Reviewed: November 11, 2008
Released: September 22, 2008
When I first saw that Electronic Arts was releasing a version of SimCity, entitled SimCity Creator, for the Wii, I was excited. I was hoping that EA would keep the spirit of the original SimCity games alive. This being because my favorite game of this series is SimCity 2000. I am proud to report that they did not disappoint me too much in any single way.
The gameplay is relatively simple and familiar to anyone who has played a SimCity game in the past . You start out with bare land and your goal is simply to make the biggest and best metropolis that you can imagine. Of course you will need to build utilities, roads, industrial and commercial areas, and other items a city typically needs to thrive then keep all those systems in balance. However in order to grow, you need to levy taxes and maybe even legalize gambling, in order to raise money. Also you must make sure crime and education are kept in check in order to keep your citizens happy.
When you’re ready to destroy your city and start over, you can engage a number of disasters such as dinosaurs, aliens, meteors, and robots, to destroy your city. (Hint: You can also use these as a cheap way to destroy things you don’t want in an area. Bulldozing items costs money, you know.)
There are other things I love about the game as well. One of them is the chance to make recreations of different civilizations, such as the Egyptian, Chinese, and Indian. These give you the chance to make these civilizations as if you were the King, Queen, or Emperor.
Another important part to this game are the missions. You are given certain conditions to start with. These could be, for example, a city with no power and your goal is to meet the requirements for the mission within a certain time period. For our example earlier, you would need to get power in the city, and grow the population within a certain time period. These missions are easy for a SimCity veteran; however, for the new player these are challenges that help you to learn the ins and outs of the game.
The controls are a little difficult for this game. The Wii Remote is very sensitive when you try to move in the map screen, usually scrolling halfway across the screen when you only want to move a couple of grid spaces. Other than the map screen, you use the D-Pad to do all of the selection actions. If they would have improved the sensitivity of the remote, then the controls would be flawless.
The graphics in SimCity Creator are pretty standard for the Wii. There is nothing too special to make it be seen in high-definition besides the disasters. The city is animated just as it is in every other game in this series, and it looks realistic when the city is alive. There is also a mode where you can fly in an airplane over the city, to see all of the buildings and cars just as if you were flying in a real airplane over a real city.
The sound on the game is great. They have realistic building sounds. Also, there is a nice soundtrack that gives you the relaxing, coffee house feel when you’re watching your city, and when you figuring out your budget or checking your taxes there is a governmental style of music.
I would enjoy SimCity any time, and veterans of this series will love SimCity Creator immensely, while newcomers will enjoy it even as they learn to play this unique city-building simulation. One caveat; I wouldn’t recommend this game if you do not have the time to invest. SimCity Creator will take some serious time if you want to be successful at building and running the city of your dreams.