SimCity 4

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The most noticeable change in the fourth main game in the series comes through the new graphics, now in full 3D. The basic goal remains the same: build the ultimate city. You do this by balancing funding of community services with taxes, transit fares, and other forms of income.

But now you have more options. The new god mode tools allow you to sculpt a realistic terrain in seconds. And now disasters won't happen in random locations, you choose where to unleash them. There are all new buildings, and the gameplay is a bit more challenging this time: you have to actually start small, the way a real city is developed, or you'll run out of money. You can also import people from The Sims and insert them into your city, and have them give you feedback.

Your advisors are improved. They too are in full 3D, and they won't annoy you as much. They will provide you with helpful advice, and you can listen to them or annoy them to the point that they all turn into llamas. Literally.

SimCity 4 also lets you control your neighboring cities. Low demand for industry? Go next door and build some houses. Then connect the two cities with roads, and soon residents of your neighbor will want jobs. The game stays true to its predecessors, while adding new features and improvements.


SimCity 4 Windows A small residential area at nighttime.
SimCity 4 Windows Sim and his stats inside Simcity 4
SimCity 4 Windows Many rewards are unlocked after certain events, such as this Casino.
SimCity 4 Windows A city can't function without power, which is why you need this.

Alternate Titles

  • "模拟城市4" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "SC4" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

A difficult but engrossing game. Windows Rendorax (7)
Slow but beautiful Windows Paranoid Opressor (167)
The best Simcity game yet! Windows JL3001 (20)

Critic Reviews Windows Jan 23, 2003 90 out of 100 90 PC Gaming Windows Feb 11, 2003 9 out of 10 90 (UK) Windows Jan 13, 2003 9 out of 10 90
PC Action Windows Dec 16, 2002 82 out of 100 82 Windows Jan 09, 2003 82 out of 100 82
Gamereactor (Sweden) Windows May 08, 2003 8 out of 10 80
PC Games (Germany) Windows Jan 03, 2003 80 out of 100 80
UOL Jogos Windows Jan 29, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
FiringSquad Windows Jan 27, 2003 71 out of 100 71
Netjak Windows Dec 03, 2003 7 out of 10 70


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1001 Video Games

SimCity 4 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Electronics Boutique release

A bonus Transportation disc comes with the game if you ordered the game at Electronics Boutique.

The Transportation CD contains:
  • Steam Engine - Turn any railroad into a historic monument.
  • Paddle-Wheel Steamer - Launch this classic vessel on your SimCity 4 waterways.
  • Bi-plane - Bring your skies to life with the sound of propeller-driven aircraft.
  • Vintage Cars - Add some early automotive style to your city streets.
  • Air Force Game Reward - Featuring new military aircraft that fly in formation.


  • Most of the buildings are named after the developers of the game. (refer to the Credits page)
  • When loading a city, one of the random things the loader says is "Pixelizing Nude Patch." This is a reference to nude patches for The Sims, some which even make the nudity more realistic.

Release history

The game was supposed to be released on January 14th, 2003. However, it was shipped to retailers before the release date, and they put it on shelves before the release date. EA got angry at the retailers, but let it go and dropped the release date.

Information also contributed by Andy Voss, Corn Popper, and Nelson340

Related Web Sites

  • NZMac Review (A (largely) unscored review of the Macintosh version of the game by NZMac, a New Zealand Apple site (Nov. 03, 2003).)
  • Simtropolis (Large fansite with a lot of information and downloads.)
  • Urban Planning For Fun and Simoleons (An Apple Games article (archived on the author's webpage) about the Macintosh version of SimCity 4, with commentary being provided by Producer Sean Decker (July, 2003).)
Contributed to by Corn Popper (69573) and Zack Green (1013)