I have total power. Mankind’s fate is at my every whim. As I
point and click the mouse, microscopic lives are changed and
commerce is made or destroyed. SimCity 4 is a power trip.
SimCity 4 is a game in which you are mayor of a virtual city,
with almost unlimited liberties regarding any facet of city
government. You are your own city council. You are the chief of
police, the fire chief, the dogcatcher, even Dean of Students at a
college named after you. What’s better than having everyone do
things for you, in your name?
In the latest installment of the SimCity games put out by Maxis,
SimCity 4 brings new ideas to the genre of real-time, simulation
computer games. While the same basic ideas prevail, now one can sit
down on one of their own streets and interact with other “Sims”
that inhabit your city. Get the perspective of a “Sim on the town,”
and get the low-down on whether or not you’re passing muster as
SimCity 4 isn’t all fun and games, as I found out that
ill-placed water pipes and faulty power lines could lead to
citywide unrest. A sewage plant placed next to the elementary
school is sure to brew up a lot of fun with the school board, and
that new statue of a famous war hero you just placed in city park
will really up your standards with the college population.
Making a quality city is a difficult task, as money begins to
wear thin after the first few minutes of play. After my attempt to
put in a cheat code, police were all over my office for fraud.
Accidentally bulldozing a coffee shop, I started a volatile hippie
riot. It’s a hard life, playing mayor.
Just when you think you have all the financial problems, zoning
ordinances and power grid puzzles solved, disaster strikes. An
earthquake rocks your city, destroying skyscrapers and splitting
subways in half, and you didn’t save the game. Now you have two
options, either call in the National Guard, police and fire forces
to get the problem solved, or play the pessimist and provoke the
problem. A handy button on the toolbar reads “choose a disaster,”
from which you can pick a wide range of difficult problems for your
citizens to deal with.
If you’re looking to kill some time or possibly frustrate
yourself, SimCity 4 might be a wise choice. I pity those of you who
don’t use cheat codes.