The desire to create is at the driving pulse of practically all human endeavour, to create stories, homes, empires and legacies. Something to remember us after our time. While video games in the past tended to focus on conflict and destruction, in 1989 Will Wright focused on this aspect and built an iconic empire of simulations that are enjoyed the world over. After the 1997 acquisition of Maxis (Will Wright’s company) by Electronic Arts and Will Wright’s departure in 2009, EA launched the first non-Will-Wright iteration in 2013, a redesigned “back to basics” version called SimCity.
In SimCity your first call of business is to set up a region, this is a playable area where you and/or friends can work on plots of land and turn them into sustainable and bustling metropolises. Each plot has a certain speciality. Not only terrain, but qualities of resources. Some may have oil, some may have precious ores, some may have none. Meaning that the choice of land can limit your building options, requiring you to think strategically, not just for the good of your citizens, but the good of the region as well.
Occasionally, you’re Sim-citizens will give you quests and rewards for completing them. Taking the pressure off newer players
Collaboration between cities is at the heart of the new SimCity. If your city needs extra trash pick-up or hasn’t got around to setting up a fire service, you can request these necessities from your neighbour (if they have spare) they get a stream of cash in return. This system is bold enough to allow specialisation on a massive scale and offers a personal touch to the resource sharing systems from the older games. Great work projects are the result of the hard work in the region, often requiring massive quantities of materials and workers from all available cities but yield great rewards.
Come view the scenic ocean drive!
The cities, when developed properly can become a self-sustaining perpetually-growing megalopolis and end up looking both pretty and awe-inspiring. You also get missions from fully recognisable Sims and have access to fun and informative layouts such as the real-time faecal matter screen. Features like these not only help convey beneficial gameplay guides but add a needed sense of character to the simulation as well.
Over time, the need to upgrade your services to cater to a wider populous.
Accompanying the look and feel, the soundscape is remarkable. The diegetic sounds of your fellow Sim-citizens working and generally living their lives is accompanied by a minimalist soundtrack that tries to match the mood of your city. It has a soothing, almost trance-like feeling that goes together with the gameplay.
The feeling of satisfaction when your buildings upgrade into skyscrapers is pretty hard to beat.
SimCity is an accessible and redesigned version of the tried and tested City-building formula that has captured people’s imagination for over 20 years. It’s simple enough to get you hooked and engaging enough to lose you precious hours nurturing a small hamlet into an economic superpower. It’s a great starting point for newcomers of the series, and dab hands at city planning. SimCity is the latest in a prestigious line of city builders, but even it proves that some great ideas are still buildable.
Zombies?! In the city of Deborah Cliffs? Impossible!
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