SimCity: Trade Spotlight

Billy Langsworthy

SimCity: Trade Spotlight

MAXIS is returning to the world of SimCity with the first full game in the series for ten years.

Players can once again massage their God complex and step into the shoes of a mayor, building their own city from scratch.

The new Glassbox game engine gives players a more detailed Simcity experience than ever before, allowing consumers to track everything from power to garbage units.

Certain decisions will affect the type of Sims that live in the city. Building coalmines will create industrial districts; casinos will breed neon-lit hotels and crime whilst for consumers wanting to avoid a city of dim Sims, universities and libraries are the way forward.

If civilians aren’t fans of the decisions being made, players should expect some good old fashion protesting.

The SimCity World feature allows a new level of connectivity within the game, as the Citylog provides global leaderboards, updates and recommendations based around a friend’s gameplay.

LIVING FOR THE CITY

Players can be a good neighbour and send help and resources when other cities need them. Or, if a player is feeling particularly rambunctious, they can pollute the region and affect both their own city and their neighbour’s.

Players will also have to cope with the effects of their actions. Not enough roads will cause traffic, causing lateness, which in turn means factories won’t open in time.

The more successful a player is the more ploppables they unlock.

Ploppables are detailed 3D buildings that open up possibilities in the city and range from police stations all the way to college dorms.

Maxis feels that the longevity shown by previously SimCity titles is a good omen for the game.

“In just the past year over 12 million people have played a version of SimCity on one system or another and that is just what we can actually track,” says Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw.

“SimCity 4, a game that is over 10 years old, continues to sell well as a classic title. That is quite a healthy shelf life in the video games industry.”

SIMCITY SOCIAL

The franchise made a successful move to Facebook last year with SimCity Social. With 1.4 million likes, the game has taken the series to a new crowd and allows players to interact with cities created by friends.

WHY NOW?

Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw feels now is the perfect time to return to SimCity. She said: “We have so much to work with. Players have systems that are much more powerful than ten years ago, so we can really play with graphics and 3D.”

BUILDING A FRANCHISE

The game, originally conceived by Will Wright, first landed in 1989 and has since been followed by sequels, handheld titles and even a card game. This latest title is the most ambitious entry in the series to date.

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