SimCity is a series of games that has 4 separate titles, plus a host of add-ons. SimCity is perhaps the best example of a Simulation-style game, and is widely-regarded as the "father" of the genre.

The basic premise of the game places the player in the position of a new Mayor of an empty plot of land. With this, and a small start-up fund, you strive to create the city of your dreams. The beauty of the genre lies in the open-ended gameplay: the city of "your" dreams can be a sprawling metropolis, a quaint village, a depressing hell-hole, or anything in between.

The core fanbase of SimCity has not changed much - the series is one of the few that hasn't been changed drastically from its original. Rather, the series has grown progressively more complex while still retaining the basic, enjoyable features.

SimCity Basics

Every mayor starts with the same thing - a barren terrain and a small amount of startup funds. Sequels to the original have allowed more and more detailed adjustment of the terrain - Sim City 4 has an almost clay-like terrain editor. The terrain can be edited after beginning your city, though for a price.

From there, basic infrastructure is required to start your city. Roads and/or rail, a power supply and grid, and zoning for Residential, Commercial, and Industrial are examples of the basics. People move in, and your city grows.

With that growth comes more options. Ordinances, basic fire and police protection, water supply and taxes come into play at this point. As technology progresses (dependent upon what year you choose to start your city, largely), more and more options become available. Don't expect software companies to move in during the 1930's, and don't expect to be able to build nuclear power plants until later as well.

The game has always been one of the few that really utilizes the CPU of a computer. Particularly the newest game, SimCity 4. It runs thousands and thousands of operations to simulate the city as realistically as possible. Various versions of the game include trip computers, individual Sim tracking, extremely advanced traffic simulators, economic simulators, disaster simulators, and a host of others. This explains why, in 1989, Maxis was approached by several levels of the government, including the CIA, to develop simulations for them. Maxis' attention to detail in their SimCity simulations is well-renowned.

The exact amount of detail of the game depends upon which game you're playing. But the basic premise always remains the same. Having fun, and building your dream city.


  • SimCity (1989)
  • SimCity: Terrain Editor (Add-on) (1989)
  • SimCity 2000 (1993)
  • SimCity Classic (Re-release) (1994)
  • SimCity 2000: Urban Renewal Kit (Add-on) (1994)
  • SimCity 3000 (1999)
  • SimCity 3000 Unlimited (Re-release) (2000)
  • SimCity 4 (2003)
  • SimCity 4: Rush Hour (Expansion Pack) (2003)

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