Low-Angle Satellite Photos Look Like The Best City-Building Game Ever Made

Illustration for article titled Low-Angle Satellite Photos Look Like The Best City-Building Game Ever Made

Planet, a company that runs “the largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites in orbit”, use those satellites to take hi-res, zoomed-in shots of the surface. Some of those are isometric, and that’s got me longing.

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I know that Cities: Skylines is pretty and fun, and that even EA’s disastrous SimCity reboot looked good, but I look at these images (via @devonzuegel) and I don’t see pictures of the Earth.

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I see screenshots of the world’s biggest, most beautiful city-building game, one that exists in a parallel universe where this is a genre with room for more than one big game.

Image: Planet

Doha | Image: Planet
Doha | Image: Planet
Cape Town | Image: Planet
Cape Town | Image: Planet
Houston | Image: Planet
Houston | Image: Planet
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Riyadh | Image: Planet
Riyadh | Image: Planet
Osaka | Image: Planet
Osaka | Image: Planet
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Sao Paulo | Image: Planet
Sao Paulo | Image: Planet

If you’re after something like this and find Cities: Skylines a bit too cartoony, people are still modding the hell out of SimCity 4.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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DISCUSSION

Many years on, I’ve decided what I want in a city builder. Real obstacles, real challenge. In most of these games you’re a god figure that can put anything anywhere as long as there’s enough money; what I want is to be a city planner that has to react and adjust to the needs of a real city. That means ballots and props, NIMBYs, YIMBYs, interference from the state, interference from the fed, special interests, etc. Real cities are weird and patchwork and always in progress, and that gives them their energy and feeling. I want my city to be art, that is created through tribulations and time. Give me Weird Sim City. (also do not put the Sims in Sim City or permit control of individual people)