Ever since the release of Will Wright's seminal Sim City franchise in the 1980's, the gaming public has been infatuated with the sandbox joys of building a city from the ground up, watching it grow into a metropolis, and then smashing it to the ground with a variety of disasters. A few years ago, CDV's City Life franchise took this idea one step further by implementing the additions of social classes, specific emergency actions, and varying cultural effects. The result was a more complex, yet still enjoyable city building simulator.

Now, CDV is preparing to bring it's City Life franchise to the Nintendo DS, albeit with several changes. First, since the game is being ported to the tiny DS hardware, the graphics have undergone a significant overhaul. The new title will feature a newer, kid-friendly look to it that seems more in line with your average DS title. Despite the weaker hardware, City Life DS still allows the player to zoom in and out to various levels, and view the city any way they please, right down to a detailed street level. The game will feature over 150 different structures upon which to populate your city, including special buildings like the mayor's mansion.

While Sim City places the player in the role of mayor, in City Life you're an urban planner working for the man. This means that the DS version is more goal oriented and structured than your average Sim City game. City Life DS takes place over several chapters, and has a finite ending.

Since CDV is aiming for a more kid friendly audience, City Life for the DS has removed a few features present in the PC version, most notably racial tensions and rioting. Careful placement of industry and different classes of housing are still crucial to your success. Place low income housing next to some mansions and watch the sparks fly and people leave your town in droves. It's the same careful balancing act you had on the PC, just simplified for the DS audience. The concept remains the same.

Aspiring city builders will have a chance to peddle their wares on the Nintendo DS this holiday season.