Game: City Limits
Genre: Puzzle, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam, Windows, PS4, PS5 & Xbox Series)
Developers | Publishers: JanduSoft
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: US $4.99 | UK £4.49 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: July 6th, 2023
Review code used, with many thanks to JanduSoft.
City Limits is a casual puzzle strategy game with retro graphics. It’s been out on Steam for a while, and now it’s the turn of the Nintendo Switch to host the game.
In the game, you are tasked with filling an empty hex tile-shaped island with various buildings to score high points. As you place buildings, you can create combos.
Additionally, you can score higher, depending on your placement of buildings and the types of buildings developed. Once the map tiles are filled, the level ends, and bonus points are given for each square with a building.
A short tutorial begins by showing the player the basics of the gameplay and the controls. The tutorial doesn’t take long as there isn’t much to learn, nor is the game particularly difficult to master. Once the tutorial is completed, it unlocks classic mode, which has four buildings and basic play mechanics. Advanced mode has extra game mechanics and offers twelve buildings to work with.
The endless mode is also unlocked after the tutorial, where you can place buildings where you want. Finally, there is the timed Spike mode. In Spike mode, when you place a building, spikes will appear on the tiles elsewhere on the island, stopping you from using those tiles. So a little strategic thought is needed to clear these levels, more so than in the Classic mode.
Place Buildings on the Map
Overall, the gameplay isn’t too tricky to master. On the left of the screen is a guide showing you what buildings placed in specific patterns will result in higher combos. On the right side of the screen, there is a display of available building types you have to select from to place on the island. You have a couple of choices of buildings to place, and every so often, you are given a chance to choose a new building from three that appear along the top of the screen.
I found that the game generally offers a challenge, not necessarily a deep one, but it does exercise your grey cells. In the levels with the spikes, there is more of a challenge as you can’t predict where the spikes will grow on the tiles, so completing these levels does require more thought.
However, it is not always made clear to the player what the best combination is in the placement of buildings. That’s something you will discover as you play the game, and a more in-depth tutorial added to the game would help with that.
Visuals and Controls
The graphics are retro, colourful, and vibrant; the colours pop out of the Nintendo Switch screen, making it look neat.
Ten songs accompany your gaming, and the music is good. However, I recommend wearing headphones as I found the music volume relatively low; even when I turned the volume control on the Switch up to max and changed the in-game settings, I still had problems hearing the music unless I used my headphones.
Controls are pretty simple, you can use the joy-con to place buildings or the touchscreen, and both options work well.
In the game settings, you can change the colour palette of the background of the puzzles. This is great for players with mild colour blindness, allowing them to change the background to a more suitable colour.
City Limits has similarities to Islanders, only on a much smaller scale. It’s a game to chill out with. It is not particularly long or complex, so playing it in short bursts with a cup of coffee makes it an ideal time killer.
Final Verdict: I Like it