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- SimCity Enhanced [EDITION] - 1993
Classic city building experience
This original iteration of the classic city-building series laid down many of the features which would become standard as the games progressed and while later ones added new layers of sophistication, this remains a fascinating entry in an ever-evolving franchise. The goal, as ever, is the same and players are tasking with establishing and running their very own city, with the aim of creating a peaceful, happy place where citizens can walk the streets without fear of danger. You're responsible for everything from laying down a basic infrastructure, including housing, transport, businesses and schools, with different sites proving more effective for certain roles, so pick your sites carefully. Don't forget to add in some clean power sources, but it all has to be paid for somehow so you'll have to factor in taxes, just make sure you don't raise them too high or the population will be displeased. There are also natural disasters to take into account, with earthquakes, floods and fires to worry about, so you'd better make sure you have all the emergency services on hand to deal with them too. As the progenitor of a mass of similar god-sim games, this is undeniably fascinating stuff and watching your town grow and thrive is challenging and compelling in equal measure. This version might lack the visual flash and range of features of later instalments like SimCity 2000, but as the original, it retains its place in gaming history thanks to its innovation and novelty. There are issues now with the interface and its lack of scale, but for a truly interesting insight into the development of a classic series, this is great stuff.
City Simulator like no other
Sim City is the game that spawned the "simulator" video game craze that took off in the 1990's. The popularity is owed mainly to the Sim City game released by Maxis software company in 1989. This really was the first game that made you feel like you were managing a city as a mayor. This is where the term "god-sim" also came from as you play the role of someone sitting in the sky; building and destroying cities at a whim. The cities you build develop problems from the way you develop them, industrial centres will get more crime and pollution and will struggle to build residency. The problems of accurately placing the business zones (blue), residential zones (green) and the industrial zones (yellow) all in harmony is quite a difficult task, not to mention collecting your tax money, building schools, parks and stadiums to provide happiness to your sims. This game is all about looking after your sims and expanding your virtual city. The original Sim City spawned hundreds of other SIM games and sequels around the same concept of tending to your virtual life. There is even a Sim Ant game which you tend to your ant colonies. None of the Sim games ever released will beat the the original Sim City. My only other favorite Sim game is Sim City 2000, which in my opinion is the only game that stays true to the original Sim City game. An all time classic game worth revisiting any time!
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Electronic Arts, 2013