SimCity is a game series with a very fine lineage. For nearly two decades, the concept of micro-managment expanded and diverged into multiple Sim spin-offs. However, once Maxis and EA created The Sims series and the bazillion new expansion packs (essentially a legalized form of printing money), they seemed to abandon the whole SimCity concept ever since. I guess EA thought they could milk the golden "Sim"-goose a bit more by returning to the city 217d building concept with SimCity Societies, but they've done so without Maxis on board.
The basic concept of SimCity is simple - you are the mayor, you get a piece of land and some funds, and you are given the task of building a city, while keeping your citizens happy and the population growing.
But wait, this isn't SimCity
I know it says "SimCity" on the box, but the game on the CD, by Tilted Mill, has very little to do with the previous games of the superb SimCity series. Yes, you have a piece of land, there are buildings, and you end up with a city of sorts in the end, but the similarities end there.
The first thing you notice: there is no way to build electric lines or water pipes. In fact, there is no water system at all, and electricity "just magically works" - as long as you have enough production capacity somewhere on your plot of land, all your buildings are powered. Then you find out that there is no rail system or subway building either. Well, you can build subway stations but they just transport the citizens between any station in your city. You can't touch the terrain either - no raising or lowering, nothing. You are stuck with the area you created at the start. Madness!
So what can you do? You can build dirt roads and city streets, and you can place buildings - and boy, there are buildings. Tons of them, with many of them initially locked in the standard mode, requiring you to reach certain Value thresholds with your city before they become available. You no longer zone land for commerce, residential or industrial use, and then hope the residents and businesses find the area desirable enough to build in - instead you just drop in buildings. There are no maintenance costs either, so you can't really run out of money. In practice, if you do run out, just wait a while until your Workplace buildings generate some more funds for the city, and you can continue on your building spree. There are no taxes either - each revenue-generating building just supplies you with fixed amount every "workday".
Huh? No balancing of the budget? That is true. While the SimCity series never was that complex to begin with, at least it had this nice business side where you tried to zone and build responsibly; trying to keep the city budget balanced while funding police, fire department and other utilities. Societies takes the budget books and tosses them out of the window.
Games: SimCity Societies
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