Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


SimCity is a real-time strategy/simulation computer game (or "software toy") developed by Maxis. There are four versions; the original SimCity (later, SimCity Classic), SimCity 2000 (1993), SimCity 3000 (1999) and SimCity 4 (2003). All of the games were re-released with various add-ons including extra scenarios. In addition, SimCity Classic is available for a Palm Connected Organizer.


SimCity, originally developed by game designer Will Wright, sparked off a new paradigm in computer gaming by creating a game that could neither be won nor lost. This did not bode well with the game publishers at the time, who did not forsee the possibility of successfully marketing and selling such a game. However, the success of SimCity speaks for itself: "Sim" games of all types were spawned—with Will Wright and Maxis developing a myriad of titles including SimEarth, SimFarm, SimTown, SimTower, and an ant simulation called SimAnt. The most recent development is The Sims, which has since gone on to become the most successful computer game of all time.

SimCity is predominantly a single-player game (the exception being a "Network Edition" of SimCity 2000). Originally conceived by Will Wright, the game was the result of work on an application allowing developers to design cities for a bombing program Will was working on. (Will soon realized that he had more fun making the cities than playing the game.)


The objective of SimCity, as the name of the game suggests, is to build and design a city, without specific goals to achieve (except in the scenarios, which typically require the player to achieve a certain population or bank balance in a given period of time). The player can mark land as being zoned as commercial, industrial, or residential, add buildings, change the tax rate, enact city ordinances, connect to neighbouring cities, build a power grid, build transportation systems and many other actions, in order to enhance the city. Also, the player can face disasters: flooding, tornadoes, fires, riots, earthquakes, etc.

SimCity 2000

The unexpected and enduring success of the original game, combined with the relative lack of success with other Sim titles, finally motivated the development of a followon, published in 1993 as SimCity 2000. SC 2000 was a major extension of the concept; the view was now isometric instead of overhead, land may have different elevations, and underground layers were introduced for water pipes and subways. New types of facilities included hospitals, prisons, schools, libraries, museums, parks, marinas, zoos, and stadiums. The budget and finance controls were much more elaborate. SimCity 2000 was extremely successful.

SimCity 3000

SimCity 3000 is essentialy SimCity 2000 with several small features added and graphics updated to a standard appropriate for when it was published (1998). Some people consider SimCity 2000 to be a better game than SimCity 3000 since the two are essentially the same and because of SimCity 3000's greater system requirements, bugss and game-play issues. For example, SimCity 3000 occasionally gives you the option of hosting a parade, which gives a boost to your city. The animation for the parade lasts a long time, the game pauses during the animation, and you do not have the option of skipping over the animation. Critics note other similar flaws. 3000 was the first, and only version, however, to be released for Linux.

An expansion-like add-on, SimCity 3000 Unlimited, was released in 2000. It was not an expansion pack per se, as it did not require the original SimCity 3000 for use. Unlimited added, among other things, Asian and European building sets, a snaphot feature, an improved version of the Building Architect Tool, and scenarios (along with a creator).

See also: SimCity 4

External links