Review: When the Wii goes down to the city!
Back in 1991, a sleeper hit by the name of ?SimCity' was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game featured an innovative idea: let gamers build the city of their dreams. Released by Maxis and designed by Will Wright, SimCity allowed gamers to build stadiums, airports, seaports, and other city infrastructures on various maps while also tackling the everyday problems of being a mayor like crime, fires and even monster attacks.
Your citizens are demanding a stadium, but you know that the crime rate in your city is skyrocketing thanks to the casino that you placed right next to your park. What do you do? These intriguing challenges presented players with endless hours as they struggled to find just the right balance of making jenough money to build things for your citizens while keeping taxes lowered to keep them happy. The challenge of course is that if you keep them too low, you'll start to run in the red.
Although the game was based off of a 1989 PC game with the same title, the Super Nintendo version was ?enhanced' to give it a broader appeal. Graphic updates included matching the seasons as well as brand-new civic building rewards. Accompanying players during their journey towards building a megalopolis was the green-haired advisor Dr. Wright. The doctor popped up every now and then to present the player with problems that needed to be addressed or to let them know the progress of their city. Additionally Nintendo put its stamp on the game through Mario statues and Bowser attacks. The only downside to the console version was that you were only allowed to save two cities at a time, meaning that you would have to constantly erase cities if you wanted to start a new one.
The SNES version also included brand-new scenarios in order to provide players with a challenge. From San Francisco to Detroit, each of the cities presented the player with a huge problem and it was up to them to devise tactics to revitalize the cities. Once the first set of scenarios were completed, two additional ones ?Las Vegas' and ?Freeland' were unlockable to give players an incentive keep playing.
In many ways, SimCity would pave the way for the broad reach of the simulation genre as not only did it spawn numerous sequels and spin-offs (including The Sims), but it spawned millions of clones as well. From Utopia to Roller Coaster Tycoon, developers discovered that it was profitable to make games that rely purely on making the player think, and use their imagination.