"Big Wheel Keep on Turnin'"
Swapping resources with fellow mayors works well and adds a dimension to SimCity, but finding maps (read: Regions) to join can be a burden. Anybody can create a publicly joinable Region, and finding the right plot of land to call home can take a while... a long while. Also, I had difficulty in finding different map styles (Maxis offers several map types, each with different topographies and other characteristics), and it looked like a lot of abandoned regions stayed on the servers, giving me more headaches when looking for a public game to join. All of this, of course, is avoidable if you bring a handful of friends into a private Region.
Once you find a Region, synchronizing works well, and the in-game chat automatically offers data and gives mayors a podium to request resources, brag about their mansions, and do whatever else mayors do with their time. While functional, the chat system lacks finesse and depth. As the main extension of the newly emphasized cooperative play, more sociability and entertainment in the chat box could make interactions with other players more frequent and more enjoyable.
Balancing essential infrastructure buildings with specialization structures feels like a juggling act where you constantly add one more chainsaw to the wheel of items in rotation. It’s marvelous, really. SimCity can be utterly entrancing when your people need you to keep the seesaw of the city on an even keel. “Plopping” buildings always pushes you towards your goal, but it adds another breath of helium to the ever-stretching balloon of resources. When that balloon is full of poop, trust me, you don’t want it to pop. There’s always an angry mob of citizens at town hall. Still, even when the city goes utterly mad, you’re never far from restoring order. Unless you unleash a disaster like an earthquake or giant lizard, which feels a lot like kicking over sandcastles. The point is that you never feel like a bad mayor unless you want to be a naughty mayor. This is a testament to the craftsmanship Maxis put into balancing SimCity.
The endgame for SimCity, or at least a goal to aspire to, comes in the form of Great Works. Building these wonders take the collective efforts of multiple stable, effective cities, and you will need the help of several savvy mayors to see these wonders rise in your Region. These sites offer worthy bonuses and give players a big, shiny, awesome carrot to chase.
Like most cities, SimCity wasn’t built perfect, but, the architect’s talent is instantly recognized. In the simplest of terms, this game is immensely fun and rewarding. Players who invest their time to learn how the insanely intricate levels of buildings, tools, metrics, and llamas harmoniously work together will come out with not only triumphant cities and Regions, but can also add "city planner" to their resumes.
GameDynamo's Score for SimCity (PC)
John loves gaming and loves writing about games. He wants to become a known voice in the gaming community and a game designer one day.
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