In City Life, you must build your city, zone for construction, and bring in taxes, but it doesn't end there. The twist that makes City Life different from other metropolis planning games is the importance placed upon the different people living in the city. Instead of an overall "good" or "bad" rating from the general population, City Life features six different classes of citizens to keep happy.
All six, ranging from the "have-nots" to the "elite" have specific needs and wants to be satisfied. The "have-nots" may be more interested in simple things such as a shopping center and a school, while the wealthier classes might want more extravagant facilities like airports and art museums. Placing a neighborhood of "well-to-do"s next to a neighborhood of "do-nothings" could cause a riot, or other unpleasant occurrences.
The game offers two modes of play: "Sandbox" and "Campaign." "Sandbox" sets up an open environment where you can build everything your heart desires, while "Campaign" mode requires you to complete mission objectives to move onto the next challenge. Each objective has three conditions for victory. Online extras include the option to import and export cities and scenarios to and from your computer from the City Life website.
~ Gracie Leach, All Game Guide