One thing I'm greatly anticipating in the coming days is the very near release of Cities XL by Monte Cristo.
I'm a hopeless Simcity fanatic, so after Electronic Arts took the Simcity franchise away from Maxis and delivered the utterly mindless droth that was Simcity Societies, I've been looking elsewhere for a fix to fix my city sim fixation. It looks like myself and many others alike may well have found it in Cities XL.
At this point, anything's got to be better than Simcity. After Simcity 4 (which is still a fantastic game thanks to the modding community,) EA's notorious reign of mediocre gaming took hold and quashed all life out of the quirky city builder franchise. The indie developers have been nipping at the sim-pie forever now, and Cities XL is the nth iteration of the Monte Cristo City Life game, which to the best of my knowledge started development about a year before Simcity Societies itself.
Multi-player support is the really killer feature in the re-jigged XL. You'll get to build in a massive multiplayer world, where you can trade and take part in a time vortex of all kinds of sim-awesome. This is subscription based and though I'm apprehensive, it seems quite reasonably priced.
You can pre-order until the game is released which will give you all manner of benefits, and there's also a digital download available at a reduced price. This means that unless you're the type of old fuddy duddy who collects computer game boxes (and let's face it — I have — boxes of digits are worth almost nothing,) you can give your money directly to the developer and download the two gigabytes or so of game for USD $39.99.
After a bunch of deliberation yesterday I set aside my need to eat, and pre-ordered the game. I'm cautiously optimistic that it's going to be awesome, but I've had bad experiences pre-ordering games. (Simcity 4 brought me to tears when it was first released because it was almost unplayable.)
Cities XL is nevertheless hotly anticipated for release tomorrow, and I think at this point it's more than deserving of the colloquial title, Simcity 6.
You may also be interested in my follow-up article Cities XL Goes Dark.