With the release of the new SimCity (2013) it asks the question: Does the original SimCity hold up?
I played 2 versions of classic SimCity to see if it was still up to snuff. First I tried the classic, aged graphics, DOS version. One thing is for sure, the game can be difficult. That’s not to say that it’s hard to play, but it does require a substantial amount of forethought. Things like traffic can become bothersome. Other things sneak up on you, like earthquakes and plane crashes. You are rewarded in the game for planning ahead, because any of the disasters that happen can be solved with money in most cases. If you run the city poorly, you won’t stand a chance. Primarily, what it comes down to is balancing homes with jobs. The rest of it requires some light babysitting. If you’re not a graphics snob, theres a lot to still be enjoyed in classic SimCity on DOS.
The other version I played was the SNES version of SimCity. It includes improved graphics and some Nintendo tweaks. Overall, it’s the same game but with some extra flair. For example, the monster disaster looks like Bowser (from Super Mario Bros) instead of Godzilla. You can also unlock a Mario monument in your city as a reward for exceed 500 thousand citizens. Furthermore, it features a special menu item that gives you suggestions while you’re playing. It’s worth playing for it’s improved graphics alone, although they’re still just SNES graphics.
So is original SimCity worth playing? Yes, I think so anyway. The graphics haven’t aged that badly and it’s not really the type of game that requires fast reflexes. It’s a game that flexes your brain rather than your finger twitch, so with that said it’s a great game for casual gamers and core gamers alike. And hey, look on the bright side… You don’t need an internet connection to play it!
SimCity for SNES is available for purchase on Nintendo’s Virtual Console.
The original SimCity is also available for Commodore 64, Amiga, and various other systems, including an open source version known as Micropolis.