“ Genre: Simulation - World Building / Release Date: 2008-09-26 / Published by Electronic Arts „
I picked up a copy of this SimCity Creator game for the DS on sale in Toys R Us for only £7. I thought it was a real bargain for the price! Search the web and a number of retailers are presently selling it for around that price, though the actual retail price is closer to the usual £15 - £20 mark.
This game is a must-have for old fans of the original SimCity games. It's not the new-age sims people games, but more traditionally made with the emphasis being on construction, maintenance and budgeting. The people being happy and having little thoughts is little more than for statistical purposes in this game. With that in mind, this is not a game for youngsters. You need to be fluent in dealing with statistics and figures to happily play this game, so while the contents is suitable for those aged 7yrs and over, I'd say the context is better suited to ages 12 to adult.
The idea is basically that you go about creating your own little world. When you play in Challenge Mode (which is really the main game), you start off by building your city in ancient times, and progress up through the ages. The periods don't last too long for each era, I found that playing this game for an hour or so every other day meant that I went up an era once every week or two.
To run your city efficiently you need to keep your eye on ensuring that all of your peoples (sims) needs are met. You need to make sure they can access food, and education, and as the technologies advance, water, fire stations, hospitals and even entertainment venues. You do this by creating zones and adding features until you manage to achieve the right balance to make your sims happy and your city financially sufficient. It's a bit challenging to get to grips with initially, but once you get into it and understand what you're doing, it's easy really!
The graphics are pretty reasonable in this game, they're in PC style but with DS quality I'd say. I like the tunes and the little happy tutorials I've encountered along the way too. The tools are all easy to access, and this game makes good use of both screens for easy game play. I'm surprised this game has been so widely reduced, but then I guess that's because it's one for the adults rather than the youngsters. Definitely recommended by me, and well deserving of the five stars that myself and other reviewers have given it.
This Sim City game offers you not just the opportunity to manage your city well as in previous versions but the chance to manage the development of the human race and their progression through the ages.
Currently available new for £12 from Amazon and around that price from other retailers, my copy was £10 second hand. Therefore makes a perfect Christmas gift for your friends and family who own a DS.
The interface is basically the same as Sim City DS, however the panels develop as your city grows. For novices it is simple to use and to get the hang of. The game offers a new experience for veteran players of the Sim City games as there are many more factors to consider.
Your game begins at the dawn of Civilisation- that's right, Cavemen period. You don't have a budget your resources for building are trees. You are given a landscape with areas to gather food and should build your residential zones near food sources. Life is simple for the sims at this stage however problems include food running out and tornados, the game gives you the tools to deal with these problems though and you're soon ready to move onto the next time period, the game then offers you a choice of going to two different time periods.
This is when your game requires you to start building public service buildings it isn't until the third stage that you have to worry about powering your city with electricity which can lead to powerplant explosions. Then there is the final time phase.
The game talks you through the process of building your city more so than in previous games, and this is never more frustrating to your game play than when your account goes into the red, a message comes up asking if you would like to end the game since it would be too hard to recover from that debt.
In most games you can recover from debt by adjusting the budget and charging more in taxes or borrowing some money but this is not an option in the third phase if you have adjusted your budget within the last 6 months. This does make play hard and in the end I had to abandon my city and start over.
It is also useful to build the city as though you will have to fit in more buildings later- because you will and not planning for this can lead to your city experiencing problems at its core.
The game also has a freeplay mode where you can build your city in any timeperiod you have unlocked, in total this gives you a choice of 6 time periods.
Moving on from a level when prompted means you progress more quickly through history in terms of advances but if you stay with a level once you have been prompted to move on you can unlock more surprises to use in free play.
All in all this will keep your hands busy on journeys to work, or on boxing day as with all sim city games once everything is functioning time passing can be a bit boring but all in all it is a fun game and definitely worth its £12 price tag.
SimCity Creator is a game for the Nintendo DS. The game is ideal for those who like the tycoon and sim series of games, in this case seeing a city which you develop changes throughout the generations.
I remember getting SimCity for the Amiga over twenty years ago, and it was my favourite game for many months. A version of SimCity has been released for the DS before, but this version is less financial based and more based on building through different periods.
You can choose between playing in two different ways, either playing the free play mode or the challenge mode. The free play mode lets you build your cities from any era, whilst the challenge mode gives you a storyline so that you can play cities working through the different periods of history. The challenge mode is the only to go for first, as this allows you to unlock buildings and features, which you can then play using the free play mode.
Using the challenge mode you start off in a stone age mode, and as your city gets bigger and grows in size, that's when you can move forward into playing in a new game era. There are a good selection of different areas to play, covering ancient Asia (and indeed modern Asia), the renaissance periods and the development of the United States. Watch out for the global warming maps towards the end of the game!
Game play wise, the game is easy to pick up and play. I did find, as I always did with my first efforts with SimCity on the Amiga, that the game area is too small, and I wanted to build much bigger cities. I enjoyed building my cities in this game, and watching the landmarks from each age of the game being constructed, and then lasting for many more ages whilst everything changes around them.
There are as usual lots of different measures of how well you're doing. You can see the average life expectancy of your population, as well as their education and health levels, and how safe the population feel from crime. There's always lots of options to be able to select to keep you busy whilst growing the city.
The graphics I found to be more than adequate, and I did enjoy seeing the buildings develop in their different formats through the different periods of time. Sometimes the controls were a bit difficult to use in terms of selecting the right items with the stylus to construct and so on, but this is really an unfortunate feature given the size of the Nintendo DS's screen. Given the limitations of what the programmers were working around, I think that they've done a very good job.
The music in the game isn't too bad, it does change as you progress through the game, but as with quite a few DS games, I did find it a bit repetitive after a while.
If you have multiple DS units, you can use Nintendo's wireless feature to be able to swap landscapes with friends, so you can see how others are building and developing their cities. I didn't use this option, but it seems a useful addition to the game which might add some life to it.
The game is available for just under 13 pounds from Amazon, a smaller reduction then they usually offer as the game only retails for 14.99 pounds.
Overall, I really enjoyed this game. If you enjoy the idea of building a city, this is likely to appeal. A well thought through game, limited only really for me by the size of the screen.
As your city grows and your population becomes richer and wiser, you will move through one historic era to another. Your technology advances, the look of your city evolves, and the problems you face grow more and more challenging. Earn epic landmarks to enhance your city and mark your progress into the next era. Choose your path through history and make a city for the ages.