If Sim City and Tetris Had a Love Child: City Rain

23 01 2009


Every few days I’ll be giving 1 of the 10 ‘Student Showcase‘ games nominated for the IGF 09 a look-in and ‘City Rain – Building Sustainability’ gets to go first.

The official City Rain site (which is in the process of moving) gives it a description as follows: ‘a game that can be used to teach players urbanism, ecology and sustainability notions and entertaining them as well.’ I don’t know about the first 3, but entertaining it certainly is… maybe for the wrong reasons.

City Rain asks you to place buildings down on a square map, but there is a Tetris-urgency about it, as the building fall to the ground slowly. The normal town-building rules apply – don’t build houses next to a factory, build a good spread of police stations/hospitals/parks et cetera et cetera.


While the game itself is good enough fun on it’s own, it must be said that the translation gives it quite the edge. I do have to wonder sometimes why developers who don’t speak English as their first lanuage don’t just get an English-speaking individual to comb over their product and make sure it doesn’t sound completely barmy.

This is exactly what the creators of City Rain failed to do and, as the narrator reads each line out, it’s impossible not to smile at some of the lines. Want an example? On the title screen, the main game is called ‘Campaing’. Were they wanting to say ‘Campaign’ or ‘Campaigning’? Maybe we shall never know.

However, do not let the hilarious translations scare you off – it’s a decent enough experience that has clearly had a lot of thought put into it. Check out the trailer below and then give it a go.