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2,543 of 3,001 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps me zone out
I was looking for something new for my computer, when I stumbled upon this game on Amazon and decided, what the heck, lets give it a shot!

I have to say it far exceeds my expectations.

Thankfully, the game never actually loads. I was looking for a program where I could zone out, and stare at my computer screen in a meditative state for hours on end...
Published 20 months ago by Sim Lover

versus
10,323 of 10,585 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a lousy toy
Fundamentally, SimCity has always been a 'software toy'. That means that there's no real end state, no way to win. It's just a thing that you play and experiment with. You build, and tinker, and mess around. It's a toy, not a game; it's a sandbox, not baseball.

So, in this iteration of the game, you don't even get to buy your toy. Rather, you rent a toy...
Published 21 months ago by Malor


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10,323 of 10,585 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a lousy toy, March 6, 2013
By 
Malor (Tennessee, United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Fundamentally, SimCity has always been a 'software toy'. That means that there's no real end state, no way to win. It's just a thing that you play and experiment with. You build, and tinker, and mess around. It's a toy, not a game; it's a sandbox, not baseball.

So, in this iteration of the game, you don't even get to buy your toy. Rather, you rent a toy from EA, who lets you play with it only in very limited, circumscribed ways, only on their servers. So you have to have a live Internet connection at all times, and their servers have to be up, and have to have space for you. And the rules for play are draconian. If you want to, say, build a city, save it, blow it up with something terrible, and then restore from save, you can't do that anymore. That's an unauthorized usage of their toy. And if you figure out ways of using their toy that they don't like, they'll ban you forever.

All third-party modding is shut out. One of the best parts of SimCity 4 and The Sims is that users can create and share content among themselves for free. You will no longer be able to do this. You will be required to run only Official Authorized Content.

Further, you're not getting the whole game for your $60 or $80, depending on what version you're buying. EA's plan is to sell you Simcity 5 over and over and over. They've directly admitted that they already have it running with larger cities, but they're not releasing that now. They claim it's because it "won't run on Dad's PC", but the real reason is so they can sell it to you again later. Want subways? That's gonna be $20. Want railroads? Another $20. Bigger cities? Oh, that's in the $30 expansion.

Right now, if you look at The Sims 3, the game costs $30. But if also you buy all the DLC for it, it's *four hundred and seventy dollars*. This is what they are doing with SimCity 5; locking you into their server infrastructure, and then exploiting the heck out of your wallet.

This is a lousy deal, and you would be stupid to take it. Always-on DRM, and a deliberately crippled game, so that they can slowly uncripple it, charging you for every restored feature from prior versions.

Simcity 4 still works pretty well. It's not quite as nice as most current games, and can require you to 'pin' the process to just one processor on a multi-core system (ie, most current machines), but if you want a city builder where you won't have to pay extra to breathe both in AND out, that would be a better option.

But buying this game? In my opinion, you would be wiser to take three twenties out of your wallet, and light them on fire.
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2,006 of 2,083 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This game should be called SimTowns........, March 6, 2013
By 
Matrix (Ledgewood, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
So I took the bait. Even after all the research I did on other Simcity forums from those who played beta I bought the game.
Spent about 4 hours with it yesterday and I am quite disappointed in it.

Let's get out the Pro's:

Graphics - Yes it looks very pretty. Even though I was shocked to see the "sims" looking like lego characters, overall the buildings and houses etc are very pretty.

Modular upgrades - Excellent idea, and works very well. I never did like the idea behind "I need more firetrucks? build 5 more fire stations". Now I can add onto the Firehouse and expand it's coverage that way. Works very well for Police, Fire, Schools, etc.

Curved Roads - I can actually build a realistic looking town. The curved roads are great. However they leave issues with putting down homes and buildings on them at times.

Now for all the Cons:

Online DRM - I know everyone complains about this. I was willing to deal with it. Then the servers went down and I couldn't play. Is it first day issues? I'm not sure but it was almost ironic when the servers went down.

City Size - Of course a huge complaint, other reviews mention this. Filled up my entire town in a little over an hour.

Diversity of buildings - Where are all the buildings I want to build? I'm talking places like Museums, Churches, Zoo's, Post Offices, etc. etc. I can think of tons of missing content. Were these left out so EA can sell us buildings for $1 each later down the road?

Transportation - So far it seems all you get are buses. No subways, raised trams, etc. From other reviewers I have been told you can build a local airport and eventually an international one as a "great work".

The whole "Upgrade town hall to unlock stuff" - Seems silly and unnecessary. I can't build a hospital because I already used my TownHall upgrade for something unrelated so I have to wait.

It's hard to really say all the issues with the game in just bullet points. One of the biggest issues I have is simply with the density of zones. Let me paint a picture for you. You have a nice suburban part of your town, where say you want your middle to upper class to live. They would live on nice single lane roads with maybe some cul da sacs shooting off that road etc. You can build the road system, and then zone it for residential. That's it.... So what happens? You get mobile homes all over, and the only way to get the houses to "upgrade" to nicer establishment is to put parks/recreation all over nearby (and their effect is small size wise). Or you have to upgrade the road. Now who lives on a 4 lane road in a mansion? Not many people I can think of. It's absolutely idiotic. And what tends to happen when you do expand the road? You then get apartment buildings in the middle of where you wanted small suburb.

The game is definitely driven to have you share resources with neighboring regions. If you try to do it all in your one small city, you're in for a mess. So you have to essentially pause your game, and go to another city and start fresh there. Whether in the other city it's creating better jobs, or focusing on utilities to provide to your other city, etc.

Overall, I am extremely disappointed in this game. A lot of the issues CAN be patched, fixed, upgraded with a lot of work from Maxis. But in the state the game is now, it should never have been released. This will probably be a game I shelve for a bit, and hope that in a few months it becomes playable. As it sits now, I paid for a beta copy. If I could return this to EA I would.
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906 of 964 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What is this (sim)world coming to?, March 5, 2013
By 
David Owen (Cedar Rapids, IA) - See all my reviews
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
I have a special place in my heart for SimCity4, and really the entire SimCity series. I've been playing it for eight years on a pretty regular basis. That's why, after attempting to play the travesty that is SimCity5, I knew I had to get online and try and prevent anyone else from spending any money on it. PLEASE - Do not buy this product.

If you're like me, and you just want to see what the next iteration of this iconic gaming series to judge for yourself, you're probably thinking to yourself "Yeah, but can it really be that bad?" Yes. I'm sorry. It's true. It may be one of the most anticipated games of the year, as advertised, but it is also one of the biggest letdowns of the DECADE.

Because here' the thing. You're not going to be able to play this game. As other reviews have indicated, you MUST be online to play. When you first launch the game you are asked to pick a server. In my experience, I had a choice between 3 servers in the US, or 3 servers somewhere on the other side of the globe. And the US ones were busy. So what the heck, I guess I'm connecting to Eastern Europe to play this game. I was assuming/hoping a lot of the processing would be happening on my machine, with only occasional trips to the server to sync with the live game. Nope - From the moment the title sequence starts playing, the video and sound are extremely choppy, and the cursor is extremely difficult to move, as presumably every time the machine cycles, it is pushing data back and forth to the Hague. My first thought is, my goodness EA, is this really the first impression you want someone to have of your game?

But hey, it's only the title sequence, right? Let me just get into the game, I just want to have the experience of putting up a few buildings before heading to bed. You have the option to load a saved game, join another player's game, or create a new one. This being my first game, I try creating a new one. I go through their four-step process of creating a region and selecting a city, click the Claim City button, and, drumroll...it tells me they can't create a game for me at this time. Period. No other explanation.

Argh. For someone who just paid $60 to have this experience, this is beyond frustrating.

Alright, well, after trying a few more times to create my own game, to no avail, my last hope is to join someone else's game. After selecting the appropriate tab, it shows you a good number of in-progress games you can click on. I select an interestingly-named region with not too many players in it. I select an empty city, click the Claim City button and...am told that this player has set up a private region, and that I can't claim a city. What!?! Why is it even an option for me to click on that game if I can't join it!?! In other words, what it's telling me is that I have no way of knowing which games I can actually join, I have to just keep guessing until I find one. Of course, I'm assuming most other players are like me and aren't going to let random jerks join their regions, and are setting their games to private. Obviously, I'm not going to be able to play this game tonight.

So - instead of spending an evening enjoying one of the few gaming experiences I actually pay for these days, here I am writing about how horrible it is. I'm sure they'll be able to work the bugs out, but nothing can erase tonight's experience from my memory. If EA had a QA process worth anything, this would have stayed in development another year. Or, better yet, they would have released it without all this online DRM nonsense. I'm sure Maxis' game is just fine as a standalone single player experience, but nothing is worth putting up with the horrible online "service" you are forced to use to play it.

It's astonishing how the same company can take the same game concept and work on it for 10 years, and have it be so much worse than what came before it. Shame on everyone involved with this project.
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625 of 664 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The new SImCity is an EPIC FAIL, March 6, 2013
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Easily the worst way to spend $60 since your "Jello of the Month" membership. Wow... So as you no doubt know by know this new release of SimCity has the following major differences from previous versions:

1) You must have a constant internet connection to play. You cannot play without an internet connection- that means no playing on long plane rides or anywhere else you aren't plugged in- usually the best times TO play SimCities of the past.

2) The maps are TINY compared to SimCities of the past, especially SimCity 4. There just isn't room to put all the cool stuff.

3) Although there are grids, roads don't stick to them by default. While some may feel the grid was limiting it had the benefit of keeping straight lines straight, and streets parallel. The SC4 version was fr superior to this free form roads in the new version. You can easily put down an expensive mistake that ruins the layout of the city.

4) No "Undo" option. With the chance of city crippling mistakes a bad mouse-click away a basic "Undo last change" or "Go back 1 day" feature was a no brainer. Unfortunately it doesn't exist in this game. You double click instead of single click and you could be dropping a power-plant in the middle of a residential neighborhood. No way to revert to an earlier saved version (because you can't save the city yourself) and now you either have to destroy an expensive power-plant or re-design the city around it to make it work. This doesn't happen in "real" cities so simulation fail.

5) Some buildings become "married" to roads. I tried to delete a road to give more room for my Casino to expand and I was warned (thankfully) that bull-dozing that road would also bull-doze the casino itself.

6) Requires far more graphic processing for more basic graphics than SimCity 4. On my current laptop (HP Envy Windows 7, Core i5) I can run SimCity 4 in high/top graphic mode. In the new SimCity almost all graphics were set to "Low" and shadows off completely. The buildings look terrible with these settings. I manually upped the quality and while it did have an affect on framerate it would have been unplayable with the default graphics. The one effect I wanted to get rid of (fog) is not an option to shut off, but it is an option in SimCity 4. Why waste graphics processing power on fog to purposely obstruct the city view is beyond me. SimCity of prior versions worked well with their angle-view, making everything in this SimCity a fully 3D rendered object was a mistake from the start IMO.

7) No more real "zones" like you are used to. In SimCity 4 their zoning was good, you could see how much space a zone takes up, the way it would be pointed, and it would auto-create basic streets within the zone if you wanted. This version does away with all that in favor of just drawing lines along roads to designate R, C, or I. No idea how far back the development will go, very annoying.

8) Abandoned buildings don't ever get fixed up. For some dumb reason you need to be on a constant look-out for abandoned property and bull-doze them or nothing will ever come back again. In real cities private development does buy and demolish abandoned building to put up new ones if demand is high.

9) You try to play and there is no space available- they put you IN LINE to wait to play. They tell you the game will start in "30 minutes." REALLY? I have to wait 30 minutes to play the game I just paid $60 for? I might not want to play in 30 minutes- I want to play the game when I turn it on, that is the point of buying a game!

OK, there are some positives but they are drowned out by the fact you can't play when their servers are down which means sometime in the next few years when they abandon this flop you're out your $60 with an unworkable product.

Pros-

1) Nice not to have to worry about water pipes- That was annoying in SC4. In this SimCity Water and Electric is automatically a part of the roads you put down- so if a zone connects to a road, it has water (assuming you pump some)

2) Free to "Zone" areas. In a real city it doesn't really cost money to just declare some land Residential or Industrial so glad to see this. (Although you now only start with $50,000, down from $500,000 (on easy) in SC4.

3) It seems easier to get a basic city going. A small city compared to earlier versions but if you get the basics (power, water, and keep pollution away from the residents) you will have a profitable city. As long as the city is profitable you can build just about anything given enough time. The real challenge is in correctly planning such a small city.

So overall I say avoid this title like the plague. No doubt it was Maxis/EA management that destroyed this game- they are the ones who no doubt required this "always on" internet connection, in hind site this was just a money grab to get pull some money out of the SimCity name, they knew there would be thousands of people like me willing to jump into anything with the SimCity name we would throw away $60 no matter what they delivered- and they took full advantage of that.

If you're reading this don't make my mistake. Go back to SimCity 4, I re-installed my old copy- it works just fine on Windows 7 64 bit you just have to install it in the c:\program files\ directory NOT the c:\program files(x86)\ that is the default.
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1,770 of 1,894 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I purchased a game correct?, March 5, 2013
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
No problems installing the game, trying to play the game though???? When I go to create a city it keeps giving me errors it can't at this time try again. Now it's stuck sending me into some tutorial but after the tutorial loads nothing works. Click on Help and they have a notice that the servers are overloaded to try back later! You designed the game to use the internet servers and they can't handle it, so I can't play a game I paid money for....really!
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1,549 of 1,657 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I should have known better.., March 5, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Well folks I hate to say it, but I HATE this game and what EA has done to it.

First off, I love Simcity. I played the original when it was new, 2000, 3000 and Simcity 4. So count me as a well-informed fan of the series.

EA has RUINED it with the persistent DRM that prevents you from saving your game to your computer. That's right, if you get disconnected from their buggy server and are in the middle of a game.. you'll lose whatever progress you've made. Assuming you can log in..

Second, the spaces allocated for 'cities' are pathetic. No space to actually produce a tax base that would justify or pay for these grandiose projects and buildings..

There are more problems with it but the other reviews are spot on about those.

Save your money. Don't buy this, I've already sent mine back out of frustration and disappointment.
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584 of 624 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fun for a few hours, if you could play it (Updated), March 6, 2013
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Very rarely do I give 1 star reviews, but if I spend $60 on a game, I expect to be able to play it. I ended up getting 5 hours into a city (after waiting 20 minutes in a queue to play a game), only to get issues with my city "not processing properly". I was forced to do a roll back, and lost 2 hours of work. I spent another few hours getting it back to the way I had it before my save started having problems, and went to sleep. Now, today when I try to load my game, I get the following error: "Unable to load city at this time. Please Try Again Later". I have no idea if my save is gone for good, or if it's a temporary problem. The server status is green and is supposedly working, but I can't load my city.

If I could play the game perfectly without any problems, I'd give it a 2/5 at best, because I literally filled the entire map up in less than 5 hours of gameplay. The excuse EA gave in making small maps is mediocre at best, and it shows how wrong they are in the early reviews. They say they want to give us maps that size because it might lag people with slow computers, but what about the people with good computers who want to have a map they can build in for longer than 5 hours without filling it up completely? Apparently in their eyes, multiplayer gameplay can only be as large as the weakest link.

Besides the obvious drawbacks in the map size, the entire game seems to be 'dumbed down' from Simcity 4. No subways, no water pipes, it's almost as if the game was made for Facebook. There are major graphical issues as well, and tile problems. For example, I had a bridge across a river, and I accidently made it a suspension bridge (Which looked horrible, because there was only a single "tower" on the bridge), so I removed the road completely. However, when I tried to make another bridge in the exact same place, it said it was too steep. Since there is no way to go back to a previous save besides having your save glitch and being forced to do it, I had to end up bulldozing 5 skyscrapers just to fit a bridge in.

All in all, it's been a disappointment so far. I can't play my save at all, even though the server seems to be working, and the map can get filled up in a few hours of gameplay. Oh, I also remember playing for about an hour while I had lost connection to the SimCity servers, which wasn't because I was offline, it was because of some server problems with SimCity. Nothing I did saved, I ended up having to start over again.

Update: It's now been almost 36 hours since I was last able to play my save, SimCity support won't tell me if it's a server problem or if it's gone for good, so I'm going to create a new save on another server. Very disappointing.
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781 of 847 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Completely Unplayable, March 5, 2013
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I am completely disappointed that this game has been released in this state of unplayability. This is exactly why everyone has been complaining about online play, it does not work properly. If the game was on a standalone disc installed to my computer offline I am sure I would be playing the game right now with no problems. Now I am kicking myself for not listening to the warnings online about the issues with the way this game is being released. I want a disc with the game on it and it should be released as a playable relatively bug free experience. Now I have a code that will only work as long as EA decides to keep the servers up, all the cities I hope to be able to create will be saved on their servers not to my computer. What exactly did I buy again for $60.00 ? ? ? Oh yea, a bad experience that pretty much ruined any hope of the next great chapter of previously excellent SIMCITY games.

The game will only randomly work online. When it did finally work and claim a city, after playing for 3 minutes or so it bugged out and would not let me do anything. I went back to the main menu and now it will only load the tutorial. The tutorial DOES NOT WORK it loads a small city and then nothing... No instructions or tutorial at all. I tried to start another city and keep getting a message saying that I cannot claim a city right now try again later. It has been like this all day. I click on the help and it takes me to the EA site stating the following:

"The SimCity servers are currently inundated with the masses of eager mayors attempting to govern their cities.

Some players may currently be experiencing issues or delays when attempting to join a game server, or may be unable to create a city at this time. We are working to clear traffic from the roads and hope to have all players managing their cities as soon as possible.

We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience while we work on a resolution to this issue."

You have been warned, please do not make the same mistake I have, PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE THIS GAME !
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469 of 510 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars If you buy it, you will cry, March 5, 2013
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
$60 for a game you can't play is brilliant. EA has evolved video game production to the point that they no longer even need to make a game - simply create a front end that tells people they can't play the game they've paid for.

Hey, EA, not that I think you care what consumers think, but you've just solved the software piracy problem by producing a game that pirates have no incentive to pirate; the fact that there is no reason for customers to buy it shouldn't bother you much.

My advice, if you own stock in EA, sell, I don't think I'm the only one who is going to hold a grudge.
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104 of 109 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Now Origin has become Death, the destroyer of (Sim)worlds., March 7, 2013
Dear EA/Maxis/Origin:

You killed the child inside me.

The one who remembers playing SimCity. The *first* one. Who recalls fondly a childhood of Sim games, spending countless hours on my Compaq 486 sx33 living simulated lives in simulated bliss. I played all the iterations: I built theme parks and zoos and I even went so far as to adore SimAnt. Anyone remember SimAnt? You were a yellow ant. And did... Ant things... Simulated Ant things. I did that.

Over the years, as I grew in to an adult, SimCity grew with me. Through every evolution, I enjoyed it. I bonded with it. I dreamed of living in an Arcology one day, in the distant future. Maxis, you stimulated my impressionable mind and gave me critical thinking skills and a grounded conduit for my creativity.

For all those years, I am thankful. I even played "The Sims" a bit, but became busy being an adult and living a non-simulated life.

When I read about a year ago there would be a new SimCity game, I was ecstatic. I immediately sent links to my childhood friends, started reading every piece I could about it, and gleefully watched sneak previews on YouTube. I was excited.

I Pre-Ordered it on Amazon. Then I ordered it on Origin because I could get it two hours earlier- that's how excited I was to download it.

Now. Listen, EA. You know where this is going. You know what happened. You know what you did. We all know what you did.

You killed a little boy. Metaphorically, of course. I'm fairly sure none of your products have or ever will cause actual death. Unless it's suicide induced by trying to deal with your customer support, online or by phone... Actually yea, I can see someone on the desperate brink of ending their own life as a result of the incomprehensibly atrocious "Help" and "Contact" system you have in place on Origin. I can't even find an email address. AN EMAIL ADDRESS, EA. YOU GET LIKE THIRTY OF THOSE FREE WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR COMCAST. HELL, I'LL GIVE YOU LIKE 28 OF MINE YOU CAN USE.

I digress. Let's not even talk about how it won't work, at all, right now. How there's not a single player mode. How the only mode is a crippled, severely limited, and quite honestly child-like version of what should be a powerful piece of gaming art.

It was pre-ordered, EA... and no one could download it. At all. You knew how many copies were going to be downloaded. You knew exactly how many downloads would be happening. Who does the math there? Who didn't figure out the server load? Are there koala bears doing math there?

AND if you DID do the math....

WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD DID YOU NOT ALLOW PRE-DOWNLOADS?

I just... this is just.. unfathomable... you've done it before, with other popular games. I mean, it's not like this is the first game release EA and Origin has had... Right? Were you worried about piracy? Well. It's an online only game. The piracy rate of something like this (Or Diablo 3, or WoW, or whatever) has to be remarkably lower than the old "make a burned copy of CD and get a keygen from your buddy" days.

Online only. No single player version. I hate playing games with people. That's why I want to play a game where I control everyone and everything. To be away from the real world. In MY Sim-World...

And don't think we can't see what you're doing here, Maxis. There's $500 worth of "The Sims 3" add-ons out there. Shoot, even the initial download of this new SimCity tried to squeeze another 20 bucks out of us for.. I don't know, Germany or something?

How man versions would there be?
How much money would it cost to have a complete SimCity? A grand?

No.

No thank you. To any of this. This is, without a doubt, the last PC game I buy. Steam, Origin, whatever non-sense BattleNet decides to use... No more. Not when there are three consoles sitting in front of me, eager to play games immediately, the first time. In fact, my new Mass Effect 3 DLC just installed. Quickly. The first time.

In closing:

You've done terribly. You've ruined it. For everyone. Why? Because money. Because lack of foresight and smug, self-satisfied designs that would ensure we all had a SimLeech bloodsucking us for years to come.

So it wouldn't download. And now it won't play. And now I can't get my money back. Or even talk to anyone related to the game whatsoever.

And even if it did play, the part of me that would enjoy it, he's face down in a wading pool anyhow.

Thanks. You've made my laptop my imagination's Hiroshima.
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SimCity [Instant Access]
SimCity [Instant Access] by Electronic Arts
$29.99
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