I enjoy playing online games, even though finding just the right game that suits my style can be a challenge. I have loved SuperPoke Pets in the past, and now, this week, I have a whole new endearment to endorse — SimCity — even though I have yet to play the game!
The reason I have not yet been able to play SimCity isn’t because of the widespread DRM server issues, but rather, because the game is not yet ready for play on a Mac. I still feel totally justified in offering my review because I am able to vicariously play online by watching YouTube videos created by other players.
Hour after hour after hour I have watched and listened to how SimCity is built and played and I am wholly impressed with every aspect of creating, not just your own society, but your own world. It’s so funny how all the YouTube games start with the same build patterns, and then, in a next video update, every single city looks totally different. You sit there and wonder, “What happened?” Time and tide is what happened!
I have played SimCity in the past and I found it slow and boring. There is a lot of repetition in this new version, too — you spend eternal time and money on rebuilding too many roads — but once you establish your city and start making money and “finish the streets,” you begin to see the magic of the game in the expansions of common, communal, landmarks like Police Stations, Firehouses, Casinos, Universities and Coal and Oil plants.
In the past, when I would play SimCity, I would turn off the disasters. I just couldn’t bear the idea of having a UFO or a tornado whip into town to destroy everything I’d built.
Now that I am older — and somewhat wiser — I see the value in bouncing back from natural disasters. It’s much better to first learn in a simulated game how you’d respond to an earthquake than having to deal with that reality in your non-virtual life.
I haven’t played any SimCity game for a long while, so my fascinations may be old news to you.
Being able to build an Expo Center and a Stadium and then have live events in them that earn you a lot of money fast is a great amount of fun. You can’t have too much fun, though, because your residents won’t have any more money to spend and you’ll be stuck putting on a great show that actually costs you money.
The new “regionalism” in SimCity is another big boost to gameplay. You can either play alone and run all seven suburbs, or you can play with others online who will take over zones in your map.
When I am finally able to get the game, I think I’ll start out playing privately so I can learn how to manage and share resources between my seven regions. Here’s my regional plan and Zones 1-3 will have to be built pretty much simultaneously to provide support services for each other.
Zone 1 — Generic Industry Cove: I will place a few workers here and lots of industry so I can “send” and “share” those resources to the other zones. Lots of Oil Drilling and Coal mining. The Sewage Processing and Power Plant Centers of my world. The residents here will be unhealthy and uneducated — and I expect them to set lots of things on fire and die young of disease — but they will have set the deed for the entire region.
Zone 2 — Casino Island: The entire region needs money, and the fastest way to get there is through pulling in tourists and separating them from their cash. I will build tons of fire stations and police outlets to fight crime and prevent outbreaks and create lots of transportation hubs. One bus terminal can successfully serve all the zones. The workers from the coal and oil side will come here to spend their money and we will send them police and fire as needed. Some shopping will be provided as well.
Zone 3 — Bedroom Bluff: This is where most of my people will live. Lots of trees and schools and hospitals. They will have to commute to shop and work, but that’s okay, because there’s no place like home.
Zone 4 — Commerce Village: This is the shopping zone. Lots of stores. Big money made here. Recycling center and water treatment will be done in this place.
Zone 5 — College Haven: I will center the schools here and I will build a big research university along with a sports stadium and expo center. The keen thing about this game — in private play or social play — is that once one zone earns an upgrade, that upgrade is available for all zones!
Zone 6 — Worldwide Trading: This will be a transition zone for Zone 1. Clean energy. Big HQ business buildings. Trade depots galore. As Zone 1 chokes and fades its oil and mineral deposits, this zone will provide clean energy for the region and Zone 1 will become a giant park for the region in its retirement.
Zone 7 — Wonders of the World: All the cool things in SimCity that are unique and special and “Top End” attractions. A livable cultural center.
I only wish I could start building my zones today! I will have to be a bit more patient and wait for SimCity to come to me and my Mac.