Everyone remembers their first time.. Their parent’s bedroom, the living room, sneaking into your room without anyone spotting for a quick 10mins, only to find out you spent 3hours doing what some people would think gets boring after a while.
Go on.. we’ve all got our first time with Sim City. My first real time playing maybe with it’s younger sibling SimCity 2000 on the PC, but back in 1992 this gem on the Super Nintendo was my first SimCity experience. In fact probably my first simulation game in general.
And it’s a great starting point either way, because this port is extremely well done. The original SimCity only needed minor changes to make the game work in a lower resolution and with a controller, and it’s clear Nintendo and Maxis spent a lot of time testing and adding to SimCity, right down to adding an advisor to help players get to speed.
But this game screams for a mouse, and here’s the ironic thing.. Nintendo DID make a SNES mouse (bundled with Mario Paint) and made it compatible with games such as Cannon Fodder and Sim Ant, but this game… Nope! Actually maybe I’m being a little harsh here, as technically the game was released prior to the peripheral. But if Nintendo’s R&D knew it was on the cards, it surely would’ve been a good idea to give the dev team a nod to add the feature behind the scenes. However here we are with just a D-pad which moves the cursor around the screen, everything feels so slow. And as cities get bigger, the concessions made to make this game work on the SNES start to make managing the city feel more like a chore than fun.
Yet there’s still a lot to keep you active. Keeping the Residential, Commercial, and Industrial zones and their needs balanced against each other is tough enough, but then you need to deal with pollution and crime, and that’s before with a growing population comes traffic congestion. So where do you fit the mass transit system now into this balanced world?
As with all SimCity’s even this one has a scenario mode, where you’re tasked to deal with a number of city problems, like a classic earthquake or nuclear reactor meltdown. Which to be honest I’ve never understood.. Why would you spend time creating destruction and then spend further time, repairing said damage. it’s like some strange OCD mode, and something I’d never touch, and expect you probably won’t either, outside of seeing the event’s happen once.
So overall verdict? Still one to play on a rainy day, and is enjoyable. But if you have the sequel on another format, there isn’t much value outside of Bowser destroying your city to make you stay.