SimCity 2000

Software Review by Woelke Leithart

SimCity 2000 is published by Maxis, and is the sequel to SimCity Classic. They are very similar, but SimCity 2000 has improved graphics. Also, SimCity Classic was written several years ago and is much slower.

In SimCity 2000, as in SimCity Classic, you are the mayor of a city. The game simulates a real city. First, you choose whether you want an easy, medium, or hard game. The differences are starting funds and national economy. Then you have to choose which year to start in; this determines what technology is available to you at first.

The next thing to do is to build your power plant. In 1900, you only have three types to choose from: coal, hydroelectric, and oil. By 2050 or so, you have nine.

Then, you zone areas for development, such as residential, commercial and industrial areas. You have to build roads so that your Sims (the electronic life-forms who inhabit Simcities) can get to and from work. However, roads are not your only option. You can also build highways, bus depots, and subway systems. SimCity 2000 has an underground view of the city, in which you can place subways and other facilities such as water pipes.

Most things that are in a real city are here, too. You can build stadiums, parks, and zoos. You have to build water towers to store water, and you can build an airport. The only limits are your funds. To make money, you have to set taxes accordingly. The main tax is property tax, but there is also a small optional income tax.

In the course of building your city, you get rewards. The first, which is received when your population reaches 2,000, is a mayor's house. Then you get a city hall, and several other items, which you have to discover for yourself. Of course, to make sure that crime doesn't get out of hand, you also have to build police stations and prisons.

My favourite item that can be built in SimCity 2000 is a fusion plant. Now, some things are invented in the future. That is, they have not been invented yet in the real world of 1997. The fusion plant is one of them. It does not yet exist. In SimCity 2000, however, it does, after the year 2050 (give or take a few years). Time can go on indefinitely. There is no "end of the world" in this game.

But of course, just like real life, disasters take place. There are quite a few possible disasters in SimCity 2000, but only seven or eight can be invoked deliberately by the mayor (that's you). A few others happen only rarely. Some of the disasters that occur are a monster, fire, an earthquake, and a riot. There are several more. In SimCity Classic, when you blew up a church, a tornado would automatically come. Unfortunately, in SimCity 2000, you can blow up as many churches as you please.

SimCity 2000 is a great game - one of the best I've ever played - but it is very addictive. I very much recommend this game. Maxis publishes a number of other "Sim" games, but as yet, I have not played any.

Copyright © Family Matters 1997