One of the rarest versions of Maxis' genre-defining SimCity series, Simcity Classic is a good Windows 3.1 version of the original game, ported by Azeroth. The review on MobyGames says it all. |
The original SimCity is a classic, and this is but a translation of it to the Windows environment. The gameplay is familiar, system specs need not be powerful (unlike for the newer Sim installments), and gameplay is a bit smoother than in the standard DOS version. Building a city from scratch is fun, and allows experiencing the joys of being mayor. Build cities "organically" like London, or according to a larger over-all plan, like Washington DC.
While the experience of playing SimCity is fun, the overall game is rather pointless. There is little to do once you find that happy middle ground of taxes and spending – wait for enough funds, tweak your city a bit, wait for some more funds. Some have said that to "win" you must lay out your city for mass public transit (with no roads) which strikes me as a lopsided statistical modelling job. Granted, Will Wright could mold the game in any fashion that he desired, but SimCity seems a weird place to trumpet one's own ideological utopian vision.
The pre-planned scenarios aren't very fun – once grasped the basic concepts of the game, demolishing buildings to build police stations in hot spots or bulldozing districts to stop the spreading of fire just feel like boring puzzle minigames. The use of windows in this game, while allowing more flexibility than the DOS version, can get unwieldy.
The Bottom Line:
It started and defined a genre that no other series has ever been able to touch: city planning games. In retrospect, the game is a lot like Balance of Power: the ideas are awe-inspiring, and the execution creative, but the game itself leaves a bit to be desired. The fun in this version of SC is akin to the fun one gets with a paint program, not necessarily a game. Future SC entries improve on this, and are worthy as game *and* social experiment... but this one is just a very well-done curio."
Reviewed by: Underdogs