Mean Machines

Sim City

Publisher: Imagineer
Machine: Super Famicom

Published in Mean Machines #10

Sim City

Sim City gives the player a vast island, a massive amount of cash, and some very quick builders. Using these resources, it's down to you to create a city. But just throwing down buildings and roads any old how isn't good enough. Should your settlement be a nasty place to live then the simulated populace (the Sims) just won't bother moving in. Similarly, they're scared away by the likes of massive tax levies, hideous amounts of pollution, and they're not very likely to want to live in your city if there's nowhere to work or go shopping.

The options open to you change as your city grows. For example, it's up to you to decide whether your city could cope with an air or seaport. But via the popular opinion polls, the Sims voice their own views on what are the most serious problems in the city. Also, if they think that the city is lacking some necessary type of amenity (like a sports stadium, for example), they're all too quick to throw down a few demands.

No-one said your term as the mayor of Sim City was going to be easy...

Other Buildings

Sim City

Police and fire departments are essential for keeping your city safe from all hazards - and if your city is large enough police and fire area division buildings are created!

Also, look out for sports stadiums (both enclosed and open air), seaports, airports, banks, casinos and even your own house! Some of these buildings only become available later on into the game and can be accessed via the questionmark icon on the bottom right of the panel.

O Level Geography

Your city is comprised of three main types of building. Industrial areas are the places where a lot of your Sims trundle off to work, whilst the residential areas are the places where they live.

Sim City

Commercial areas include the likes of shops and offices, so these places tend to be very popular. Creating a transport network to enable the Sims to travel between these places is very important. Sim City gives you the opportunity to create both road and rail networks.

Maps 'N Charts

A map of your city can be summoned at will, and with this you can assess traffic, crime or fire prevention problems. You can also see which parts of town are the most valuable property-wise, or even get a lowdown on your road and rail networks! Graphics can also be revealed, showing the rise in population figures, wealth, crime or whatever for your city.


If for some bizarre reason you feel like destroying your city after you've created it, then Sim City enables you to do it in style! On the Armageddon agenda you'll find the likes of tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, sea or air tragedies and, if you're feeling rather destructive, there's even the opportunity to let a Godzilla-alike loose on your city!

Introducing... Dr. Sim!

Sim City

Dr. Sim is a rather curious chappie, and he crops up throughout the game in a series of cameo screens to inform you of your progress (or lack of it). Although his words of wisdom are only decipherable to those who can read Japanese, his actions more than get the message across. If he's being chased around the screen by a masked robber, you know that crime is rife. Similarly, if he's being pursued by a monster, you know that Godzilla's going to turn up!


I've got Sim City on my PC, and hours literally fly by when you're creating your own urban work of art. Now, Imagineer have released the Super Famicom game and it's the best version yet without a shadow of a doubt!

The graphics have been spruced up and loads more buildings have been added to the original concept (you've even got your own house!). The sound has been similarly improved and there's a vast range of soothing tunes playing in the background whilst your city-creating antics are in progress.

Sim City

The icon system is incredibly easy to use, and even though the majority of the text is in Japanese, it doesn't take a genius to work out what's going on (especially if you're a genius with an English translation of the instructions, which most importers are giving out with the game).

Sim City is a bit on the expensive side (I've seen it advertised for £50.00) but shop around the importers for a good price and invest in this unique cartridge immediately. It'll have you playing for months!


Sim City is one of those games in which once you start playing it's very difficult to turn off. You start building your city, then you add more bits on, and more. Build a seaport. Make an airport.

Sim City

Deal with a whole load of crime and pollution problems... and then discover that it's 2:00am and you've been playing for six hours! It's an incredibly rewarding game to play, and you can watch your teeming metropolis flourish and grow - or start to fail if you don't run things properly! With its multitude of options, mega-addictive playability and constant fresh challenges, Sim City has more lasting appeal than any other Super Famicom yet seen!


Presentation 93%
All the text is in Japanese, so it takes a while to grow accustomed to the game.

Graphics 81%
Functional, but perfect, and the cameo screens are excellent.

Sim City

Sound 80%
Excellent tunes, and great sampled noises.

Playability 95%
Once you've figured out the Japanese text, the game is easy to get into...

Lastability 95%
...and never seems to grow stale! There's ages-worth of city-building antics in store here!

Overall 94%
A mega-addictive concept that works brilliantly on the Super Famicom - check it out!