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SimCity (DOS)

Genre
Perspective
Theme
79
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.

Trivia

1001 Video Games

SimCity appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Airport

A strange thing in SimCity: If you query (Q) the RADAR (or is it something else? The moving part, anyways) at the airport, it is reported as industrial, instead of airport

Browser version

To celebrate the release of SimCity 4: Rush Hour, EA Games put a web-based version of this original SimCity game up on their website for play.

As of 2006, the URL is http://simcity.ea.com/play/simcity_classic.php

Commodore 64 version

The Commodore 64 version is missing various features. Some of the things missing are fire and police stations, the eval stat screen, stadiums, and meltdowns.

Copy Protection

In the original DOS release of SimCity, the copy protection was handled a bit different than most games.

The game gave you 3 square symbols, and then asked you to enter a City and Population. The copy protection itself was printed on dark red papers (therefore uncopyable).

Cover art

The change in box designs (see cover scans) was due to trademark infringement- the use of Godzilla on the cover wasn't appreciated by Toho Studios.

Development

The first version of the game was finished in 1985, but publishers at the time refused to release it because it was a non-standard game without a clear goal. So Will Wright and Jeff Braun had to found their own company, Maxis, to get it out. In hindsight, the publishers were terribly wrong and the game became a huge success.

Disasters

Some of the game's "random disasters" aren't really random at all. For instance, if you demolish a church a tornado will strike your city...every time! According to Johnny L Wilson's SimCity Planning Commission Handbook, this connection was implemented in order to discourage "impious" players from bulldozing churches due to perceived (not actual) effects on these public buildings' effects on the tax base. The connection only exists in the IBM version and is inspired by the phrase "acts of God" used in the insurance industry to describe property damage-causing natural disasters..

Inspiration

  • SimCity was inspired by the work Jay Forrester did at MIT. Using a specialized programming language called DYNAMO, he modeled various statistics about the world to determine how to create high quality of life. He also wrote a program to assist in urban planning.
  • Another inspiration for SimCity was Will Wright's first game, Raid on Bungeling Bay. He was having much more fun building levels than playing them, so he decided to create a game out of it.
  • According to the SimCity Planning Commission Handbook, a big influence on Will Wright in formulating the concept of this game (or "software toy") was an anthology of short stories by Stanislaw Lem entitled The Cyberiad -- especially one in which master inventor Trurl builds deposed tyrant Excelsius a "kingdom in a box" in which to harmlessly exercise his tyrannical urges. (Eventually, the people in the box manage to overthrow Excelsius.)

Languages

The Japanese PC-98 port can be switched to English in the configuration screen.

Monster

In the PC releases of SimCity, the monster that can destroy your city in a large red lizard. In the SNES release, the monster is Bowser, from the Mario games!

One Laptop

In 2007 it was announced that SimCity will be one of the games included with the One Laptop Per Child Program's $100 laptops.

Source code release

The original game's source was released under a GPL license in January 2008. The game's name was changed to Micropolis because Electronic Arts holds the license, and plane crashes have been removed because of the 9/11 incident.

Super Smash Bros.

Dr. Wright from the SNES version appears as an assist trophy in the Wii game Super Smash Bros.: Brawl.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • October 1991 (Issue #87) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • October 1989 (Issue #64) – Game of the Year
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #6 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #2 in the "Top Ten Games of All Time" list (Readers' vote)
    • March 2001 (Issue #200) - #5 in the "Top Ten Games of All Time" list (Editors' vote)
  • Game Informer
    • August 2001 (Issue #100) - #31 in the "Top 100 Games of All Time" poll
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – #33 Top Game of All Time
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #5 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking
  • Power Play
    • Issue 01/1990 - #2 Best Game Idea in 1989
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #98 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)
  • ST Format
    • Issue 01/1991 – #3 Best Simulator Game in 1990 (Atari ST)
    • Issue 01/1993 – #28 in '50 finest Atari ST games of all time' list
Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Andrew Grasmeder, Brolin Empey, Chris Martin, Maw, Mu77etOfDeath, PCGamer77, Pseudo_Intellectual, Ricky Derocher, Sciere, WildKard and Zack Green

Contributed by Robert Morgan (863) on Jun 04, 2000. [revised by : 4 other people]. -- edit trivia