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SimPark screenshot

SimPark is a 1996 computer game by Maxis. The object of the game is to cultivate and manage a successful park. Similar to SimTown, it is targeted more towards children than the average gamer. SimPark attempts to show the importance of ecological balance. It could well be considered a 'lite' version of SimIsle.


Players have to quickly learn how doing (or not doing) various things will affect how their park grows. For instance, if certain flower types aren't planted, the park won't attract bees. If the bees aren't flying around the park, then pollination won't occur, which is an important aspect of keeping the park growing. On top of properly managing the plant and animal population, players are also required to identify the park's plants and animals (gearing this game more towards younger players).

Humans are also allowed in the park and it is up to the player to decide if the humans will get free roam of the entire park, or limited access (humans will deviate from trails, but cannot cross water without bridges.) Other aspects when it comes to humans include littering, tampering with wildlife and taking up space with tents, picnic tables and other objects. Instead of speaking Simlish, humans in SimPark speak English. Both children and adults inhabit the player's park and both require different things to make them happy. By clicking on them, players can either gain hints as to how to improve the park or to hear a song or humorous line.


Players often receive in-game email, such as their boss telling them to make the park more diverse, or their virtual mother telling about life back at home (ex: "I baked you a cake..." etc.) Occasionally, the Boss's pet frog Rizzo will make an appearance on the screen to give the player advice, or nag about the way they're handling things. In addition to having the option to turn him off, one can also turn off any combination of four different disasters. These disasters include:

  • Garbage Dump

The Garbage Dump is just a big pile of rubbish. As soon as it is made, rats start to produce from it and inhabit your park. The only way to get rid of the garbage dump is to put water on it or place lots of garbage-eating animals such as rats and black bears, around the garbage dump.

  • Fire
  • Kudzu
  • Alien invasion

The Alien Invasion consists of flat, pink-and-blue creatures that litter the park grounds and sometimes float on the water. If the map is clicked to get a zoomed-out map view, the pattern the Aliens form may be in the shape of letters. One example of this is a message which reads: "Surrender, Dorothy". This is a parody to the movie The Wizard of Oz. The only way to get rid of aliens, aside from using cheat codes, is to bulldoze them with the "Bulldozer" tool.

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