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Game Debate #204: SimCity


Rate it  

26 members have voted

  1. 1. Rate based on your own personal preferences, NOT historical significance

    • 10/10 - One of your very favorite games of all time.
    • 9/10 - Killer f'ing game. Everyone should play it.
    • 8/10 - Great game. You like to recommend it.
    • 7/10 - Very good game, but not quite great.
    • 6/10 - Pretty good. You might enjoy occasionally playing it.
    • 5/10 - It's okay, but maybe not something you'll go out of your way to play.
    • 4/10 - Meh. There's plenty of better alternatives to this.
      0
    • 3/10 - Not a very good game.
    • 2/10 - Pretty crappy.
      0
    • 1/10 - Horrible game in every way.
      0
    • 0/10 - The Desert Bus of painful experiences. You'd rather shove an icepick in your genitals than play this.
      0
    • Never played it, but you're interested.
    • Never played it, never will.


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Never really saw the appeal.

Wait that's not true. I absolutely saw the appeal and got enticed to try out this game many times throughout the years, there's something weirdly alluring about these sorts of games which also translates into games like The Sims, Civilization, Theme Park, Dungeon Keeper etc.

But as for the original Sim City. I don't think I ever found out what was supposed to be actually enjoyable about it and never made it very far with any one town.

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I've never played the PC version of the original. I did play a little bit of Sim City 2000 but didn't really get sucked into it.

I've played a wee bit of the SNES port of Sim City and that was a fun diversion on rare occasion. Still, I never got hooked by city-builders. The Civilization series was much more my style and mostly the later entries at that.

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I'm giving my absurdly rare full points on this one.  And I wrap up into this variants of it too -- DOS, Windows, SNES, Micropolis as it's called now.

You either get it and get into it, or you don't and it has no appeal.  If this isn't your thing, then yeah I could see it getting no points or few as a pity party.  That said, the game was ground breaking and to a point that it still is as worthwhile now as it was 30-40 years ago.  It never took things too far, but was never too shallow either, and it truly was a sandbox before sandbox was a term.  Sure it has scenarios, they're utterly both challening and optional, a bonus of sorts or for some maybe the main game if that's your thing.  The real meat of it was city planning, design, layout, where to put this or that to make sure you had cop and fire coverage, closeness (though randomly populated) to education and health care.  There was added incentive for amusement with parks, trees, water, and stadiums... yet also for commercial expansion with the airports and seaports too.  Everything had a cost and a perk, and not just a money cost getting it started.  Most would play it on easy as even that's a challenge, due to the loan and low cash to start situation, but if that ever was too easy  you could crimp things worse that way with loans and starting cash.  Disasters and recovery were another thing you could have on or off too as a choice.  The game was that, choice, all about it, yet never going into the weeds of more depth and ultimately sadly, micromanagement and idiotic politics and social stuff that would dog the franchise from 3000 forward.  2000 may have been potentially peak SimCity but it started getting into those weeds just a bit with the complaints and ordinances.  Yet the the original just kept it fun, serious a little, but never overly serious.

You throw in the SNES game later adding a few of the 2000 era perks like the bonuses of the zoo or a casino, or some land expansion vital to eek out a megaopolis and it gets even better.  Sure that one lacks mouse, but the controller is so intuitive you don't miss it really after too long, and if that was your SC experience it's just smooth.  I really see no fault in the game, it goes deep enough, but not enough into the weeds.  It's what you make of it, being either intense or intensely chill.

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The only version of the original Sim City I ever played was on SNES.  I loved it, even though I was only able to play it for a weekend rental.  We later purchased Sim Farm and Sim City 2000 on PC.  I enjoyed those games as well and put many hours into them.  SC 2000 will always be my favorite, but I still have fond memories of the game that started it all. 

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I played it on DOS and gave it a 9 here.  It was the first type of game like this that I ever played.  Maybe even the first "Here's your map - put stuff on it" game of any type that I played.  I think I rate it highly not so much for "fun" but the fact that it gave me a new activity to do on the computer.  I don't really know how much time I've spent playing Sim City over the years, but I definitely value the experience of taking some time to do some thoughtful and careful planning with some gaming conditions around them.  This game really opened me up to that in a new way.  I know it was ported to consoles, but this game helped me label and define what was different/good about PC gaming in general.

Some games that predate Sim City on 8 bit systems are Utopia on Intellivision and Fortune Builder on Colecovision.  They both very much give you a Sim City vibe and show that there was an appetite for this type of game almost from the very beginning of video games.

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On 5/12/2024 at 12:20 AM, Sumez said:

But as for the original Sim City. I don't think I ever found out what was supposed to be actually enjoyable about it and never made it very far with any one town.

They appeal to a certain gaming personality. I found it enjoyable for the same reason I enjoy a lot of crafting games, especially those with creative modes. Because for all the action and story and questing and all that, sometimes I just want to chill out and build shit for hours and hours. Like playing with Legos, only you don't need anything other than hard drive space.
 

I can see why some don't care for those types of games, but they're perfect for a lot of us.

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Growing up I had very few PC games, I never had a decent computer until 6 or 7 years ago, so the vast majority of my gaming was on consoles. However there are a few exceptions, SimCity being the most notable one. Actually, I was a huge fan of the entire "Sim" series. Still am. Maxis (RIP) was one of my favorite developers of all time. My favorite was probably SimCity 3000 but I played the shit out of all of the SimCities. 

But since we're talking about the original SimCity, it is quite dated and pretty limited in what you can do but I still appreciate the simplicity of it. I have great memories of this game, both the PC and SNES versions. The music of the SNES version in particular is just perfect. I actually got introduced to this game in computer class so very long ago, in elementary school, and later in middle school I got to play SimCity 2000 as well. But honestly this game is so fundamentally solid that I still enjoy the original. I've always been a big fan of simulation games so I'm biased but SimCity was one of my favorite series for a very long time and quite honestly no recent simulation game has matched it. No not even City Skylines.

I was so close to giving this a 10 but went with 9 because the original definitely is pretty limited but SC2000 and 3000 definitely deserve a 10. 

One last note, ive actually been on the hunt for good games that play like the original SimCity or just basic city building games. Nothing complex like City Skylines, so if anyone is as any recommendations I'd love to hear them.

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Idk, 7/10. Hard to rate without historical importance in mind. To this day when I’m dawdling and building structures rather than “playing the game” in any genre, in my mind I’m “playing Sim City.” It’s like Legos building up towns then destroying them with disasters. The SNES port is also super good in a genre that consoles otherwise just give up on.

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Wow 3000 is a 10?  I utterly hate that game, it's so fiddly and fussy when it comes to bridges, tunnels, elevations it'll just NOPE you all over the place on things and the high level of fussy committee people protestors and activists in it get really annoying too.  I'd take virtually any thing of SimCity over 3000. 🙂

Personally to me the perfect Sim City is a blend of 1(classic) and 2.  Strangely GBA did that with 2000 because it looks like 2000 on GBA, has none of the underground stuff, but has all the flow of the original largely so it's a pleasure.

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