Urban planning not your idea of a fun way to relax? Think again. Sim City is a computer simulation of city planning that's every bit as fascinating as it is challenging and educational. First released for the Macintosh, Amiga, and Commodore 64 computers, Sim City is now available in an excellent version for the PC. The folks at Maxis Software have managed to take a very complex subject and turn it into a game that is flexible, richly detailed, easy to use, and humorous. At the same time, Sim City is so well researched that it's already being used in classrooms throughout North America as an introduction to city planning.
As the ultimate planner, you decide every aspect of the development of your urban area. Where will the residential, commercial, and industrial areas be located? Where should the roads be placed? What can you do to control crime, reduce taxes, maintain city service ices, and build police stations and parks?
The real key to Sint City's excellence is that you can do all that and much more in an environmerit that combines great graphics with an easy-to-use set of tools. Thanks to menus and a variety of maps, graphs, and reports, you always have all the information you need to keep up to date.
You can start with a small town and build from scratch. Or you can begin with San Francisco just before the 1906 earthquake and fire; or Boston, just prior to a nuclear power plant meltdown; or Tokyo, just as Godzilla wades ashore.
Whatever scenario you choose, your town or city will begin to fill up with Sims (simulated people) who build houses, commute to work on the roads, complain about high taxes, demand fire stations and sports arenas, and generally behave just like real urban dwellers. If you do a good job, the Sims will give you a high approval rating. If you falter in your efforts, they'll leave your city in droves.
Sim City is certainly one of the most innovative, challenging, and just plain fun simulations yet developed for personal computers.