What does it take to be a true leader? A glowing-but-vacant smile, a campaign wallet the size of Texas, perhaps the ability to pass oneself off as a vice president? Well, maybe, but to perform the real behind-the-scenes work at the city level you need a sharp mind, expert planning skills, and a sensitivity to the needs of the citizenry. SimCity, a computer classic, puts your political prowess to the test on the Super NES.
The Wright Stuff
It's time to learn every aspect of running a city, and that's where Dr. Wright, eccentric chemist and mayor extraordinary comes into the picture. He guides you step-by-step through your duties in the well-written instruction manual. Dr. W challenges you with several simulation options: the Practice City, an easy self-starter; New City, a build-your-own; and City Scenarios, different real-life and invented city disasters to relive and correct.
Boom or Bust
Your fledgling village begins with a power plant. Choose coal (pollution anyone?) or nuclear (watch out for the meltdown). Once you've got power you need people. Build residential zones, industrial zones, and commercial zones. You can see if different sections of the city prosper via an overhead view map. Industrial areas cause pollution so you must separate them from commercial and residential districts with parks. And what about transportation? Roads or rails provide access but try to avoid traffic tangles.
ProTip: Always use mass transit because you'll eventually have to bulldoze roads when traffic becomes a problem.
If all goes well the old zones fill up and growth demands additional zones. But remember that expansion can grind to a halt if you don't stick to your master plan (you have one, don't you?). Add police stations and fire departments to keep crime and blazes under control. When commerce picks up, build a seaport and an airport to boost trade. SimCity is all about making the right decisions, but sometimes more than one answer is correct.
Clusters of zones are more likely to succeed because buildings can combine into a “top," which swells population tremendously.
Part of the fun of SimCity is preparing for -- and trying to overcome -- natural and other kinds of disasters. Fires, tornadoes, plane crashes, earthquakes, floods, and monster attacks can level a megalopolis in the blink of an eye. Some are triggered by specific conditions (such as flooding if your coastline is underdeveloped) or you can simply turn one or more loose on command. After a while you may even enjoy razing your city with a six-cornered coalition of the elements.
Bowser leaves a trail of stomped buildings and out-of-control fires in his wake. Clean up after him by pausing every few moments and installing fire departments in place of smashed dwellings. Don't forget to keep power lines connected!
Mayor for a Millennium
It may take five or 5,000 years of game time to reach SimUtopia, but you certainly won't grow bored trying. Because SimCity is a true simulation, graphics and sound isn't too important -- what matters is the limitless complexity of game-play. If only the battery could save more than two files!
With 1,000 landforms to develop, eight city scenarios (two of which only appear after you complete the first six), and a wealth of options, it's obvious why SimCity is highly regarded by PC players. It's so real, it's unreal!
- Manufacturer: Nintendo
Will Wright and Maxis have created one of the most innovative computer games, and it has now crossed over to the Super Famicom. An NES version has been in the works for a while and may be out by the time you read this. This version differs from the computer version in several ways: it adds a character to give you progress reports; offers you different "locations" to place on your map (like a zoo) when your town hits certain levels; and has a background soundtrack - can you name a video game that doesn't have constant music? - and even a chance to place your own house in the city.
The end result isn't as graphically polished as the Macintosh version of SimCity, for example, but it makes for a very playable and enjoyable contest for those who are tired of the endless scroll/boss games. It's also battery-backed, so you can save two locations for ongoing construction.
- Manufacturer: Maxis
The best games are often those which break from previous themes for a totally new gaming experience. This is certainly true for Maxis' SimCity, where the player is elected mayor of a city of his own creation. Turning a small town into a thriving metropolis is quite a task, and it quickly engrosses the player in the life of his own community.
The player chooses one of the fixed scenarios or starts a city from scratch. Building a new city requires a decision about its placement. Possible sites are presented one at a time until an acceptable location is chosen, and the game begins.
The main goal of the mayor is to get simulated people, or sims, to move to the city. To accomplish this, the mayor must zone the land, construct various municipal buildings, build roads and mass transport and provide a power grid for the entire operation. Zoning the land is the most important aspect of the game. Three principle types of zones exist: residential, where the sims live; commercial, where they shop; and industrial, where they produce goods for export If and when these elements are in proper balance, the city attracts new residents.
In any town, a zone is pretty useless unless it is connected to both the power grid and the road network. Both cost a significant portion of the city's revenue to operate, so care must be taken to lay them out in the most efficient manner. The power grid is supplied by one or more power plants, either nuclear or coal. Though a nuclear plant costs more and risks a meltdown, it powers three times the number of zones as a coal plant.
While this could be the extent of the player's involvement, many more options are available. Once the zones and their interconnecting grids are set up, the sims begin to move in, build up the areas and clog the roads. Just as in real life, it may become necessary to bulldoze an extremely busy road section to replace it with high-speed rail. The sims have their own criminal element, so police stations must be constructed to keep crime down. Fire stations can be constructed to limit the damage of raging fires or prevent them altogether. Sports stadiums, seaports and airports can also be constructed to increase the city's growth. In fact the sims may actually demand these facilities at certain points, moving away if they are not provided.
All this is challenging enough and even a little exciting, but where would we be without a tragedy now and then? Periodically, disasters occur in the city. Seaside areas may flood, a tornado or fire may strike or Godzilla may even attack. Each is triggered by a different set of conditions, and some occur randomly.
Money is vitally important. A player begins with between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on the difficulty level selected. Each action costs money, and this pool is only replenished by revenues from city taxes. Lowering taxes from the initial rate can increase town growth, but also decreases city revenues. Increasing taxes, while providing an initial boost in income, can cause the sims to flee in droves, quickly emptying the city.
Several different windows are used during game play. The maps window shows an overview of the entire city. From here, the mayor can examine many aspects of his city's growth. These range from a simple portrayal of the road network to a color-coded view of the city's growth areas (on computers capable of displaying them) to the effective areas of police and fire coverage. The editor window shows a close-up view of the current section of the city viewed and can be freely scrolled about. It is here that actual zoning and construction is performed.
The graphs window provides a look at how the city has done over the last decade or century. Graphs show the growth in the various primary zones, the levels of crime and pollution, as well as actual city revenues. The budget window allows the mayor to set the city's economics for the upcoming year. His Honor can view projected or actual income, then allocate funds to the police, fire and transportation departments.
The graphics in every version of SimCity take advantage of the host machine's capability. The exact layout of each window varies with each machine but is basically consistent and easy to understand. The primary information is shown in the center of the window and takes up the most room, while any legends and available options are displayed along the edges.
In addition to the design-your-own scenario, SimCity comes with eight preset cities complete with imminent disasters. These really test a player's ability and should only be attempted by experienced users.
The manual not only explains the details of game play, but also goes into some of the ideas behind successful city building in the real world. A few more examples of game play and some more background on exactly how the sims make decisions would have been helpful, but sufficient information is provided for successful play.
SimCity is an extremely rich product. Being the mayor of your own city, once reserved to a special few, is now open to nearly anyone with a computer, and the experience is truly thrilling.
- Manufacturer: Nintendo
- Machine: Super NES
More Maps - Select "Start New City" on the menu screen, then choose any map number between 1 and 999. "Ok" the map you want. Go into the map and choose the "Go To Menu" icon at the top of the screen. Do NOT save this. Choose "Start New City" again on the menu screen. Wait, and the same map that you chose earlier will turn out to be a different map with the same number! This works all the way from map 1 to 999, giving you a total of 1998 instead of the regular 999.
Build Your Own City!
Nintendo is bringing out a 16-Bit version of the popular computer and NES cart. This version takes advantage of the Super Famicom's enhanced graphics and sound. They also threw in a variety of new options not found in any other version that really make this game addicting and fun to play. Different, but its originality is what will win you over.
Extremely involving and addicting gameplay makes SimCity a winner for the Super Famicom.
- Type: RPG
- Release: November 1991
- Difficulty: Avg.
So you've wanted to build a city all your life, now is your chance with SimCity for the Super NES. However, you don't just build the city, you also run it. Everything in town is at your disposal, but you must make sure everything is in working order. Build houses, power plants, and police departments, but watch out! King Koopa might stroll through town destroying everything in his path!
Sim City is an interesting game that takes a lot planning and strategy to succeed at. Like Tetris, Sim City requires forethought and the constant realization that one wrong step can spell catastrophe down the line. Not really my cup of tea, but an interesting change of pace.
No special effects here as this game is pure cerebral. It's a simulation, and what it sets out to do, it does perfectly. Every aspect of urban planning is built in and the interaction between physical and cultural phenomena is straight out of the textbook. Nothing has been overlooked!
This is a great adaptation of the computer game. The graphics and sounds are clean and the game play is almost perfect. This game may not be as intense as other SNES titles but it does have interesting game play that will keep your attention for a long time.
Sim City is sure to keep older game players and those who are into advanced puzzles like the Rubik's Cube entertained for hours. Personally, I'd just as soon have salt rubbed in my eyes. This game is slow and tedious and you can't even nuke the city when you get bored! Jeez!
Sim City, the popular PC hit, is coming to the Super NES from Nintendo themselves. You must construct a city from almost nothing and maintain it over a period of time. Build police and fire departments, schools, and recreational facilities to keep the citizens happy. As your city progresses you'll have to zone different areas and keep an eye on the industrial sections. Be sure the entire city has enough energy as we wouldn't want a power failure, would we? You must keep the transportation system running smoothly and watch out for disasters such as attacks from monsters. Sounds difficult, but it's really fun and addicting.
Nintendo's fourth Super Famicom title will be a translation of the popular city-building computer game. In this you start with a vacant plot of land and slowly create a self sufficient community by adding residential areas, roads, railroads and factories as they are needed.
SimCity is a very popular city-building simulation video game released for the first time in 1989. The game was the first product of Maxis and has been ported to tens of platforms since the first release, including PC, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Mobile phones, Nintendo Wii, Amiga, Mac and many others.
The first game was followed by several spin-offs, including SimCity 2000 in 1994, SimCity 3000 in 1999, SimCity 4 in 2003, SimCity DS and SimCity Societies in 2007. Maxis never had a better selling game than SimCity until 2000, when the first installment of the more popular The Sims was released. The source code of SimCity is currently under free software GPL 3 license.
The game released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was popular and meant hours and hours of people’s childhood years. SimCity is a game that allows people to build cities from a scratch. The game has no real end and the players can continue building until there is not too much place left for other things. Then they can “call” a natural disaster and begin the game again. It’s just endless.
The game is very easy to understand because it follows the guidelines of, basically, a puzzle game. The buildings and the roads have to bound and be linked to each other. The player needs to figure out the best way to place everything, in order to avoid cluttered areas. Placing houses near factories might not be such a good idea, but the game doesn’t advise you on this. You just have to figure it on your own.
The graphics of the game are good; there are even seasons featured. The music is calm, although at some point in time might become annoying because of the loop.
There are, however, few bad parts to this game as well. While crime can be solved by placing police departments and traffic issues can be solved by using public transportation, the people will always have something to complain about. It’s either the pollution, the high housing price, the request for new houses (although the ones already built are not occupied) and so on. Pleasing the SimCity virtual people is something players should aim for, but it doesn’t happen too often.
SimCity, regardless of the platform, is definitely a game everybody should experience playing. Although the SNES version was not even half as good as the PC one, no less than 693 users voted the game on GameSpot with a total average score of 8.3. Critics were a bit harsher and offered only a total score of 7.9, but still, SimCity will always remain in the history of world gaming as one of the most innovative and interesting video releases ever.