Arctic Monkeys sneak an obscure Nintendo reference into ‘The Car’

The Nintendo DS version of 'City Life' released in 2009 and is hard to come by

The latest Arctic Monkeys album seems to feature a reference to an obscure Nintendo DS city builder game.

As reported by GamesRadar and spotted by journalist Jordan Oloman on Twitter, in the final verse of Arctic Monkeys’ new song ‘Sculptures of Anything Goes’, which is featured on the band’s latest album ‘The Car‘, the lyrics “The simulation cartridge for City Life ’09 / is pretty tricky to come by,” can be heard.

These lyrics reference an old city-builder game on the Nintendo DS called City Life, which was originally released in 2006 for PC. However, the DS version didn’t release until 2009 and was only made available in Europe.


Although City Life gained popularity on the PC and received two expansions after launch, the game didn’t do too well on Nintendo’s handheld console. In fact, copies of the DC version are difficult to come by in 2022, hence the lyrics of ‘Sculptures of Anything Goes’.

This is due to the fact that Nintendo discontinued the manufacturing of its DS consoles in 2014 and later announced in 2020 that it would no longer be selling DS or Wii U games on its online eShop.

As the description of the game explains, City Life centers around the creation of a city and the economic structures within the city that the player is responsible for and can control. Simulation games as a genre, as well as titles with similar mechanics to City Life, have continued in their popularity to this day. For example Cities: Skylines.

In our review of ‘The Car’, we praised it as a “swashbuckling, string-fuelled epic” and described Arctic Monkeys as “the last – and greatest – band of their generation still operating at their highest level.”

Speaking to NME for this week’s Big Read, Turner reflected on the journey that’s led Arctic Monkeys to ‘The Car’.

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