SimEarth: The Living Planet

aka: SimEarth: Der lebende Planet
Moby ID: 1835

Description official descriptions

SimEarth puts you in charge of an entire planet throughout its 10 billion year lifespan. Your ultimate task is to guide the planet’s inhabitants into the stars, from its humble single-celled roots.

The main threats you face include pollution, disease, famine, war and global warming. The controls available to you include the chance to move mountains and continents, creating different levels of species, and unleash tidal waves and earthquakes so as to reshape your planet. All of these things take from your limited energy, which must be replenished.


  • Sim Earth - Alternate spelling
  • シムアース - Japanese spelling
  • 模擬地球 - Traditional Chinese spelling

Groups +



Credits (DOS version)

58 People (45 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Original Concept and Design
Design Assistance
Macintosh Programming
DOS Programming
Windows Programming
Graphics / Artwork
Macintosh Music / Sound Programming
IBM Music / Sound Programming
King of Manufacturing
Package Design
Package Illustration
Documentation Design
[ full credits ]



Average score: 74% (based on 24 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 45 ratings with 1 reviews)

Best. Manual. Ever.

The Good
As my one-line summary suggests, for me SimEarth was the pinnacle of manual writing, not only telling you everything you would ever need to know about the game, but finding time to be witty and knowledgeable about it as well. Highlights include the Introduction To Earth Science section, an in-depth discussion about what makes our world tick, and the Unblank Page, where the authors decide to fill up one of the traditionally blank end-of-chapter pages with little jokes and one-liners that occurred to them while playing SimEarth. All in all, the best in a collection of great manuals written by Michael Bremer and his team.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the game itself leaves something to be desired. Like a number of Sim games, you have no real control over the course of events, and the game either turns into a huge mess as your best intentions go awry, or you just sit there and watch the simulation follow its own course, which makes for an interesting "movie" but a dull game. You'd probably need the knowledge of an expert in the field to get an interesting, positive result. That or you'd have to be one of the developers. The terraforming scenarios make for an interesting extension to the game, but you're still left with the problem that SimEarth has an emergent dynamic and "results may vary".

The Bottom Line
If you're one of those weird people like me who enjoys reading game manuals, SimEarth is a must, as are most early Maxis games. The problem is, most re-releases of the game have electronic manuals, which just aren't the same. An old second-hand boxed version of the game with the manual still on paper and in decent condition is definitely worth it. Otherwise it just falls in with a number of the more oddball Sim games as... well, an oddball Sim game.

DOS · by Paul Varley (10) · 2006


You can create a race of intelligent machines by "nuking" appropriately.

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Identifiers +


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Rodney Lai.

SNES added by PCGamer77. TurboGrafx CD added by chirinea. Amiga added by Xoleras. PC-98, Macintosh, Sharp X68000, FM Towns added by Terok Nor. SEGA CD added by Игги Друге. Wii added by samsam12.

Additional contributors: Mickey Gabel, Rebound Boy, Martin Smith, monkeyislandgirl, Игги Друге.

Game added June 29th, 2000. Last modified November 19th, 2023.