SimCity is an open-ended city-planning simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System on 1991-04-26. The game was originally designed by Will Wright and published through Maxis in 1989, but the SNES port saw big improvements to the graphics and music, and added objectives and unlockable content to make it more like a typical game than a sandbox game compared to what was typical of the Sim series at the time.
SimCity was the first game I bought for the SNES and my second game for the system which came with Super Mario World. This would have been shortly after getting my SNES for Christmas, probably around 1992. This was the first time I had played a SimCity game, and my first attempt was a very messy city which I promptly erased. Over time, I got pretty good at the game and was able to build a megalopolis.
I own the game and have beaten all of the scenarios and obtained a megalopolis on the free map.
Best Version: SNES
— This section contains spoilers! —
- The graphics have been greatly improved from all computer versions of the game. I especially appreciate the palette shifting to simulate seasons.
- Soyo Oka did a fantastic job on the soundtrack, one of my favorites on the platform. Each song is not only enjoyable in their own right, but the soundtrack has a continuity across the whole game.
- The addition of prizes like amusement parts, expos centers, and landfills was a great idea, and adds to the fun of the game.
- The cut-scenes from from Dr. Wright are funny and informative. Much better than just a message box.
- The addition of scenarios that can be beaten was a great way to give the player a proper challenge, and I love how the game maps resemble the actual city layouts.
- The game manual is fantastic. Not only does it teach you how to play the game, and give good strategies, but it also gives suggestions on how to enjoy the game outside of the usual goals.
- Roads are little more than an impediment to a good city. The manual makes it clear right from the practice city, don't use roads. Rails create no pollution or traffic so they're guaranteed to do better. Of course, this makes the city look ridiculous and the designers should have figured out a way to make roads mandatory or make rail less perfect.
- The random land generator is slow and too many of the maps look the same. If they couldn't get it to create maps with more interesting layouts, they should have just programed a couple dozen set maps of varying styles. Plus, since the land/water ratio varies quite a bit, certain maps are objectively better at obtaining a megalopolis (map 061 has the most land).
- Even with the added scenarios, there isn't a true way to win the game. You could say that unlocking Freeland is a "victory" condition, but there is little fanfare.
- Two of the scenarios can have their primary threat solved by pausing the game once the scenario beings, altering the map to eliminate the threat, and then resuming the game. For Boston, simply destroy the nuclear power plant and replace it with coal plants. For Rio de Janeiro, bulldoze all the shore line.
Dr. Wright's Urban Planning Guide - US manual.