Cities in Motion (2011)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


Cities in Motion is a simulation game that offers players the unique challenge of designing and managing a public transport system across various European cities. It combines strategic planning with detailed simulation mechanics to create a complex and engaging gameplay experience.


Cities in Motion is a detailed simulation game that challenges players to design, operate, and manage a public transport system in a way that is efficient, profitable, and meets the needs of the city’s inhabitants.


The game is set in four European cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, Helsinki, and Vienna. As the head of a public transportation company, the player is tasked with building new transit networks and fulfilling requests from city residents or the mayor. The player can build lines for buses, trams, metro trains, waterbuses, and helicopters.

The gameplay involves designing and planning the public transport system of the cities. The player needs to create bus lines, tram lines, ferry lines, helicopter lines, and metro lines. Provided the player earns enough money from ticket fares to offset expenses such as employee wages and maintenance, they will make a profit.

The game’s management aspect involves regulating the salaries of workers and setting fares. Increasing fares increases revenue from routes but may reduce the number of potential passengers, who are divided in the game by social cliques. As employee salaries increase, costs increase, and the condition of vehicles improves.

“Cities in Motion” features two game modes: campaign and sandbox. The campaign mode consists of scenarios depicting historical stages of public transit development in various cities throughout the 20th century. In each scenario, the player needs to complete all tasks provided by the city mayor or citizens. The player is given a certain amount of money, can take out loans from different banks with different interest rates, and earn money from the transit system. Loan payments are made monthly until the entire amount is returned to the bank.

The sandbox mode allows the player to run any city, including custom-made cities created in the map editor, for as long as they wish. While in general, the player is simply trying to build a mass transit system, each of the twelve campaign scenarios offers bonus objectives that the player can choose to perform or ignore.


Unlike many other games, Cities in Motion does not feature characters in the traditional sense. The focus is on the player, who acts as the unseen hand guiding the development of the city’s transport infrastructure.


Gameplay involves the strategic planning and construction of various types of transit systems, including buses, trams, subway trains, and water buses. Players must manage routes, schedules, and fares, while also taking into account the city’s geography, traffic patterns, and the population’s needs to ensure an efficient transport system.

Reception and Critiscism

Cities in Motion was generally well-received for its detailed simulation mechanics and complex gameplay. Critics praised its depth and the realistic challenges of managing a public transport system. However, some noted a steep learning curve and occasional interface issues.


Cities in Motion stands out as a detailed and engaging simulation game that offers a deep dive into the complexities of managing public transportation. Its challenges and depth make it a rewarding experience for fans of the genre.

Review Score



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Fan Art Style: Retro

Fan Art Style: Modern

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