Cities: Skylines, the review of the Nintendo Switch version

It wasn't an easy task to do, but Cities: Skylines has been definitively cleared also on consoles up to Nintendo Switch: let's see how it fared in its new incarnation in this review. It was more or less 1989 when SimCity reached the Super Nintendo: although it might seem the production as far as possible from the standards of the console, the creature of Will Wright managed to conquer an important space in that strange territory, between Mario and Zelda. On the other hand, it was an era in which the boundaries between PC and console were much clearer than now but there was also a certain unscrupulousness, which had allowed a few years before even Maniac Mansion to reach the NES and in conversions it was He also put a certain flair to try to make each version unique in some way.

Playing Cities: Skylines that strange but apt conversion comes to mind, for reasons of conceptual closeness but also realizing how things are very different today. Again we are dealing with a city ​​builder born in the depths of the PC landscape, as a project designed to offer a reasoned and complex alternative in the context of a genre that currently does not have an enormous amount of valid choices, and arrived on a console that is quite distant from the original atmosphere of the project , although Nintendo Switch is now demonstrating a truly remarkable versatility. As in the SNES era, here too it is a question of adapting an interface designed for a completely different type of use, on a console made to be used with analog sticks and a limited amount of keys, but in this case the porting is the child of modern times, in which the game tends to remain essentially the same from one platform to another, running into some inevitable - and unfortunately obvious - compromises.

The mayor demiurge

We've covered Cities: Skylines several times at this point, so you can find more in-depth analysis in the review of the PC version and in that of the Xbox One Edition, with more specific descriptions of how it works. There Nintendo Switch version refers in all respects to that of the Microsoft console, from which also derives entirely theadaptation of the interface, with an obvious change of keys but basically following the same logic. In terms of content, in this case we also find the first two expansions released integrated with the original elements: After Dark, which proposes the day-night cycle and therefore allows you to have a more complete representation of the city within 24 hours (virtual), with urban activities that vary according to the different phases of the day and the package Snowfall which introduces some winter settings, themed weather events and some variations in terms of public transport such as tram management.

Therefore, various other packages released later on PC such as Natural Disaster, Mass Transit and Green City remain out, at least for the moment. The basic equipment on Nintendo Switch therefore allows you to build your city on fifteen different terrains, some of which are of "glacial" type, which lead to very different urban styles and solutions also based on the different resources that we find there, therefore the variety it is however assured, even if the quantity and complexity of different choices present on PC are not reached, which can count on both a greater number of DLCs and the fundamental support for mods, absent in the console versions. The base game is all there, in a conversion that did not want to leave out practically nothing, in spite of the ideas of differentiation between the supposed tastes of the console audience compared to the PC: Cities: Skylines on Nintendo Switch is the same city builder which was widely appreciated in the original version, with the same complexity and depth, its excellent balance and its gradual introduction into the deeper mechanics.

Compromises inevitable

The main problem in wanting to bring a city builder to console and in wanting to do it, however, as in this case, without sacrificing any aspect of the game mechanics and thus offering the complete experience, is represented by theinterface. This was a bit of the weak point of the previous Xbox One version and is identical, if not slightly worse, on Nintendo Switch: the solutions adopted for the controls are the same and in the options there are also numerous possibilities to customize them and modify various aspects. like the sensitivity and the axes, but it is clear that there is nothing comparable to the mouse for a game of this genre. Cities: Skylines in some cases requires very precise designs, in particular for roads, electrical and hydraulic lines or transport systems and these are inevitably inconvenient to draw with analog sticks. Strangely, the developers have also completely avoided using the Nintendo Switch touch screen, which instead could have been particularly useful in re-proposing an experience similar to that of the mouse but evidently the work of reorganizing the interface would have been too complex to deal with.

The console's small analog sticks can put players' patience to the test, which partially improves with the use of the Pro Controller but never completely resolves. Another problem, this more specific to the Switch version even compared to other consoles, is given by the performance of the game. Cities Skylines performs the classic upgrade of resolution if it is played on TV but in any case i frame-rate drops they are quite commonplace, especially when cities start to be particularly complex and you zoom in to the maximum. It is not a problem that affects the use of the game, also given the genre to which it belongs, but it can still disturb the desire to follow one's creation in the smallest details. Paradoxically, the issue seems less noticeable with the portable version of the game, since the resolution reduction seems to benefit fluidity although the loss of detail is also quite evident. Cities: Skylines is available in various languages ​​but support for Spanish is still lacking at the moment.


Tested version Nintendo Switch Digital Delivery Nintendo eShop Price 39,99 €


Readers (9)


Your vote

We can only reiterate what has been said previously, considering Cities: Skylines the best city builder with a classic setting since SimCity 4, which is particularly true on consoles given the low amount of competitors. The inevitable problem of a certain inconvenience in using the interface on console controllers remains firm, perhaps slightly accentuated in this Nintendo Switch version which also accuses some worsening on the technical side, especially in terms of performance. On the other hand, if you want a game of urban construction and simulation on Switch there are not many other proposals and this, fortunately, is also the best possible choice in the field, plus with the peculiar advantage of being able to be enjoyed on the move. although this version is not the absolute best way to play Cities: Skylines.


  • It remains the best classic city builder
  • Presence of the After Dark and Snowfall expansions
  • Ability to play portability anywhere
  • The interface adapted to the controller is always a bit problematic
  • Frame-rate drops and reduction of graphic detail
  • Some expansions and mods of the PC version are missing

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