A carbuncle on the face of civilisation some architecture may be, but let's see you do better, matey. In Sim City you have the chance to become city planner and mayor: in other words you can guild your ideal city but you're responsible for the welfare of the inhabitants.
You have to start from scratch, with only a bleak continent to work with. Along the top of the screen are fourteen icons to build the city with, these include residential, commercial and industrial zones, stadiums, airports and power plants. Decide where to place each icon, link each zone with power lines and off you go.
Building isn't your only concern, above the build icons are menus accessed by clicking on the fire button. Here tax rates can be set, and you can check how popular you are with the citizens; a number of man-made and natural disasters can be created to keep you on your toes, and maps of the city can be called up to verify progress. The citizens are an impatient bunch and moan regularly about anything and everything. Taxes are usually the worst topic: set them high and you receive more money though fewer people actually pay, set them low and more people pay but less dosh is collected.
Oh, and don't forget the police and fire departments - they need funds! No funds and crime rate soars, or a small fire could soon turn your city into a smouldering heap! Sim City is very addictive. Although the scrolling is jerky and the sprites are simplistic, the strategy element will force you to burn the midnight oil.
MARK ... 87%
'Sim City is a strange game. No blood, no guns, no spaceships. Just roads, power lines and industrial zones! The idea is to create yourself a city by positioning residential areas, giving the people roads and railways and connecting it all up to a power station so they can watch Neighbours and make themselves cups of tea. The computer controls what the people get up to and how they think, you just have to keep them happy. You have a fixed budget to spend at the start and can collect more money by taxing the people who come to live In your city. This all sounds great fun, doesn't it? Sim City may not appeal to you when at first sight, but when you've played the game for a while you soon get into the swing of things. If you get really good at the game and make pots of cash, you can go for the luxury items of a city like stadiums and airports. The best fun I had was bringing down disasters on the people of Nickscity (highly original name). A nice flood and earthquake usually does the trick! Sim City is totally unappealing to begin with but excruciatingly addictive when you've played a couple of games.'
NICK ... 80%
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