Sim City Classic is a game that, like Doom, Pong and so many other break-through games, opened the floodgates for a host of spin-offs from not only Maxis, the company which created it, but lots of competitors as well.
Does it hold up well over time, though? The answer to that question is an unequivocal "Yes." While the graphics may seem a bit hokey, the real fun in the game is simply in watching your city grow and thrive. It reminds me of the feeling you get when you're flying somewhere on a plane and you pass over a city and look down at all the hustle and bustle down there. It's like being a god able to mold your own world and take care of it as it grows.
Of course, you're the mayor, not a god. You have approval ratings and budget issues to worry about. How much should you tax your people? The fire department wants more than you can spare. What percentage of its proposed budget does it get? The businesspeople want an airport to increase commerce, but the average citizen is bored and really wants a stadium built. You don't have enough for both. Which one do you pick?
Trying to figure out the right mix to make everyone happy is what makes this game so much fun, and it will give you a new appreciation for your own local mayor. There are also some really fun elements thrown in, such as the monster who shows up to make a mess of your careful planning (you're encouraged to yell in Japanese at him) or the traffic helicopter which alerts you to areas where traffic is getting too heavy. You can even hang around the stadium and watch a miniature football game happen.
The sound is okay; it's about what you'd expect for a game produced in 1989. The graphics should be no trouble at all for today's Pentium processors, although they could be quite taxing on those old 386s. If you're playing this on an old machine, you might want to reduce the amount of animation going on to keep you from getting frustrated.
There are three skill levels to choose from, although the hardest one is about as fair as the hardest difficulty in a game like Doom. Try to build too much too quick and you will find your city broke and in ruins after only a couple years. Even if you only zone some areas and build a few roads your cash can be depleted before you know it. You can also play some historical simulations, such as San Francisco around the time of the 1906 earthquake. Don't expect historical accuracy, however. It would be fun if Maxis came up with a version which simulates cities from different time periods and really reflects what it was like to be a mayor back then. It's not likely that the mayor of San Francisco in 1906 had traffic helicopters to let him know when the streets were too congested.
Graphics: too much on the screen can slow the game on the systems it was meant to be played on
Enjoyment: lots of fun
Replay Value: once you're done with a fresh city, increase the skill level or try a pre-set one
SimCity sets you as the mayor of a new municipality, with the responsibility of building and maintaining a place where citizens can move to and work and be happy. The first task is to place essentials such as housing, transport links, schools, factories and shops. There are 50 types of these, allowing for homes of all standards and different types of businesses. Make sure to consider which sites are effective for which tasks. Some power sources pollute, others don't but are more expensive. Taxes must be raised to ensure an income, and then portions allocated to public services such as policing and roads. Earthquakes, floods and fires are all emergency situations that must be dealt to contain any damage.
Successful mayoring will cause the small village to grow into a town, then a city and finally a metropolis. As the city's size grows so do it's needs. Commercial buildings may suddenly find that they need an airport to expand trade, or housing may find itself changing rapidly as vast amounts of people come and leave.
The game also includes 8 pre-defined time-limited scenarios, with specific challenges and targets. The environment varies in each game (especially if you have the Terrain Editor add on), and this should affect your choices.
Well, this one is famous. The biggest and best city simulator of all times. Build a city, get more money and go on with building. This game is a living legend I must say.
SimCity was Maxis' first product, which has since been ported into various personal computers and game consoles.
The inspiration for SimCity came from a feature of the game Raid on Bungeling Bay that allowed Wright to create his own maps during development. Wright soon found he enjoyed creating maps more than playing the actual game, and SimCity was born. In addition, Wright also was inspired by reading "The Seventh Sally", a short story by Stanislaw Lem, in which an engineer encounters a deposed tyrant, and creates a miniature city with artificial citizens for the tyrant to oppress.
The original working title of SimCity was Micropolis.
SimCity inspired a new genre of video games. "Software toys" that were open-ended with no set objective were developed trying to duplicate SimCity's success.
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