Maxis have created by far the best City Simulation to date. SimCity 3000 offers fun insights into what building a city, or managing the growth of one, might be like. There is so much to take into account, and sometimes so little time! You begin with a plot of land, which can be customised to suit your desires, and a cash reserve of $50,000. However on tougher levels of difficulty your starting circumstances vary, and for expert players the option to start with a £10,000 loan is available.
Once the area of land you wish to use has been established you can start the ball rolling. This game offers incredible amounts of freedom, allowing the city of your dreams to become a virtual reality. Similarly, you may end up with an ugly, polluted city that no one wants to live in. Consultants and Advisers offer help in economic areas, perhaps suggesting you build more schools or increase Police Funding. However donít be fooled, every action has a consequence (be it good or bad) and sometimes you will benefit from ignoring their advice, which brings me to another point: this isnít necessarily a kidís game. At times it can require a lot of strategy and thoughtful planning to stop from going bankrupt, turning that annual loss into a well-earned profit. You will find yourself spending vast amounts of time on a single city and the game is terribly addictive.
The first thing youíll have to do is build residential areas for your Sims to live in, as well as Commercial and Industrial areas which create work opportunities. Although this isnít quite as easy as you may think. Water pipes and electricity cables have to be supplied, and therefore water stations and factories have to be built. Thatís just a basic example of what I mean when I say Ďevery action has a consequenceí, and when building a city there are many factors to take into account. Now you may think it all sounds like a bit of a drag, but I assure you itís not. Maxis manage to create a perfect balance between serious and light-hearted aspects, the news ticker being just one example of this, and thatís what makes SimCity so great. Sure they could have taken a boring, serious approach to city building, but theyíve not. Instead they produced a game that can be appreciated by all ages and will be forever remembered as one of the greatest. I mean come on, how many games can you summon an alien invasion to wipe out your city once youíve had all your fun?!
The graphics for this game are what youíd expect. I suppose itís most comparable to something like Age of Empires, but instead youíre building sky-scrapers and not raising an army! If your not sure take a look at some screen shots which can be easily found online. Basically, the city can be viewed from four different angles and zooms can be applied. The music works well, itís main purpose being to create some peaceful background sound, which it does and thatĎs about it. Obviously itís the kind of game that can be played again and again over the course of many years. I myself dug it up after 5 years and am yet again addicted. On a side note: itís not playable online. But who cares, the SimCity games have never been and it honestly doesnít need it. We got a winner right here, no help from the internet needed! Another point I forgot to include is that you can place up to 10 Landmarks per city. Iíve never counted, but Iíd guess there are around 50 Landmarks in total, ranging from the Eiffel Tower to the Sphinx, itís all there.
In all honesty I have no criticisms of this game, so perhaps you ought to play it and get back to me on that. Iíd be interested to hear any! So get out there and buy SimCity 3000 - a game that will, without a doubt, become a true favourite. Just like it did with many of us all those years ago. And now hereís a brief run down of this Landmark title:
Last Words: A game that should be owned by all.
Copyright © 2005 Mike Montgomery