Sim City DS is a great portable version of the city building game that keeps gamers busy for hours on end.
In Sim City you become the mayor of a city which you name. By building zones for people to move into, your city can grow into a prosperous one with a high population. If you like games such as rollercoaster tycoon you'll love Sim City.
If you've played other versions of the game the DS version can be slightly offputting at first. The first thing I encountered that was jarring was the structure of adding water and power to your city. Your city is watered and powered by making sure zones touch. If there isn't enough power you'll see that certain properties go black and then bright again to indicate a blackout.
Water shortages tend to be indicated by a message that says even a great city needs water lets build a water system.
The fundamentals of this game remain the same, you begin by choosing a space to build your city in, which based on the ratio of land:water can be either of an easy, normal or hard level. You are also allocated a budget to begin building your city and an advisor whose job is telling you someone wants to see you and telling you if your city has made a loss or profit.
One problem of the advisor is that the game seems to only expect you to make about 10000 simolians (sim currency) as beyond that it just says well done mayor your budget is over 10000 simolians. Using the touch screen feature of the DS you can set out roads, zones and place power stations and civil buildings. The key is to make money, so the advice is to start small. As people move in, they will visit your office and ask for certain things, be it a hospital or a new marina for your city. You can then decide based on budget whether to grant their request and your advisor tells you the pros and cons. I've used 4 of the advisors I'm not sure if there are more but they give different advice but basically it comes down to finance and environment.
Certain things don't seem to make the difference they do in other versions of the game, for example whilst a school can increase the population increasing the budget of the school doesn't improve the state of education... not sure where that increased budget goes, but then thats quite realistic I suppose which is the point of the game to simulate reality.
One feature in this game which I love is that there are 8 levels where you have specific objectives, I love objectives in game play, no matter how hard they are because just building a city that's profitable can begin to get a bit dull as you try to maintain that level of profit. In those 8 bonus levels you play to save cities across the world within 10 years. Some you are rebuilding after realistic events such as typhoons and some which are literally out of this world. As a reward for completing each of these levels you get landmarks which you can place in your own cities for free.
As you play the game if you have been funding research, Professor Simtown will give you new buildings to use, sometimes powerplants or waste solutions, sometimes new zones and sometimes free features that will improve the quality of life for your residents.
This game also comes with a post office mode which you can use to send messages to other Sim City Players, however I am not linked up to this facility, and so far haven't noticed a lack of enjoyment.
To sum up; Sim City is great fun at times it is more realistic, but it is only a game so it doesn't need to be too real. I often play it on long journeys helping my city to grow. The objective modes give you something quick to do when you are in the mood to play but don't want to be playing for hours.
This review is for the Nintendo DS game, Sim City, developed and published by Electronic Arts. The game is based on the classic game for the Amiga, where you have to build your own city and satisfy your population.
I have happy memories of playing this game on the Commodore Amiga in the early 1990s, where you have to build residential, commercial and industrial zones so that business and individuals prosper. You then build electricity lines, roads, railways, police stations, fire stations, harbours and airports and so on, to help develop your city. Although further editions of the game were published, the original game remains very close to my heart!
Given my memories of the original Amiga version, it was interesting to see what differences the console version would have. You can either take over eight different cities which are already built, or you can start your own city from scratch. You can then either play through in free play mode, or try to meet certain pre-set challenges.
Controlling the game is easy in principle, primarily using the touch screen and stylus. There has however been an effort to use the Nintendo DS's features in this game, for example, you can blow into the microphone when you need to put out fires. Although the controls in the game are easy, there is a lot of information on the screen, and you can frequently become frustrated that the game doesn't do what you wanted it to do, especially when building roads.
The save game function is a little frustrating as well, as I frequently wanted to have more than one city going at the same time. However, you only have one save game point, so you can't build cities to show your friends, you just have to keep developing your existing city, until you get bored of it and start again.
I actually like the fact that this game has a lot taken out from the recent PC and similar versions, which had become more and more complex. It in my view helps the game play that the game is easy to play and that makes it more addictive, as many of the more complex elements such as budgetary control made the game a bit repetitive.
The game retails for 14.99 pounds, but is currently available on Amazon for nine pounds. If you're happy with a second hand copy, at the time of writing, these are available for around four pounds on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The game is rated as 3+, so is suitable for children of just about all ages.
In summary, this is a very good game. There are some elements which can be frustrating, such as the controls and the stylus, and there's a lot of information on the screen. However, the game is addicitive and it's fun to build up a city, and then knock it down, before rebuilding it again. Definitely worth a look, especially given how cheap second hand copies are at the moment.
Before we go any further I'm just going to come right out and say it; SimCity DS is a highly addictive game. If a game keeps you up to the wee small hours playing it (in this case, around 6am) then you'd be hard pressed to argue that the game has no redeeming qualities. Redeeming? You ask? Well, as addictive as this game may be it, like many other games, suffers from a number of problems that annoyingly snatch a 'must own' title out of its cowering hands.
For those of you who have never played a SimCity game before - which, if this is the case, you deserve to be shot - the game is all about building a city. Of course, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out but it's not as simple as it may sound. Your city planning will be split into three different zones; commercial, industrial, and residential - and it's up to you to come up with a plan that will hopefully present you with a working city and a nice amount of profit coming back in return. Still sound easy? Well, on top of that you have to supply the basic necessities of water and power, figure out a good transit route consisting of roads and railways in order for your Sims to get to work without being stuck in traffic all day, and keep Sims happy with police stations, hospitals, parks and schools to name but a few. If you haven't played a SimCity game before and are trying to figure out how this can possibly be fun then let the detailed tutorial guide you through the basic aspects of the game or you'll find that being in constant debt doesn't make for the most entertaining gaming session.
So, now we've got the basics out of the way I'll lead you on to the first frustration of the game. It doesn't say so on the box but you'll probably want a spade handy if you're going to play this game. No, you won't be digging any holes with it; you'll be whacking your advisor repeatedly over the head. After the random personality test has matched you with an advisor you'll be, at first, happy with the company. You see, the advisor can be pretty helpful at times. You'll be notified about what your city needs through the advisor and the various 'important' guests she calls you back to the office for. At first you'll be happy that some Grandma came and informed you that the city needs more hospitals but, after the hundredth time and having just placed ten hospitals down, it can get annoying - especially since your advisor tends to agree and tries their best to make you feel bad about yourself when you decline. Unfortunately you can't fire the advisor but I suppose the game would be a lot harder without some kind of guidance.
When the advisor isn't bothering you with some Fireman who thinks the city needs yet another stadium they're screaming that there's a fire or similar disaster somewhere in town. Blowing into the mic can put out fires but, in my experience, there's little point because the fire tends not to spread if you've got a few fire stations. This leads me on to the various mini-games that will constantly interrupt your labours. Whether it's tapping fireworks to make them explode or poking Santa in order to make him drop presents it makes you wonder just why these are in the game. Sure, the developer is probably just making more use of the touch screen ability but when the whole game is built around touching the screen there's little point in them being there. I say this because SimCity DS is simply too hard for kids. The game retains the basic aspects of expenditure, income and taxes that will seem very much alien to children. For anyone else the mini-games are fun at first but quickly become pointless. I realise the DS is all about innovation but the game would have been fine without them.
A game like SimCity may sound perfect for the DS but touch screen control does have it problems. For some unknown reason the developers put in an undo action for building things by accident but opted not to let you undo demolition. Anyone who's played on a DS knows that it can be easy to slip from time to time, especially if you're travelling in a car or on a bus. Due to this it's quite easy to destroy half your city just because a sudden movement made you slip. This means you have to be extremely careful when you want to demolish something or, as the games advisor unhelpfully points out, plan your city well enough that you don't have to demolish something in the first place.
Your first few attempts at building a thriving city may end in disaster but you can be safe in the knowledge that you can come back to an older city later on to improve it with your new found skills, that is until you realise that you can only save one city. It's probably down to memory constraints but the ability to only save one city is pretty ludicrous. One part of SimCity I always enjoyed was the ability to go back to an earlier city and be proud of my creation. Now any previous cities will become ghost towns lost in your memory, which severely depletes the games lifespan.
Stylistically the game isn't the best-looking DS game out there but, as you can see by the screenshots, it isn't terrible. The zoom function isn't that great so don't expect to see immense detail on the buildings yet some of them stand out well enough to give your city an air of originality. Don't expect skyscrapers either. Although the game has as number of tall buildings these tend to be around the size of an apartment block or a small office, I suppose anything bigger would have filled the screen and blocked off anything behind it.
Once you've tired of the build-a-city mode there's save-the-city. In this mode you have to accomplish tasks like rebuilding a city after a major earthquake or, on the more mundane side, solving a cities traffic problem. Save-the-city games can't be saved and, as a result, are relatively short so perfect for a ride in the car. There's also a mail mode that allows you to swap landmarks with other people who have the game. Unless your friend owns the game it's a pretty safe bet that you won't be using this mode as the likelihood of coming across anyone else who has the game (since you have to be near them) is pretty slim and the benefits are probably only fun for about five minutes.
At first glance putting SimCity on handheld sounds like an idea worth slaughtering a pig or two in sacrifice for and, for the most part, it is. However, SimCity DS is more likely to have a chicken slaughtered for it. While the ability to play SimCity on the move is amazingly cool you'll often get frustrated through simple things such as trying to demolish a building. That said the game does offer a decent amount of playtime, even if you're only allowed to save one city. SimCity DS is one of those games you'll take with you on a long journey. For SimCity veterans - like myself - the games incredible amount of mothering will probably not appeal to you but it's addicting enough to hold your interest for a few days and a welcome distraction from the PC versions. Is it worth a look? If you can get past its faults then it's probably the best management sim fix you can get on the DS. If a game can keep me entertained enough to play for hours at a time then I'm willing to forgive some of its faults.
This review was originally posted on my video game blog (http://www.nosignalinput.co.uk/2007/07/review-simcity-ds.html)
I got this game last year in an attempt to re-visit my childhood (many a day was lost playing the original Sim City on my Spectrum!). Although I started on the very basic version, I did progress through each new Sim City release on each new computer I bought, and so decided maybe I should get it on the DS (and play wherever I am!).
I was not disappointed! It's all there, from water to electricity, with city-folk requests for everything from better schools to more foliage, and to be honest it has lost none of its appeal. I have no regrets about buying it on this platform, and would recommend it to anyone who likes a challenge, and who has a bit of patience. It's another one of those games where you can give it as much or as little time as you want - you don't have to spend hours on it at a time to get good gameplay.
Simcity was unexpectedly a great game even tough the principle behind it it is quite simple. It took me a while to get to grips with the game and the controls as there are so many samll icons which make the game quite confusing and you really do have to really have the ds close to view all the small pictures. I have heard that this game was previously a computer game but i have not played that version so i can't compare them.
First of all you start by picking your guide and then the fun begins! The basic aim is to build a city, you are the boss and can decide where everything goes. There are things like water and electrical stations which you set up first then you add houses, shops, industry, services like police, hospital, school, as you progress and as your city grows and earns money hopefully you can start adding amusements like zoos and parks.
It took me a while to get to grips with this game as it is actually quite techinical. I ended upmaking new city about 3 times failure after failure as my previous ones went into debt. It needs some time to figure out the right techiniques and to make a game plan and to actually understand the game, but i tell you it is soo addictive! I like the fact that you can decide everything like where to place every thing and what to buy for the city. You also get to choose where to build your city and with what budget making it easier or harder-to your wish.
Overall i loved the game and once i understood it i appreciated it even more. I would recommend this game to anyone who has patience and likes games like zoo tycoon as this game is quite similar.
I have only played this game briefly on the PC, not sure which version it was as was a long while ago. So after many people saying that it was a good game I bought it for myself. At first I found it a little bit confusing putting in all the electricity and plumbing and working out what types of industrial and residential areas to put in and where. Once you have got that just sit back and watch you city grow.
In an overview this game is where you build your own city from just a plot of land. You have to control all the taxes and electricity supplies. It is a very detailed game, which once you have worked out what is best to place, first is quite addictive. The controls are very easy to understand but I always find myself running out of money. The DS version also includes a 'Save the City' mode where you have to restore a city that has been struck by some kind of disaster within a given amount of time. I have tried a few of these but have found them difficult and not actually managed to complete any!
This game is very addictive once you have decided what you are going to put in where. It makes you just want to keep on going and making your city bigger and bigger. I would recommend this game but advise you to be patient as it does take a while for your city to start to grow.
As a new Sim City player, having never encountered any of the previos versions I did get straight into this one. The controls were simple and I was very quickly building my city - well designating zones and watching the appropriate buildings appear before my eyes.
It was very easy to get my head round the electricity and waterworks and I immediately made sure that everyone in my city had these vital ammenities. My city prospered, my population rose, I decreased the taxes to encourage more citizens to move in, my citizens started moving out!!!!
I have played this game quite a few times now, starting from scratch and persevering with a city through many hours of gameplay but always my city has inexplicably failed. I've checked the easy to understand diagrams and graphs and I still don't know why decreasing taxes or increasing funding to the police force causes my citizens to leave my city!
The 'save the city' mode is loads of fun. You get to take control of a city in trouble, maybe there's been a storm, or perhaps a large monkey rather like king kong has been trampling through it but whatever has happened it's down to you to save it. You can't change the butget and if you go below $0 or take longer than 10 years (game time) you fail the challenge. If you pass and meet the target (e.g. electricity restored and population 60,000) within the 10 years you will be awarded with landmarks to use in your own city. I've found some of the cities fun to save, what I mean by that is that they have been challenging but possible. Others of them I have had a number of tries at but have been unable to save them yet. Perhaps I should persevere or perhaps given that my problem always comes with getting the population up and I can't seem to understand how that bit works it's time to sell my game on?
How I loved Sim City 2000. It was a long relationship, with much loyalty. How I got frustrated with Sim City 3000, which never seemed to work. I fell out of love. But then came along the DS, and Sim City DS is the obvious step to take. It's like a match made in heaven.
For anyone who doesn't know the phenomenon that is the Sim City series, it is a God-game, where you build a (Americanised) city, and watch it grow and become prosperous.
You zone areas either residential, commercial, or industrial. Provide power, water, waste disposal, and roads and rail. You build police stations, hospitals, schools and whatever else your citizens need. Citizens move in, pay taxes, and protest at your dealings. Your city either grows and gets rich, or goes bust and you get kicked out.
I think this is the best version of Sim City yet. It is a bit disorientating at first, especially if you are used to playing the other versions. You can't rotate the city, although you can zoom in and out. There is no up or down terrain, which is good, but a bit featureless.
You don't need to lay pipes, which is a good thing cos the graphics are a lot smaller, but you do have to build pumps and de-salinization plants.
The graphs are easy to access, and the data sheet facility (which shows you which parts of the city are polluted, crime-riddled and a whole host of other things) is very useful. The budgeting takes a bit of working out, but is simple once you get your head into it.
You get an advisor to help you, but if you don't get on with them or find them irritating, you can swap them for someone else when the opportunity comes.
You can start a city from scratch, selecting your difficulty level, or play a scenario game where you have to solve a problem in a pre-built city. When you complete these levels, you get landmarks that you can use for free within your own city - such as the Statue of Liberty, or the Sydney Opera House. I have still to complete two levels, I think they are impossible, but am sure to be proved wrong at some stage.
A sim professor carries out research for you, revealing new technologies to help you along the way, such as better power stations or waste disposal facilities.
You get visits from people within your city who try and get you to do things for them, like build more zoos, or improve the railways. They get a bit annoying and take ages getting to the point. Sometimes I want to punch the sim person square in the face, but there is no way to do this, damn it. So I just agree to their request and they go away.
Periodically, usually at the end of the year, or on 5-year anniversaries, you get visits from Santa, or a fireworks display, where you have to partake to get bonus points (or dollars to spend on your city). These are great for a while, but get a bit samey.
There is post office facility, where you can swap landmarks with other players, but I haven't tried this out yet as I'm a sad lonely DS player all on my lone-some.
Overall, the game is great. Some of the features are different to the earlier versions of Sim City, but it'll be easy to pick up by someone familiar with the format.
I'm back in love again. Its all warm and cosy. x
Build, manage and play on the go, as the quintessential city simulation arrives on Nintendo DS! Be the Mayor, call the shots and manage every aspect of life in your new town. Pick one of eight fictional cities or create your own then get ready to modify, manage and grow your new domain. Thanks to user-friendly Nintendo DS stylus and Touch Screen controls, running a successful, bustling metropolis is easier than ever. Whether you're tackling daily challenges, from planning to pollution, or dealing with natural disasters, help is always at hand from your dedicated team of in-game Advisors. With their tips to guide you, make the right decisions to shape the future success of your city and the happiness of its citizens.