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Sim City 1 logo  Gold Medal Award

Infogrames, Amiga £24.99

Sim City Is your town as dull and boring as Ludlow? Or is it as polluted and overcrowded as London? What idiot plans these nightmares?
If you think you can do better, Sim City offers the opportunity of being Mayor. Starting off on easy level you have got $10,000 to set up your town. Your overhead view of a section of a 100 square miles landscape can be scrolled about by mouse. Once you have chosen where to site your city you can click on icons on the right to build and zone.

Zoning is one of the most important planning devices. It basically means cities are split into residential, commercial and industrial zones. This prevents houses being built on the same sites as factories. In the game you can't actually build homes, factories or shops, just establish zones where other people can build them, if they want. To encourage people to do this you must provide power by building a power station, either coal – which pollutes – or nuclear – more powerful and cleaner, but has a slight risk of nuclear meltdown!

To link zones to the station you have to build powerlines. Use the mouse to place sections individually, or hold down the left button to draw your connections with them. You must also build a transport network with roads (cheap to build and maintain) and rail (no traffic jams, but expensive). As your city expands crime will increase, as will the risk of fires, requiring police and fire stations. If you are near water you might want to build a seaport to increase industrial growth, or you could even cough up for an airport to improve commercial growth.

Both building and zoning cost money which must be raised by taxes once your initial money runs out. Taxe rates from 0% to 7% encourage people to move into your city, but don't raise that much money. Tax rates above 9% encourage people to leave the city. Besides funding new activities, you must also fund fire and police stations ($100 per station per year) and roads ($1 per section of road per year). You don't have to give these services what they ask for, but if you don't services deteriorate.

High tax rates are not the only things to cause residents to leave however: high crime rates, pollution (caused by too much industry packed together), traffic jams and so on, are bad for city growth. Thankfully maps and charts can be called up to show all these factors with invaluable detail and clarity.

There are 21 types of commercial areas, 20 residential, and 9 industrial, ranging from slums to top class, fast growing areas. If you manage to keep your city growing despite pollution and so on, you might still be defeated by such disasters as earthquakes, fires, flooding, plane crashes, tornados and even rampaging monsters! These occur at random, coming more frequently on higher skill levels. Sadists can choose to inflict them on their cities if they want.

There are also eight scenarios which can be loaded from disk. These range from Dullsville (transform a boring town into a megalopolis) to Rio De Janeiro (rebuild a massive city recovering from a flood). Scenarios have tight time limits to add to the excitement.

Zzap, Issue 57, January 1990, p.p.78-79

Phil King I never thought I'd ever design my own cities, though seeing how disastrous some of them turned out in Sim City, it is just as well I'm not a real-life town planner! And although managing the enormous scenario cities is fun, the game really comes into its own when you build up your own town from nothing. The simple idea of placing the various units gives birth to all sorts of complex, very real problems as your town evolves. The perfect city seems like an impossible dream as you inevitably make compromises between various factors, including your budget, to please the public. Hours, days, weeks, months, years... of fun can be had experimenting with different town layouts – and just when you think you have got it right a major earthquake reduces your ideal town to rubble!
Sim City is fascinating, educational, and totally compulsive – if Ed hadn't locked away the disk, this issue of ZZAP! would never have been finished!

Stuart Wynne This must be one of the most beguiling games ever written. A subject more boring than urban planning is hard to imagine, but is here turned into something utterly compelling. Seeing the green residential squares fill up with tiny little houses, and the first cars trundling along the roads... words cannot describe the feeling of satisfaction as your city grows ever larger. But the game is much more than Little Computer People Go To Town - while instantly playable there is a 50-page instruction manual packed with information. Planning cities so land values increase, traffic congestion is minimized and so on is intriguing. And the feeling of success when you build your first airport is terrific!

Robin Hogg I am wasting valuable time here writing this comment when it could be put to much better use playing Sim City. This game is addictive to a perilously unhealthy degree, deadlines suffering immensely because of it. Like Populous there is an immense feeling of satisfaction to be gained from building up a city and watching it prosper. Once the foundations of a city are laid it becomes less of a game and more of a personal quest to see it succeed – it is brilliant to just sit back and watch life go on around the city. But things soon go very wrong if you don't keep juggling the need to save money (for a disaster fund), building roads and suchlike to maintain growth, while ensuring taxes don't drive people away.
Sim City is great fun and thought provoking too. Now if you'll excuse me I've got to sort out the 'small' problem of an uncontrollable fire at one of my nuclear reactors and no fire department to speak of – ah well, nice knowing you SimCitizens.

6 4
The C64 version (unsurprisingly disk only) should be out in December, priced £19.99.
u p d a t e

Excellent save/load facilities, informative instruction manual, lots of options, plus a print city option and three speed settings.
All the objects are fairly simple on their own, but combined the effect is very impressive indeed.
Adequate spot FX liven things up nicely.
Started playing 3pm, finished 11pm, read the instructions next day incredibly addictive!
Eight scenarios, three skill levels plus an infinite variety of landscapes.
An utterly compelling game no Amiga owner should miss!

Sim City 1 CDTV logo  CDTV


Sim City CDTV Another classic now released on CD, this is probably the game that has seen most enhancement. It features a soundtrack played from hi-fi tracks on the disc, recorded specially by a band in a studio for the game, and themed appropriately for the different parts of the game. The game itself has also been changed, with new historical scenarios (such as Wild West and Medieval), excellent new wandering monsters and a zoom mode that allows you to take a close-up look at your town.

If you aren't familiar with this one, the idea is to create a city by placing amenities (roads, housing, industry and so on) in appropriate positions and your performance is monitored by the approval of the population.

You are called on to handle various crises, too. All in all, it's probably the most fun and accessible strategy game yet produced and has an aura of seriousness about the fun that makes even the most serious of parents and non-gameplayers approve.

verdict: 75%

Amiga Format, Issue 39, October 1992, p.40

Sim City 1 CDTV logo  CDTV

Sim City CDTV Hier kommt das Gegenstück, nämlich eine der besten CDTV-Konvertierungen: In der neuen Version hat die betagte Städtebauer-Simulation nun eine ebenso bunte wie detailreiche Grafik zu bieten, ja, selbst die Menüs sehen hier geradezu prachtvoll aus! Hinzu kommen 1A-Scrolling, deutlich verbesserter Sound (samt komplett neuer Titelmusik) und eine Steuerung, die sich auch mit Joypad weitgehend ertragen läßt. Sicher, mit der Maus geht der Straßenbau lockerer von der Hand, aber dennoch wird Sim City am CDTV wohl bald das sein, was es auf der "Freundin" schon lange ist: ein Klassiker!

Amiga Joker, October 1991, p.58

Titel Was ist anders? Bewertung Preis Hersteller Genre
Sim City Grafik/Sound Super 89,- dm Maxis Simulation