anyway. It’s not for everyone but for many, this will be a welcome change from the relentless realism of other city sims.
- The unique approach within the genre
- Interesting characters and dialogue
- City building mechanics aren’t brilliant
- Visuals and sound quality are really poor
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP