SimCity Review – Definitive 50 SNES Game #42

42nd place on the list of Definitive 50 SNES games goes to the simulation game SimCity. The original SimCity was developed for the Commodore 64 in 1985, and first published in 1989. That game’s Super Nintendo counterpart was developed and published by Nintendo, and released in 1991. It became a launch game for the Wii’s Virtual Console service in 2006.

Gameplay in the SNES version of this classic largely remains unchanged from its PC roots. The player is tasked with the role of mayor of his or her own city. Gamers must place zoning blocks for either industrial, commercial, or residential use. Special buildings, such as police departments, stadiums, and power plants must also be placed for the growth of cities, and the happiness of their citizens. Between these constructions, roads, railways, and power lines must also be deployed.

In addition to the standard city-building mode of the game, players may also grow their skills in a practice mode, or take on the eight scenarios featured in the game. Scenarios throw the gamer into the midst of a pre-made city in trouble, with a set goal for the player to accomplish. Six of these scenarios, based on real life cities, are offered at the outset, with two more opening up once those are completed.

The SNES version of SimCity gives the player the ability to unleash disasters on his or her city. Previously occurring randomly, mayors are given the option to unleash the likes of earthquakes and tornadoes. Additionally, the PC game’s “monster” has been replaced with Mario’s iconic nemesis, Bowser. Speaking of which, one reward given mayors in the game is a Mario statue. This version of the game also features Dr. Wright, a helpful adviser in the game based on Will Wright, creator of SimCity.

SimCity is a classic of the highest order. The original PC version ranks as an absolutely pivotal title in gaming history. The SNES port brings that familiar gameplay to consoles with great success. Although cursor control can be a frustration on consoles, SimCity shines through thanks to its simplicity. Unfortunately, this game was released before the SNES Mouse, and is not compatible with that hardware.

Check back next week for entry 41 on the Definitive 50 SNES games.