How Maxis’s Simcity 4 pushed the boundries of city building games

SimCity 4 is a city-building simulation computer game developed by Maxis, it was released on January 14, 2003(20 years ago). It is the fourth major installment in the SimCity series. The gameplay is based on urban planning, where you can create a farm town, a large metropolis or a high-tech city of the future – everything is limited only by your imagination. Before starting the game, do terraforming by choosing a surface and terrain type. The city under construction can be divided into several areas: residential, commercial and industrial, which consist of social security, transport links, utilities, etc. To develop successfully, take on economic and financial issues. Monitor the quality of life in the city, satisfy the needs of residents and pursue a clean environment. From the innovations of SimCity 4 – the dynamic change of day and night, as well as the ability to change the type of buildings. Make deals with neighboring cities to sell or trade resources like water, electricity and waste disposal. Develop several cities at the same time, connecting them with railways, highways, river ports, etc..

SimCity 4 modes are divided into three types: god, mayor and sim. Taking on the role of God, send different types of cataclysms and natural disasters to the metropolis: tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, floods, or an attack by an alien race. The mayor’s tasks include providing citizens with the necessary infrastructure: roads, metro, bus stations, schools, police stations, fire stations, etc. Taking on the role of a Sim, spend the day as one of the villagers. Stylistically, the simulator is inspired by the architectural style of the twentieth century, representing a mixture of Art Deco, Neo-Romanesque and American artisan styles. Interspersed with Houston architecture, elements of modern Frankfurt, Los Angeles and San Francisco. SimCity 4 is a life simulator where there is no clear scenario and plot. The player can create up to 8 heroes, choosing gender, age, appearance and clothing, directing their life in the future and choosing their occupation. It is also necessary to monitor their needs, including everyday ones, such as the desire to eat, sleep, go to the toilet, before life, such as making money or realizing talents. The construction editor allows you not only to build a house of any complexity, including the arrangement of the territory and interiors. The general map consists of residential and public buildings. The city is inhabited by Sims. By interacting with other Sims, Sims can build relationships: feuding, befriending, and even having an affair.

Each character in the game has a family tree that allows you to see even deceased relatives. Several ready-made families are available, residing in the cities of Newcrest, Willow Creek and Oasis Springs. SimCity 4 Editor lets you choose between 24 skin tones and 18 hair tones. When creating a character, you can choose the goal of the hero, but in the process you can change this goal. Dummies have 15 emotional states, depending on communication with other people, satisfaction of needs and many other factors. By switching to the purchase mode, it is possible to equip the house with appliances, decor, furniture, etc. The local currency is called simelion. In addition to work, Sims can go on picnics, go fishing, collect items, etc.. The game was a huge improvement compared to Simicty 3000 and the later on released Rush Hour addon made the game even more special for gamers loving the city building genre. In short an amazing game worth replaying!

News source: / image source: EA Games / watch gameplay on Youtube

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