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EA Special: SimCity

Author: iPhone Reviews // Category:
This is the second of two reviews leading up to something really cool from myself in association with Electronic Arts Mobile. Stay Tuned in the next few hours to find out what it is.



iTunes Link

SimCity is a building game by Electronic Arts. $5.99

Like Electronic Arts other games on the App Store, SimCity is a game based on a previously made game. SimCity is a kind of time management game that has had massive success in particular on the PC. Many people would have heard about the game and possibly even played or own it. Unlike games such as Scrabble and Monopoly, I have never played SimCity so I was interested how easy the iPhone version would be to pick up. After playing SimCity I gave the PC version a crack and it was good to see that SimCity was not just ported over, but totally re-made. I found the in-game tutorial for SimCity very helpful and provided a great starting point for first time players. There are many advisors that specialize in something related to the city who give you advice while the game is playing. SimCity has a massive replayability with an unique city and terrain to be created everytime, and success isn't always guaranteed. The game starts off in the year 1900 with buildings and transport that was available at the time, but as the years progress, so does the technology so better things can be built. SimCity takes quite a few goes to master building a successful city, but it is worth it.

Anyone who has played the previous games in the SimCity range would know that they are incredibly busy. This game is no different, and the quality of the graphics is just amazing. With so much detail needed in a large city of 500,000 people you could expect the game to be slow with dodgy graphics. When zoomed in the buildings are so detailed and superbly made. When the game is zoomed out the buildings are obviously harder to see, but the industrial, commercial and residential areas are easy to distinguish with the unique buildings in each area. SimCity isn't a large city with no one living in it however. When zoomed in you can see the bustling life of your Sims with helicopters and planes flying, boats arriving and people driving cars. No one however, is poor enough that they are forced to walk around.

SimCity isn't one of those games that you can just pick up and play without any prior knowledge of how to play it. The optional tutorial at the start of each new city is a great way to get to know how to play the game and provides good starting blocks for a successful city. All items such as zoning areas, roads, utilities, buildings, parks and bulldozers are accessed on the left hand side of the screen. Once some time has been spent playing the game, everything is alot easier to find in the menus. Each main icon has more options that can be placed onto your terrain. This is done by selecting it, then clicking on the desired place on the screen. Once there is can be moved with two fingers and enlarged in certain cases by one finger. There are many options down the bottom of the screen that can be accessed like the budget, advisors and help menu. I haven't mastered the using these tools and is probably why my city looks the same 115 years on and $500,000 in debt. To zoom in/out of your city you can either double tap the screen or pinch/push outwards with your fingers.

For a game that requires you to spend hours upon hours fine tuning your city to make sure the whole population is happy, the music for the game is pretty basic. There is a nice tune that seems to go on endlessly, but nothing that you would want to listen to for longer than a few minutes as it isn't very exciting. When closer into the city you can hear sounds from your city but that is about it. I would listen to your own music playing SimCity or none at all.

The basic aim of SimCity is to build the biggest and most profitable city that you can. While this sounds easy, the way to build a successful city is very hard. To start with you can either choose one of two pre-started cities, to start from scratch with one of three difficulty levels or a tutorial city. The pre-started cities aren't that fun as the building has all happened, but the likelihood of it being successful is higher. The difficulty levels only mean you start with different amounts of money. The tutorial city starts you off from scratch but gives you a good base for a successful city. Multiple cities can be being built on one device, so family members can take it in turns building their own city, or sabotaging others.

The way to build your city is kind of based on the same principal that real cities are based on. Cities are started small with designated areas for residential, commerical and industrial zones. These areas don't magically start getting buildings on them with nothing else done to them. Water and electricity needs to be supplied to the entire town, as well as some method of transport to all areas. Sims don't like being near pollution, so it is best to have industrial zones far away from the residental. I can go on and on about all the requirements for a successful city, but half the fun is working all of this out by yourself. SimCity to me is a massive time management game that blows all the other games out of the water. Sometimes, when a tornado strikes your city, this can literally blow you away.

SimCity is one of the most time consuming games to complete, and for the lower price of $5.99 it is definitely worth it. I have had a city running for over 120 years (Sim time) and there are still improvements that need to be done to it. This took me about 3 hours, and I basically zoned the entire terrain, provided alot of water towers, electricity and roads and left it to sit and develop. Obviously I have a poor population and am seriously in debt but with more time and effort put into the game is can turn into a major project. SimCity for the iPhone is an amazing game that could rival some of the older PC SimCity games. With a massive amount of replayability, great graphics and gameplay, anyone who likes a challenge or previous experience on SimCity should buy this. One of a few games that will keep you coming back for months on end.

Gameplay- 9.5/10
Graphics- 9/10
Sound- 5/10
Overall- 8.5/10


I would recommend this game if you enjoyed- Build-a-Lot

Tell me what you think about this review at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/iPhone_Reviews next up is an EA Mobile Association Event!

Thanks- iPhone_Reviews

10 Responses to "EA Special: SimCity"

AppStore Reviewer Says :
December 5, 2009 at 4:31 AM

Haha I love these Sim games. Must be cool to command a whole city. I wonder if there's absurd things like aliens in it - I remember when my Sim got abducted in Sims for the PS2 and he missed like 5 days of work. :p

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