Review by Emptyeye

Reviewed: 11/07/00 | Updated: 11/07/00

A Simulation Classic...

SimCity was released for the Super Nintendo in 1991, being one of the first games released, right after the initial three (Mario World, F-Zero and Pilotwings). There really isn't a whole lot to say about the story; You've been elected mayor of a barren landform (Plus some water) and your goal is to turn it into a Megalopolis of 500,000 citizens. Sound easy? It's not.

Graphics: 7/10- This game was not a showcase for the SNES' graphic capabilities, nor was it meant to be. Nonetheless, there were some pretty cool effects here--seasons changed every three months, thus changing the color of the forests from green to brown to white. The ''zones'' don't look as they would in real life, especially when they're first built (Yeah, I have plans here that say we need to border a square in red, and paint a big ''R'' in the middle of it), but then it probably wouldn't be as appealing to look at. Airports and Seaports look pretty nice. It's also fairly easy to tell what's going on, which is always a plus--when a zone needs Power, you'll see a lightning bolt flash on and off it. Some structures are also animated, the Industrial Zones in particular.

Sound: 6/10- Honestly, until you get to Metropolis (100,000 citizens), the music is really kind of annoying--before that, the Disaster theme will be one of the best you hear. Admittedly, while the music sometimes borders on easy-listening, it does fit whatever stage of development your city is in. Of course, when the music is annoying, it really doesn't help.
Sound effects wise, there's a really slim selection, besides the clicking of icons and the placement of zones. Sometimes you get a railcar starting up, or a Plane taking off (Or crashing down, right before that cool disaster music). Other than that, there isn't really a whole lot to the effects.

Control: 9/10- While it's true that the game would really benefit from a mouse device, this game predated the SNES mouse by a year or so, so that wasn't an option. In spite of this, the game controls really well, and there's quite a bit to do, even in the light of this game's sequels, Simcity 2000 and 3000. You can set game speed, wreak disasters on your city at will (Though you cannot invoke the almighty Nuclear Meltdown...), or go to Dr. Wright for advice. Of course, in order to accomplish your goal, you'll have to listen to your citizens, and give them what they want. The Icon interface allows you to access this info whenever you need it. As far as building your city goes, it's really simple: Just click on the structure you want to build, find a place for it, push a button, and *POOF* there's your structure. Cool. Very good, given the lack of a mouse.

Story: 8/10- While it's not really a story, per se, the basic premise was very original for its time. You're the mayor of a city that you have to guide to Megalopolisdom. Keep in mind that Story wasn't a very important part of video games in 1991--not that the premise would've been any different. But let's face it, it's not the story that'll keep you playing this game, it's the...

Challenge: 10/10- Quite honestly, I'm of the belief that pulling off a Megalopolis the right way is the single toughest feat in all of video gaming. And the Big Money Code you probably already know about doesnt really make it any easier. As with any game of its kind, you have to go slow and build up a solid financial base before you can build at any sort of decent pace (As such, you spend alot of time with the Game Speed set to Fast, just waiting around). The Big Money code can make this faster, but not any easier--trust me.

Replay Value: 7/10- Admittedly, there isn't alot to do after you beat this game. Of course you probably never will beat the game, in the Megalopolis sense. If you get bored, you can challenge one of 6 scenarios, in which you're given a city with a problem ranging from the mundane (Traffic, Crime) to the near catastrophic (Nuclear Meltdown). You have a set period of time--5 or 10 years--to make the situation right. It's quite a challenge to stay within your budget for this amount of time, given that you'll probably lose several hundred dollars a year, besides having to improve the city. Before you beat them, it's fun to play the game alot, but afterward you really get kind of sick of it.

Overall: 9/10- This was really the first Sim game that spawn all the others, and it's still one of the best. The functional graphics, um..''Unique'' soundtrack, great control, and of course, the disasters, make this a game you'll definitely want in your collection if you're a fan of te Simulation genre. I've seen this game new at my local Toys'R'Us for $5.00, so there's no reason not to pick up a copy. You won't be disappointed.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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