Probably the rarest Maxis game in existence today, SimCity 2000 Network Edition is the excellent multiplayer version of Will Wright's popular SimCity 2000. Released in 1996, the game's sales figures were so disappointing that Maxis decided to pull it off the shelves in less than a year after release. Worse, the version has never been included in any SimCity 2000 compilation that Maxis released, such as the CD Collection or any subsequent shovelware. As a result, many die-hard SimCity fans are not aware that it ever existed – well, until now :) |
Simply put, SC2000NE is to SimCity 2000 what CivNet was to Sid Meier's Civilization: both games take a popular game, and add excellent multiplayer support without changing the basic gameplay. In the case of SC2000NE, you not only get multiplayer, but also a cleaner Windows 95-style interface and numerous other small additions that make the game even better. Games Domain's review explains in detail how a city simulation can be tweaked to successfully support multiplayer:
"The 'Network Edition' part of the game will probably attract more players than any other feature. The protocals supported include Winsock-IPX, Winsock-TCP, Internet, and DirectPlay via modem. Installation of the game installs both the Server and Client portion of the game, yet single-player games still require the server to be loaded. Joining a game already in progress takes an extraordinary long time because the city data is slowly transferred from the server to the joining player. The game is completely halted while a new player is joining therefore all players may wish to join the game before any land is purchased to optimize time.
Players may propose contracts to provide services to each other in return for services or cash. Financial compensation provided to another player is specified by a monthly amount, but the budget window displays only the yearly amount which requires players to divide the total by twelve. Finally, in the middle of managing your city, the chat window or an incoming proposal window may instantly appear possibly causing the mouse pointer to accidently accept a proposed deal instead of building or bulldozing as originally planned. Other than these minor annoyances, a multiplayer game runs at a reasonable speed both on a LAN and on the Internet.
SimCity 2000 Network Edition lives up to its name, it is still the same popular game released several years ago yet the new multiplayer ability breathes new life into it. Perhaps an endless life since the game has no clear ending or goal. These are defined by the players before or during the game and may be long-term due to the ability to save and resume multiplayer games at a later date. The game has great replay value because every player has a different style, a different method, and a different background."
If you have ever wanted to compete with other armchair city builders, SC2000NE is everything you need. It is the same SimCity 2000 that we all know and love, with a lot more replay and competitive value provided by a very comprehensive suite of multiplayer options. This version also includes the Urban Renewal Kit add-on that was sold separately for a while. Highly recommended, and a definite entrant into our Hall of Belated Fame.
Reviewed by: Underdogs