Sim City (Maxis) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


Sim City
By Maxis
Amiga 500

Published in Computer & Video Games #95

Sim City

If you've ever wanted a very good reason to go out and buy a half megabyte upgrade for your Amiga, here it is - Sim City.

What is this memory-eating miracle of modern technology? Well it's the first ever city simulation. And if you think it sounds about as interesting as attending the planning sub-committee of the local council, you'd be wrong. Sim City is utterly fab.

OK then, what happens? Well, in the basic game you start off with a sparsely-wooded wilderness with a river running through it, and a pile of money. It's time to start building.

What do you need to start a city? Well, houses would help - so bulldoze down a few trees and drop in a residential zone. Jobs for the people who are going to live there... that'll be an Industrial Zone (and people don't want to live next door to a chemical works, so put it a bit out of the way). And how about some shops and stuff so everyone can buy their copies of C&VG - those are Commercial Zones.

Nothing happens. How about building a power station and connecting all the zones to it, so the lights come on? Obvious. Now something magical happens - before your eyes the city starts to grow... within the limits of the zones you have set down.

Little houses spring up in the Residential Zones, Factories grow in the Industrial Zones. Shops sprout up in the Commercial Zones - you can see the dynamics of this by glancing at the thin graph on the far left of the screen, which has yellow, green and blue lines. If they point up, everything is positive and alright - if they point down, something is going wrong.

Like now for instance. The first year has whizzed by and you go to set your budget and find you are very unpopular and there is very little growth. Ah! No transport. You have to connect the zones together by building roads or railways. No problem. Do this and the traffic starts to flow before your very eyes as the Sims go from home to work and back again.

Call up the comprehensive sets of graphs and zone maps. Crime is up! Build a Police Station and see it go down under the influence of law and order.

And how about a Fire Station, where you are at it, just in case there's an outbreak of playing with matches? Bloomin' heck - it's the end of the year again. Look at all that money you've spent! And how little is coming in. Raise taxes!

But... watch out, because your people might get fed up with high taxes and move out of the city! Lower taxes! Expand the city! Spend, spend, spend!

See the traffic problems build up. See pollution get higher. See everyone complain! Worry about why industry is moving out and unemployment is rising! As you city grows more, fret about how you are going to afford to buy your Sims a Stadium! And keep industry happy with a Port. And commerce happy with an Airport.

Then, just when you think you've got everything under control, a big green monster comes along and starts flattening the lot... or maybe an earthquake happens. Actually, these disasters are optional - if you'd rather have a quiet life.

What did you think of the feeling of power that Populous gave you? Sim City delivers that and more - as a true reality is created which lives, breathes and complains!

You can experiment and build different types of city - or load existing scenarios which pit your skills against famous disasters, like the San Francisco Earthquake!

Chances are you will find that Sim City exercises a strange fascination as you carefully tend and build your creation (mine's called Happy Valley!) and try to keep the residents happy and the budget balanced.

Sim City is a classic - a work of true genius - and is a program that no Amiga owner should be without.


An opportunity to build your own world - then watch it tell you you're doing a very bad job. A fabulous, amazingly addictive and highly entertaining game which shouldn't be missed.

John Cook

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