SimEarth: The Living Planet

a game by Tomcat System

Platform: SNESSNES

Genre: Simulation

SimEarth: The Living Planet

Last year Nintendo released SimCity for the SNES and video gamers were turned on to a totally new category of exciting gaming called "Software Toys". Sure, all video games are toys. By definition though, a Software Toy has no winner or loser and the rules are less defined than in regular video games. These games encourage players to use their imaginations to create, instead of their thumbs to destroy.

It's Alive

FCI is bringing another top-selling computer Software Toy, SimEarth, to the SNES. SimEarth is a complex, but impressive, planet simulator. With a little help from this toy, and a lot of help from your own brain cells, you can create and manage your own world by manipulating its environment.

SimEarth is based upon the Gaia Theory. Proponents of the theory believe that the various components of the Earth's environment interact like those of a living breathing organism. You don't need to understand Gaia, however, to successfully play this game. All you need to understand is that the growth of life forms change a planet's environment. A planet's life forms, atmosphere, geosphere, and biosphere are interrelated. Naturally, the life forms on your planet are called SimEarthlings.

A Whole World in Your Hands

SimEarth is sort of a sequel to SimCity, but this game is much more complex and less intuitive than that city-building game. In fact, you'll need to spend a considerable amount of time learning how this "toy" operates before you can truly explore the wonders of developing your own living, breathing planet.

If you're looking for mindless fun, look elsewhere. SimEarth requires serious thought of the scientific bent. You control every imaginable aspect of the environment, and a few you'd never imagine. For example, you set atmosphere, determine rainfall, create land masses, control erosion, regulate the internal temperature of the planet, and even set the carbon dioxide absorption rate of plants. A surprisingly easy to read manual succinctly explains all the terminology you'll need to know.

Creating life is what this game's all about. There are 15 classes of life in the game, each with 16 species. Life forms range from Bacteria to Mammals. You can even have Dinosaurs walk your planet. In general, your goal is to create a favorable environment that over time enables your chosen life form to advance up the evolutionary scale, develop a civilization, and survive without polluting the planet to death or destroying it with a nuclear war.


  • If water-based life forms stop evolving, you need to create more shallow water areas. Land-based life forms need enough carbon dioxide, and the right balance of oxygen and air pressure.
  • To reduce the number of randomly occurring wars, allocate energy to Philosophy. To prevent Plagues, invest energy in Medicine.
  • Once your planet enters the Information Age, raise Science and Medicine on the Energy Allocation menu to their maximum levels. There are several different world- building options in SimEarth. The First Scenario features eight planets for you to experiment on! Random Planet enables you to work on Earth in four of its different developmental time periods. Daisy World enables you to test the Gaia Theory.

Worlds Without End

Like any detailed RPG, each simulation within SimEarth is designed to take many hours to complete. If you're looking for an extremely in-depth, scientific, environmentally-conscious game that'll capture your imagination, check out SimEarth. You might just become an almighty force in the video game galaxy.

Other games by
Tomcat System

SimEarth: The Living Planet Downloads

SNES SimEarth: The Living Planet download
  • FCI / Super NES

The "Sim" series of involving simulations makes another appearance on the Super NES with Sim Earth! This is not just any simulation, though. You must choose a barren planet and nurse it to life with plants, trees and, of course, humans!

The game is operated on a slide bar format where you make minute adjustments to conditions and help life to spawn with special icons. As the population increases, so will the problems that occur.

reggie posted a review

Play SimEarth and create new worlds and civilizations...then watch over them for a few Billion years! There's never been another world like the one you build.. and there's never been another game like SimEarth. Move mountains, destroy continents. Watch the results of volcanos, earthquakes and tidal waves. Each and every second you'll be making decisions that will have incredible repercussions billions of years into the future!

reggie posted a review
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