Classic Game of the Week - Sim City



Welcome to the late-on-Friday edition of CGOTW, done by replacement nostalgic old-guy, me.

In thinking of those games from the distant past that shaped my development as a gamer, a species only developing back in the '80s, I often think of the personalities that used to surround our games. Sure, we know tangentially that CliffyB is short, and that Ken Levine is freaky-smart.

And then there's Will Wright. Outgoing Electronic Arts CEO, Larry Probst, said of him: "Will Wright's our Steven Spielberg. Will kind of gets to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants." The reason he wields this awesome power is because of one game: Sim City

First released in 1985 for the Commodore 64, the game put players in the glamorous world of that guy in town hall with all the maps on his desk, arguing with the zoning board of appeals. And yet, the game remains compelling in all of its forms. It was the game that launched a thousand Sims -- Earth, Farm, Town, Copter, Ant, Life, Isle, Park, Safari, and of course, the ultimate variant, The Sims. THe whole idea of the Sims franchise has been emergent gameplay. It's the buzz now, but 20 years ago, players were already making the game up as they went along.

It's been available on everything from the SNES to the ZX Spectrum, and it's spiritual successor, Spore, will be gracing our gaming machines any year now. But in the meantime, you can fire up SimCity 2000 on gametap, or grap a copy of SimCity 4 in your local discount bin. All these years later, it still holds up. There's nothing like protecting your mini-mes from the ravages of famine and Japanese movie monsters.

Comments

Aaaah yeeeah!

My first hit of digital crack. The first game that made me realise food and sleep were entirely optional.

One of my earliest game related memories is seeing this game in a store when I must have been maybe 10 or something. I didn't realize that it was a computer game, I thought it was some sort of handheld thing, like on the box. I begged my mom to get it for me and then learned I'd have no way to play it

Was I the only one that used to leave my SNES on overnight with my city up and collecting tax dollars only to return in the morning to find McHamptonville a smoldering rubble in the year 2069?

Trashie wrote:

Was I the only one that used to live my SNES on overnight with my city up and collecting tax dollars only to return in the morning to find McHamptonville a smoldering rubble in the year 2069?

I did it on my PC, and the town name was different, but no, you weren't the only one.

I did this all the time. I kinda thought it was the whole point of the game for a while.

I built cities for the express purpose of having tiny little amber Kaiju stomp on them.

I still keep a copy of Sim City 2000 around for use on those laptops that have no 3d card capabilities to speak of.

Trashie wrote:

Was I the only one that used to live my SNES on overnight with my city up and collecting tax dollars only to return in the morning to find McHamptonville a smoldering rubble in the year 2069?

Ah yes, my first lesson in Romanticism. Better still was the lesson of "Wordsmythe is a young anarchist" when classmates would walk away from it in the computer lab. You can't constrain people with your heavy-handed zoning laws! Godzilla will ruin you!

I still have a 3.5 floppy of this game at home.

Barab wrote:

One of my earliest game related memories is seeing this game in a store when I must have been maybe 10 or something. I didn't realize that it was a computer game, I thought it was some sort of handheld thing, like on the box.

You're not alone here.

And if I recall correctly (probably not), in the mall in Space Quest IV, a store has a bin that has SimCity in it.

buzzvang wrote:

I still have a 3.5 floppy of this game at home.

n00b! 5 1/4" FTW.

Though yours probably still runs.

Momgamer wrote:

n00b! 5 1/4" FTW.

You are so right. I have my 5 1/4" floppy that I hacked to a 3 1/2 so I could still run it after I retired the 5.25 drive.

i have many good memories about sim city... a milestone in gaminghistory.

Simcity was the first game I played as an adult. My first roommate in University had a Super NES, and we would play Simcity all the time. I think I once left a city running for about 3 days and it was still functioning when I got back to it. That was sort of cool.

So many good memories. It was the first PC game that got me seriously hooked. Ah, the memories of my 386sx-16 are coming back!

By the way, now you can get it at the Underdogs, or any number of abandonware sites...

Oh how I loved this game. It was SC2000 I played to death, but this game got me hooked on the sim genre for a whole while to come.

Never played it. I did play countless hours of SC2000 though.

This is definitely one of those games that really stayed with me. For that matter, I also fondly remember SimAnt and SimEarth. I loved 'em all (not sure why SimEarth didn't get more kudos-- I thought it was superb.)

SimAnt was awesome.

That's all I've got.