Cities XL (formerly Cities Unlimited) is a city-building computer game in the same vein as the SimCity series, developed by Monte Cristo, which has prior development experience in City Life. It was originally scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2009, but was eventually released on October 8, 2009. The game allowed players to play online and interact with others on massive persistent planets, and to work together by trading resources or building blueprints in order to satisfy the needs of city inhabitants. However, on March 8, 2010 the online service was closed and the game became single-player only.
Focus Home Interactive acquired the franchise in June 2011 and released Cities XL 2011 on October 14, 2010. Cities XL 2012 was released on October 20, 2011 and its expansion, Cities XL Platinum, was released on February 6, 2013. The newest release, Cities XXL, was released on February 5, 2015.
Common complaints of Cities XL are poor programming leading to a still-unfixed memory leak bug, as well as a perception that there is little change between the 2011 version, 2012 version and XXL version; the latter is probably justified, considering they have little to no perceptible features added to the descriptions of newer releases.
Not to be confused with Cities: Skylines.
This game provides examples of:
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Just like SimCity, Residential zones are green, Industrial zones are yellow, and Commercial zones are blue.
- Endless Game: Combined with Permanent Elected Official, as unlike SimCity you are not ousted for running into the red. You simply cannot build anymore stuff until the treasury is refilled.
- Expansion Pack: Since Focus Interactive acquired the title, each new installment of Cities XL has basically been this.
- Gonk: The citizen models are this. It's better than the advisors and petitioners of SimCity 3000, but that game only has a handful of them.
- Not in My Backyard!: Go ahead. Build that landfill next to the Elite residence. I'm sure the CEOs would love it.
- Real-Time with Pause
- Recurring Riff: The chorus of the Theme Tune is more or less present in about half of the music tracks. (C G A# A# F...)
- Strictly Formula: Pretty much every game in the series after the 2009 original, including XXL, is simply the same game with some new maps and buildings added in, so much that each subsequent title can be seen as an expansion pack to the previous. No effort has been done to improve the gameplay and the engine apart from XXL's multi-threading compatibility and performance boost. Compare this to Tropico, which has different gameplay features across its five iterations.
- Terrain Sculpting: Barely there. The most control you have over the terrain of your city is to level the general area.
- Wide Open Sandbox: People disappointed with SimCity (2013)'s microscopic city size found themselves some solace in XL. That is, until Cities: Skylines came along.