A carbuncle on the face of civilisation some architecture may be, but let’s see you do better, matey. In Sim City you have the chance to become city planner and mayor: in other words you can build your ideal city but you’re responsible for the welfare of the inhabitants.
You have to start from scratch, with only a bleak continent to work with. Along the top of the screen are fourteen icons to build the city with, these include residential, commercial and industrial zones, stadiums. airports and power plants. Decide where to place each icon, link each zone with power lines and off you go.
Building isn’t your only concern, above the build icons are menus accessed by clicking on the fire button. Here tax rates can be set, and you can check how popular you are with the citizens; a number of man-made and natural disasters can be created to keep you on your toes, and maps of the city can be called up to verify progress. The citizens are an impatient bunch and moan regularly about anything and everything. Taxes are usually the worst topic: set them high and you receive more money though fewer people actually pay, set them low and more people pay but less dosh is collected.
Oh, and don’t forget the police and fire departments — they need funds! No funds and crime rate soars, or a small fire could soon turn your city into a smouldering heap! Sim City is very addictive. Although the scrolling is jerky and the sprites are simplistic, the strategy element will force you to burn the midnight oil.
MARK — 87%