New Town, Same Look and Feel – Sim City

Sim City has returned with a new mix of addictive gameplay. Like its predecessors this edition is a sandbox style game focused on the dynamics of city building. The game thrusts you into a simulation where you can craft a city in your own image. While easy to get started the game gets more challenging as you progress.

Mega Projects Are Outside of Your Domain
As mayor you no longer have complete control of mega projects such as freeways and railroads. These elements are built into maps. Not all mega projects are out of your reach however. Big ticket items such as international airports, large power plants, and mega buildings can be completed in the Great Works portion of the region’s map. These colossal projects can be undertaken by a single mayor but the amount of resources required makes it much more beneficial to collaborate with others in the region.

Your Buildings Level Up
Many of the core civic and economic buildings in the game are no longer stagnant and can be upgraded. A majority of them feature snap on modules such as an additional bus stall for schools or a new wing for your hospital. Other upgrades become available after completing a specific goal. City Hall for example levels up based on your population.

Discover Your Specialty
Specialization is one of the most intriguing new features of the game. Mayors now have the choice to make use of natural resources inside city limits. Resources include coal, oil, and ore; availability highly dependent on your location however. This dynamic forces mayors to carefully evaluate maps before laying down streets. After all you may not want to pave over a valuable oil well. Would you?

Always On
To create a dynamic Sim world Maxis now requires players to remain online to play the game. While this feature creates interesting dynamics such as a global market for goods and the ability to play with your friends, it also presents some challenges. One major issue with this approach is the game is unusable offline. It’s also heavily reliant on the Maxis’ servers which were not fully operational during launch and continue to show reliability issues.

Hop on the Bus
Maxis decided to remove the subway from the game. While always an expensive option for city’s in the past, it was one of the most effective ways to move your Sims around. Options have been severely cut back. Buses now serve as your city’s primary means of public transportation. The most advanced option available is the streetcar which is not as fast as the subway and more difficult to place in  the city.

You Can’t Grow Without City Hall
Government takes a more active role this time around with a handful of the game’s advanced buildings being tied to the level of city hall. From schools to stadiums, you won’t be able to build some of the larger items right off the bat. Luckily Maxis has built a workaround for this dilemma. For example, if another mayor in your region already added a specific wing such as utilities to their city hall your city will gain access to advance utility features as well.

Overall the game is a solid addition to the series. It’s new challenges and tools create  a fresh experience for seasoned mayors and newbies alike. Find me on the U.S. West Coast Server. Mayor name: SeaTrain.

Happy building fellow mayors!