Maxis takes their Sim-building line vertical with SimTower, an original concept from Japan (where vertical living is much more commonplace than in many parts of the world).
Your goal is to build a skyscraper that is both tall, aethestically pleasing, popular, and, most importantly, economically profitable. To be successful, your building cannot just be levels upon levels of officespace, or just an apartment sky-rise, but a multi-functional haven for humanity featuring everything from penthouses to theatres, restaurants to shopping malls. The centerpiece of your tower design is your elevators and proper managment is the key.
You can watch your Sims enter and leave your grand tower, getting impatient waiting for elevators, or having a hectic work day at the office. You can even train in on one or two, to server as a metering stick for their compatriots, or just to peek into the average workday of the little people living in your building. Or watch the security and resuce crews race as distasters like bomb threats and fires rampage through your well-crafted skyscraper.
SimTower is a game based on the idea that the modern sky scraper is basically it's own self contained world. In SimTower you play the developer of a large building.
The gameplay consists of building floors and then filling them with offices, apartments, movie theaters, and restaurants. You can also develop hotels and shopping malls. You also must also provide services such as parking, security, first aid, and transpot (ie. stairs, elevators, and escalators). While building, you must manage the your tower by studying people's traffic patterns, programming the elevators to work most effciently, and buying new films for the movie theater.
The game is basically opened, but there is a ranking system. The goal is to get to be get to Tower level. You get that way by filling tasks to moving up in the star ranking. For example lets say to move up from two to three stars you need to have so many tenets and a satisfactory stay by a VIP at your hotel.
The game deals with time in a interesting way. The clock moves continually, but slows down at certain points, such as 9 am, lunch time and 5pm; it then speeds up during the night. In the game a week is made up of 2 weekdays and a weekend. There are only a few weeks in a quarter and 4 quarters in a year.
The game as many small features and options such as being able to rename offices, being able to rename and track individual people, and having Santa Clause vist at the end of the fourth quarter.
In Simtower, you play the future superintendant of a skyscraper. You start by constructing the basics of your building by putting in a few floors and an elevator, and then you must decide how you will sell the space inside: will your tower become an office block, a hotel, a mall, a block of flats or a mix of all of them? It's up to you to decide.
The gameplay seems at first like a departure from that of the original Simcities, but you'll find that it's the same type of management game at heart, but with different limitations and barriers you'll have to break. You are given a budget and a plot of land and you must build a skyscraper (like a town) that will attract people (residents, businesses, etc.) and get them to stay and pay rent (taxes). You must keep the people happy and have security (police), provide enough elevators so people won't have to wait forever to get where they want to go (roads, airplanes, trains). Simtower = Simcity.