Unless you have been living under a rock for the last 30 years, you will know the “Sim” franchise, a collection of games that let you “Simulate” the real world. Culminating in the “Sims” series of games.
However back in the late 80`s a computer game designer by the name of Will Wright created a game called “Raid on Bungeling Bay” in which you controlled a helicopter and set off rescuing a city, one element of this game was “City creator” which interested Will, and the idea for “Micropolis” was born. The game was later renamed to “Sim City” so not to attract any naming right lawsuits from a computer company in the USA.
So on 1989 the publishing company “Maxis” which was the brain child of Will released Sim City to the public, 1st for the Amiga and Mac and the the PC and C64 later in the year. The version we will be looking at today was released as a launch title for the Super Nintendo.
Released along side the console, on the 26th april 1991 in Japan, August 91 in America and over a year later in Europe on September 24th 1992. Sim city was an instant success. It remains faithful to the original source game, as we will discover over the course of this article.
The game starts with an option to practice, start a new city, or complete a scenario. Selecting start a new city gives you the option to chose on of 1000 pre-defined maps. These don’t change, so if you like the look of one, remember the number.
Once you select the map type, you can choose your starting difficulty, the harder the level, the less money you start with….and the more frequent things go wrong..more on this later.
Then you are given the map, a nice clean canvas to set your mark on the world and write your name in history……..or cock it up…one of the two.
The screen is divided into 4 sections, the main map screen, the construction plain on the left, your options bar on the top left. and your status in the top right The status bar shows your current population, how much money is in the city’s kitty, and what type of zones your city needs (There is a bit of a lag in this, so be careful…)
Your construction tiles is where you choose what to build, now the majority of what you will build are zones, either Residential (Red places for people to live) Commercial (Blue places for people to shop ) and industrial (Yellow places for people to work)
Along side these you need to build power lines to a power-station, and then once completed, your city will start to grow….there are other tiles such as police and fire, sports stadiums, airports and special tiles that are awarded to you at certain times, such as your own house, library’s and fun fairs. These all have individual benefits such as fetching more income into your city or encouraging industry to thrive.
Your city needs transport, this is where the roads come in. These get busy and add to your pollution levels and overall citizens unhappiness, to a top tip from me, is to start with the rail option from the get go…yes to costs more, but will pay for itself in the long run.
The top left bar is your options bar, this gives you all the information you need to see how well a job you are doing, the map icon lets you know information like land value, crime rates, police coverage etc etc….all information you will need to plan out your city.
The tax icon lets you set the tax value, and this gives you income once a year for you to build…..a quick game this isn’t, but you get out, what you put in.
You can also unleash disasters on your city if you wish (Although they do come randomly throughout the game) just for the fun if you want…..There are 6 you can choose, a fire or flood, a tornado, an air disaster, a monster attack and a nuclear power plant disaster. You deal with them all in different ways, here you see in the SNES version, the monster attack is by our old friend Bowser……thanks mate…
You are aided by Dr Wright (The namesake of the games creator) giving you hints and tips along the way. He also alerts you to disasters and gives to deal with these as they come along.
For a strategy game, the graphics are rather good, the animation and little bits of detail are excellent, and every-time you look at your tiles you will see something different. A great launch title for the SNES. The music is catchy, however I do prefer to play the actual game with the music off…just my personal preference.
The scenario section gives you 6 different disasters or town planing issues to deal with, all with a year based time limit. Good fun if you tire of the main game.
I wanted to cover this game, as it was one of the 1st games I bought with my own money. 2nd hand in a game shop in the local market back in the day. I played on this for hours, and still like the odd blast here and there. If you have an addictive personality, and have a bit of time on your hands…and who doesn’t at the moment, you could do a lot worse.
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