SimCity puts you in the role of Mayor or City Planner of one of eight large cities, including Tokyo, Detroit, Boston and Hamburg. Or you can build, nurture and design a fictitious city of your own creation. You must build streets, churches, airports, houses and other infrastructure while collecting taxes, balancing the city budget and guarding your city against crime and pollution. If that's not enough, earthquakes, tornadoes, shipwrecks and other disasters will plague your fair city from time to time.
To do a good job as Mayor or City Planner and ensure city growth, you must make sure your city has plenty of residential space, a low level of unemployment and a high quality of life. Other things to worry and fret over include zoning laws, land value, industrial and commercial space and funding for city services. Layouts, bulldozers, mapping and graphing systems and other tools will help you realize the city of your dreams.
SimCity is versatile in that the ideal city is whatever you think it is. You may prefer a bustling metropolis filled with lots of people, cars and tall buildings, or you may want to design a small rural community which will provide a nice and quiet way of life for its citizens. As long as overcrowding, crime, traffic, taxes or other problems don't drive away your Sims (simulated humans), your city will flourish.
Sim City gives you a chance to go one step further than the deity you played in Populous - it lets you become a politician. You're given a nice plot of land, twenty thousand bucks and freedom to do what ever you want. I christened my piece of wasteland Happy Valley II (in memory of Happy Valley which went under in an earth quake on my imported version).
The first thing to do is to get a population. I established a nice residential area and linked it to the power grid. Following that I linked industry to the power grid. Creating a motorway proved no problem and I soon had a growing economy. As with any good city it needed department stores; the addition of some commercial zones was welcomed by the Happy Vallien's. And so my first year in office came to a close.
The economy was only running slightly in the red, but the polls showed that crime was an increasing problem. To combat this I had a police station built, and upped the taxes to 9% to help fund it. Five years later and Happy Valley II had a population of 20.000, a sea port and a footy stadium. Even with a railway, public opinion showed my popularity dwindling in the face of congested road ways. I embarked on building my version of the M25 Orbital. Like most great motorways it ran out of money half way through construction. Still the effort paid off and the people went back to moaning about pollution and the taxes.
Twenty years after that and I have a continually expanding city, a healthy economy, lots of lovely happy people, and most of the industry has moved out to the countryside. However... It wasn't my fault the nuclear reactor suffered a meltdown. Only half the city was rendered unsalvageable; I thought nuclear power was supposed to be safe and clean. With ten thousand people and millions of dollars worth of real estate written off, it looks like it's time for Happy Valley III. If you don't really want to take the risk of losing your city in a major disaster you can practise reclamation on one of a pre-built town. They give you a set amount of time to clear up flooding, fires, air disasters - the works.
This is an excellent game which has already written itself in the pages of computer history. It's already been accepted as an essential study tool for students of architecture and urban studies in certain US universities. But don't assume that means Sun City is an egg head's game. It's fun, addictive, original and amazing.
This was the one that started off Maxis's great line of Sim games. This one was of course, by far the most popular one too! OK, so the game is a bit out dated by today's standards, and compared to its sequels, it's barely got any options... But in its day it was a very complex game! Especially for the year it was made.
To have a living, breathing, fully functioning city running on 512 KB memory? Well, that's exactly what this game did. In the game you can either choose to do a pre-defined scenario, and try to complete the scenario objectives, or you can try your hand at making your very own city from scratch.
The game requires you to think about various aspects of city planning, such as roads, rail, airport, seaports, which types of housing, etc. But of course, none of this can work without a power plant and power lines running throughout. This can prove very annoying, especially if your whole city is running from a central power plant, and a single link gets severed somewhere down the line, and you have to either try and find that broken link, or build a whole new set of power lines.
The game allows hundreds of different combinations of things for people to try, such as building several small villages across the map, all linked together, or building one huge city, which can get harder, as traffic gets denser, and property value decreases. Remember, when you see cars it doesn't mean that people are moving in and driving cars, it simply means that the roads are congested.
There are 3 main zone types in this game - Residential, Industrial and Residential. Residential will not occur without industrial, and without industrial and residential, then commercial companies will not be attracted. But later in the game, you are unlikely to get industries wanting to move in if there are low amounts of commercial or residential. So it is really a big circle, and practically impossible to get a perfect balance of all 3 just right.
I could keep on going on about all of the different things to do in this game, but I feel that you should explore the game yourself. So download it!
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