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Critic Reviews add missing review
Average score: 86% (based on 54 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 248 ratings with 8 reviews)
This game is, in short, fantastic. It's actually different from the other versions of it (i.e. Sim City Classic) for a few reasons. For one, this is the ONLY SimCity game in which you can watch the seasons change. Also, unlike the other versions of the original Sim City, this version allows you to obtain Gifts, special rewards you can recieve after meeting certain requirements. For example, you can build yourself a mansion once your tiny village reaches Town status (a population of 2,000). You get to build amusement parks and casinos when you build a certain number of roads. There are 15 gifts in all.
So, after all these differences, what's the same? Basically, everything else. You still have the same basic buildings, you still place block zones, there are still your Coal and Nuclear power plants...
But what I like most about it is its addictiveness. There are so many ways to play this game. The main way is to build a Megalopolis of 500,000 people, but you can build any sort of city you want. I just recently built a Sim City version of London, England, and my little brother built a version of Frankfurt, Germany. So there are many ways to play this game.
Nothing. But if I was forced to say something bad about this game, I guess I'd say...well...its simplicity. It's not a very complex game. But on the other hand, that can be a good thing for younger players who wouldn't want to try and figure out pipe systems and subway rails and garbage issues and the like. So it's all a matter of opinion.
The Bottom Line
It's a must. You get to be the mayor of your own city, which is definitley cool. Ever gone down a city street thinking, "If I were mayor, I would change that."? Well, now you can.
SNES · by Brendan Smith (1) · 2003
This is one great game - a classic in all respects. It was terribly innovative and completely original, and I still prefer it to the newer SimCity games (perhaps because the new ones are overly complex and slow).
It works like a charm on an EGA 286, and even the CGA version was cool (though very rare). The graphics were minimalistic but did their job, the management concept was excellent and the almost complete lack of sound effects is actually a good thing.
Somewhat inconsistant AI and scoring system make this game an occasional nightmare, as you will sometimes find yourself running an extremely well-designed city only to have it fail miserably and die.
The Bottom Line
A real classic. Everyone knows this, and everyone should.
DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000
SimCity has one obvious advantage over other simulations of the time, it is actually possible to play it. Other simulations and wargames of the time had a learning cliff rather than a learning curve (I suspect because the average gamer was a computer professional himself, and game designers weren't exactly shooting for the soccer mom demographic), but SimCity introduced the idea of simple design and easy accessibility. The result is a game with phenomenal mass appeal.
The story behind the game's creation is that designer Will Wright had created a 2D action game with an edit mode, and soon found this edit mode to be more fun than the game itself. He decided to create a whole game dedicated to the concept. It did not see the light of day for years, but when SimCity was finally released it was a great success and launched a whole franchise of other Sim titles.
As the name implies, SimCity is about building and maintaining a city. You have control over all buildings and all public functions, but can only indirectly influence your citizens. The meat of the game is the Create-A-City Mode, where you start from scratch and must build a city up to glory. As is the rule with simulations, there are no specific goals to achieve in SimCity. There is something satisfying about a well-run city humming along that is better than a high-score in Super Mario Brothers. There is also a scenario mode where you start out with a pre-set city and must fix a certain problem like a nuclear meltdown. Of course, if you're a sadist you can start out with a built-up city and wreck everything, turning your citizens' lives into hell with unfair taxes, poor civic functions, and even natural disasters like floods and fires and the ever-popular Godzilla attack.
The graphics were good for its day, and the game has a very nice user interface that surpasses that of Windows 3.1. The sound is minimalistic but effective, and there's even a freeform edit mode.
It's annoying how you can't "zone" areas like in the later games (in other words if you have a 2x4 lot you can't build a 3x3 building there), but that's nitpicking.
The Bottom Line
Of course, there's no reason you'd bother trying to emulate it these days, since the formula has been copied verbatim by many prettier games, but SimCity is a great classic with that elusive, sought-after quality: crossover appeal. I'm sure there were lots of parents who refused to let their kids play Doom or Mario but let them play SimCity, content in the knowledge that their children were learning all about how to run a city. (They probably weren't, but the game is still fun.)
DOS · by Maw (833) · 2007
I loved this game, way back in the days where your pc struggled to even run plain tetris. It was great to have a game that spanned over more than 3 disks ;)
The concept of owning your own city, and managing it, building it, controlling the traffic and the little people. Oh we all aspire to be a God - how cool can ownage be! But yes, enough about my plan to take over the world. This game is very cool. The next up SimCity 2000 got quite complex when compared to this, and when you're young you don't want things to be TOO complex. So I came back to this game often.
You got to build residential, commercial and industrial zones, power and other city necessities. Airports and docks when your city got even bigger! The naughty little monsters, plus tornado's and other natural disasters. Meanwhile learning about taxes and education and health funding etc. I suppose you could call this game education if you wanted :P
I think that once you did get the hang of SimCity 2000 it was hard to come back to this game. But in that place and time, this game was excellent. I still sometimes pull it out and play again. Its nice to have a game you can go back to. So I couldnt criticise it too much.
Sounds could do with an improvement. ;)
The Bottom Line
Totally groovy. A great classic that bought Maxis to my attention. The SimCity series as a whole is worth checking out. But you cant neglect this one - its cool!
DOS · by Michelle (176) · 2002
Cause it was addictive as crack... Im serious, I sat like a loser in PJ's for two weeks parked in front of the PC. Maxis struck gold on this game which later got even better in the 2000 release. Yeah, I liked pretty much everything about this game.. I thought it was a lot more fun on the SNES but whatever, the PC version came out way earlier.
Not much, in its day, it was a pretty sweet game... kept my entertained for a long time.
The Bottom Line
c l a s s i c, this game produced the fun for me that PC gaming was all about. If it were 1989 still, i'd probably be saying that this is my favorite game at the moment.
DOS · by OlSkool_Gamer (88) · 2004
SimCity on the ZX speccy gave us a glimpse of the future for gaming. This being the first of many takes on the god-genre quickly became an instant hit on all formats, but non, in my opinion, had quite the same charm as the Spectrum conversion. The gameplay was so inclusive and addictive that it wasn't necessary to have fancy graphics, (notwithstanding the fact that the graphics on this platform were actually pretty good given the capabilities of the system). Many an hour would be played away whilst older family members would be anxious to catch a glimpse of 'real tv', (for ours was a one screen household back then!). It's a testament to the longevity of the concept and execution of this title that they're still releasing it in pretty much the same body - only with slightly new clothes.
What's not to like? OK, if you didn't know the cheat when you started out it was bastard hard; especially if you forgot to turn disasters off - but that was half the fun.
The Bottom Line
Forget Jet Set Willy, Forget Dizzy Egg - meet the SimCity cow!!
ZX Spectrum · by Adam Jennings (47) · 2006
Ah, good ol’ SimCity. I remember sinking countless hours of my child years into this game. In fact, I can vividly remember avoiding my friends because they obviously wouldn’t want to sit and watch me play a game about building a city. I remember playing it so much that I stumbled upon a formula for building a successfully huge and hugely successful, if not monotonously designed, city. But I had a much longer attention span for games back then. This is probably because I had a much more limited selection, and had to wait for my parents to fork over the cash for a new one.
In case you don’t know, SimCity is a game about building cities. It’s one of the few console games of its era to have no defined end. You just build and build and build until your map is full. This may take you hours to do, depending on the map you start with. After that happens, well, I guess you could rearrange your lots in an attempt to improve your city or play the scenarios, but you’re more likely to just start a new one. It’s a very simple game that is a lot easier to understand than its successors.
So I built my city, the hapless city of Zomburg, on one of the island maps (532, to be precise) where there would be no escape. As I built up my city, I was marveled by how simple the game, in fact, was. If you took out the city style visuals of the game, it would basically just be a puzzle game. All the buildings and roads of the game are just various sized blocks that you must figure out how best to place them. The game doesn’t tell you that maybe building houses right next to factories would be a bad idea; you just kind of have to figure it out for yourself (or use common sense). It isn’t a particularly difficult game to understand, hell, even my child self was able to figure it out.
The visuals and atmosphere of the game are mostly pleasing. It’s nice to see the seasons change as time goes by, and the music is very calming, even if it does play on a loop, changing only at each city stage. It is sometimes difficult to make out what everything is supposed to be due to the low-resolution visuals. It took me the longest time to figure out that the tiny little things that build on new residential zones are houses.
Can you guess what the people of Zomburg chose to complain to me about? No, it isn’t the lack of a bridge leaving town. They instead bothered me incessantly about high housing costs. Well excuuuse me, Zomburg. I’m sorry, but if you want to live in my utopian city, you’ll have to pay for it. What was worse about this was that I had no idea to fix the problem. To fix a high crime rate, you place police department. If you have traffic troubles, you place public transit. So to fix high housing costs I built factories in everyone’s neighbourhood, that’ll learn ‘em.
Well, actually, no it didn’t. Then they started complaining about pollution. There’s just no pleasing these people. It wouldn’t be a problem if I could just place pollution sucking sponges, or cheap housing modules, but I can’t. These are problems with no real visible solution. Some things just happen without any real reason. For example, why are the neighbourhoods located in beautiful downtown Zomburg, right across the street from the park, and down the road from a police station, turning into ghettos? Why is that road going to nowhere in particular crammed with traffic? Why are they asking me for more residential zones when they haven’t used the ones I’ve already given them?
It’s the lack of explanation that is most frustrating. Your assistant, Mr. Wright, isn’t very helpful, either. He often tells you that you have a problem and you need to fix it, but he won’t explain how. Maybe it’s more realistic to have people constantly harassing you to fix the most trivial problems, but I figured this game gave up on realism when it allowed you to have Bowser attack your city.
The Bottom Line
It’s worth noting that I have never played any of the other versions of SimCity, so I don’t know how it stacks up to, say, the DOS version. With that aside, SimCity is still as fun as it always was. I feel it even stands up well against its newer siblings. Its simplicity makes it easy to get into and enjoy. Sure, it can sometimes be frustrating, but you can always unleash your wrath on the city using a variety of disasters. Overall, I find SimCity to be an above-average game, or rather, an OKAY game. I fully recommend it if you own a SNES.
SNES · by Adzuken (836) · 2009
I say is the first city managerial game ever? Don't know but it sure hell is the best one around in those days...and in many years after it. Civilization could beat the addictiveness level this beaut had to offer. This game is worse than smoking my good old clove cigarettes cough cough.
You know most people usually have this liking to watching thing grow, may it be their children, their garden, or in this case their virtual city, there's something about building something from scratch and watching it bloom into a massive metropolis really brings out the parent in you...uh.
SimCity was a really great concept, although I'm not sure if anyone has actually thought of it before. Build your own city! Dang, pure genius. You have to juggle between the commercial, residential and industrial attributes of the city by answering through transportation, beautification, plumbing, electricity, the works.
Proud to say that I play the hardest level of difficulty and that the secret of success in SimCity is to never borrow money from the bank...the interest rates tend to grow on you. Better yet never trust bankers period...their no more worse than those lawyers out here (me included ahem).
Hmm...realistic? Hardly. Although no one would dare say that this game is less than brilliant and addictive, I found it quite unrealistic on how to solve various issues in city management. For example, lots of traffic? Easy, bulldoze a couple of buildings, make some new roads, demolish some old roads.
Whoa! Wait a minute! That can't be write, if that happened in the real world, you'd have a bunch of low-life lawyers (like myself ahem) sniffing up your (censored) and demanding things that your grandmother would die of a heart attack if she heard it. Building roads and buildings only takes 1 day? Boy, those city workers must really be making some really good money through overtime...not.
Hey, but it's a game...big deal. Not really, unfortunately compared to Civilization, the game kinda lacks the educational values I think the game should've had. Not much descriptions on the interface, minor descriptions on buildings. Another thing is that the monetary fund is totally unrealistic too. How in the hell can you construct a road for only 4 dollars? If they used more realistic numbers, maybe one could appreciate the tough jobs (or not) real city administrators do.
Anyway, it took me 50 years (without the help of a bank) to get my city actually blooming...if this were real...well.
The Bottom Line
Addictive as hell, stay away from it if you love your day job.
DOS · by Indra was here (20633) · 2004
Contributors to this Entry
Critic reviews added by Tim Janssen, Patrick Bregger, Tomas Pettersson, Jo ST, Martin Smith, Wizo, Big John WV, RhYnoECfnW, Alaka, Hello X), Alsy, RetroArchives.fr, Scaryfun, Terok Nor, Jeanne, Multimedia Mike, Dietmar Uschkoreit, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Gustavo Henrique dos Santos, CalaisianMindthief.