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SimCity 4 - PC

by Electronic Arts See the Amazon Page for this brand
Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews) 4 answered questions 84 / 100

List Price: $39.99
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Product Details

  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B00006F7S8
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.2 x 1 inches ; 4.8 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: January 14, 2003
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,994 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Product Description

Product Description

Create, customize and populate your own city in the latest version of this outrageously popular addition to the Sims franchise.


It's hard to believe that creator Will Wright had trouble selling his original SimCity concept to publishers. That first game went on to fame, notoriety, and great praise--from critics, gamers, and even educators--and spawned countless imitators, not the least of which include Wright's own smaller-scale The Sims, which went on to become a phenomenon in its own right. Now on its fourth edition, SimCity returns to our hard drives, and would-be city planners everywhere will be busy for a long, long time.

SimCity 4 functions much like its predecessors. You've got the power to zone land as residential (green), commercial (blue), and industrial (yellow). You control the budget. You decide where to place crucial services like police, fire, medical, and even utilities like power and water. You place schools, parks, roads, water towers, and scenery as you accede to the many demands of your Sim citizens. Do a good job and your city will grow and the money will flow into your coffers. Do a bad job and the people will pack up and move away, leaving your city treasury in horrific debt and landing you what the game cheekily considers to be a far easier job: senator. The game requires a balancing act that takes both planning and a persnickety nature. There are charts to read, reports to watch, and, above all, needs to juggle. It's rewarding when it all comes together, and frustrating when you fail, once again, to build anything worthwhile.

That's why I wish the game came with a better manual. The included book glosses over most major information and then neglects important aspects, such as the RCI indicator (which explains zoning needs) and parts of the budget. At the very least, the manual should include tips on handling debt. There are two tutorials which cover the basics, but again, they won't help you get out of trouble once you get in too deep. You can find this information in the strategy guide, which is sold separately, but you really shouldn't have to go that route.

The graphics are amazing, showing a vibrant metropolis with scurrying traffic, wandering Sims, smoking chimneys, and sparkling lights when night falls. Fireworks reward each year of service. And wait until you see the cool disasters you can unleash if the mood strikes you--fire, lightning, tornado, volcano, and giant robot. Oddly, there's a significant performance hit even on fast systems. Thankfully, the stuttery scrolling and slow-to-respond zoom don't hurt the game too much since you can pause it at will or fast forward if you need to wait for your cash reserves to build. The most significant flaw is that the game only offers one save slot, which discourages experimentation.

Despite minor imperfections SimCity 4 is an awesome game. You can build several cities next to each other on the map and make them dependant on each other. (You can build the greater L.A. area, in other words.) You can even import your Sims from The Sims to live in your city. Such familiar characters can tell you a lot about what your city needs. Put simply, city planning has never been this fun, this challenging, or this deep. --Andrew S. Bub


  • Beautiful graphics and animation
  • Deeper and more realistic than ever before


  • Runs slowly on most systems
  • Inadequate manual

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
278 of 298 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yay! September 21, 2002
A Kid's Review
Unlike some people who have the crazy idea of this being the same old thing trust me it's not. I was at the Ea exhibition in May and I was one of the lucky people who got to test the game. This game is incredible. The Graphics are very detailed and realistic. You can build more than one city on the same map. Not to mention importing your own Sims into the game. At The exhibition I saw that your city just didn't sleep like in SimCity 3000. You see your people walking about and running their daily lives, like walking their dogs, Driving to the supermarket, Driving their kids to school even going to church!
The biggest improvement that I saw in SimCity 4 were the disasters. In SimCity 3000 you had like what? 4? In SimCity 4 you get over eight disasters. The best part is that you can control and decide where your Tornado goes. You also get Volcanoes that erupt, Erathquakes that bury houses and split open the earth, Meteor showers that leave everlasting craters and
Lightning Bolts, Fires, Riots, Floods, Mudslides, Bank Robberies and even Car chases. You get to choose you terrian styles. You can ahve an African style with Rhino's and Giraffes. Sometimes they can even stampede into your city.
The other great thing about SimCity 4 is the terrian tools. You can sculpt gorges, Laggons, Cliffs, Craters, Valleys and even place galiciers. Then you have time settings. A 1900's Chicago style, A 1950'S Ne York Style, And a 2000 Houston Style. Then there is the constructions of buildings. When you build your buildings they just don't appear out of no where tou actually see your sims get into their work trucks and start to construct the building. And if the building is of no use anmore it decays and doesn't turn into a huge big purple borded up mess.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect, but many good ideas June 23, 2003
By Riomaki
SimCity 4 is the latest in the long-survived SimCity series of games. Much like the others, the goal of the game is to contruct a burgeoning metropolis from the ground up. There are no set goals or parameters, it is very much like a sandbox where you can dictate your own expectations and try to meet them.
As the Mayor, you lay roads and zone land for development as residential, commercial, industrial, seaport, airport, and others. You build power plants and water pumping stations. You approve and reject city ordinances, keep the city safe from crime with police stations, and entertain your people with massive stadiums. All while keeping an eye on your annual income. Make no mistake - it's complicated, filled with micromanagement, and sometimes feels more like "work" than a "game." But the rewards for your labor are pleasant to watch.
From SimCity 3000, SimCity 4 has several major deviations - for better and for worse. Here's a brief rundown of them:
- In a nod to The Sims (which you can also import into your city), SimCity 4's world is somewhat persistent. You have a large "world" to develop and any given SimCity occupies a space in this world. But, they are all interconnected. The problem here is that "neighbor deals" - a substantial source of income in previous games - suddenly cease exist. You are responsible for building your neighboring cities. It would have been much cooler if the map was already dominated by a few larger cities. On the other hand, specialization is key as the world grows. You'll find yourself building "the industrial city," the sleepy "residential city," and so forth.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SIMULATOR=EXCELLENT January 26, 2003
By A Customer
Verified Purchase
I've had most of the previous simcity versions.
Simcity4 is much more of a 'simulator' and less of a 'game' than the previous versions.
It will tax your ability to get a city going profitably. It requires fine tuned management of resources and attention to detail, and will take time.
The graphics are beautiful and engaging. It runs smoothly on my pentium4 system with a ge4 4200 graphics card.
The interface is logically laid out and provides all (if not more) of the information you need to manage the city.
I like the "regional" concept. You can start more than one city on the map, interconnect them, and switch back and forth to work on them. You have full capability to build your own regions and can modify the terrain in endless ways.
Maxis seems to have pitched this as a simulator, in that the amount of start up dollars is fixed, there is no 'difficulty' option, and if you overbuild your infrastructure of power, water, transportation, safety etc too early you will certainly run out of money. The tax base builds slowly and the overhead costs will far exceed that if you're not a prudent manager!
This game is built for those with an obsessive streak, but for those it is fantastic. It has a consistent and rigorous set of rules that make sense during play. For those with a predominant 'gaming' view, on the other hand, it may well be slow and boring.
This is a well designed, graphically beautiful game that can keep you "busy" for hours slaving away to build a viable city. It's focus is simulation, not amusement.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
love it!
Published 2 months ago by ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by Robert A. Crigger
5.0 out of 5 stars always a great game
I loved this game when it came out so I jumped when I could but it again. The new one just isn't as good.
Published 9 months ago by john mix
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't beat a classic!
I grew up playing Sim City, and when my 12 year old Niece wanted it for Christmas I couldn't say no, she love to build things and does not know she is learning as she plays.. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best PC games... EVER
One of the most fun games I have ever played for PC, and I'm so glad I found it and bough it. The package arrived before the estimated delivery and it was in great condition!
Published 13 months ago by Patrick Northrip
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Game
Always has been a fun game, I've had this for quite a while now and still enjoy it. There is a new one out and I'll push you that way - better graphics and a little more action
Published 14 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lot of Game
An awesome game that will keep you building for hours. I can imagine this being the perfect Sim City for families, because your cities can interact if they neighbor one another. Read more
Published 15 months ago by ssteussy
2.0 out of 5 stars Not my type of game.
I bought this game because i like playing megapolis on my phone. In my opinion this is game is hard to figure out and i didnt want to take the time to figure it out. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Jake Warning
5.0 out of 5 stars The orignal simcity in 3d was great.
Water Towers to Fire and rescue choppers, nothin else to say. It has OpenGL support so it looks the best.
Published 17 months ago by jacob
2.0 out of 5 stars The concept of the Game is good but....
The game arrived on time and in good condition no complaints there. It also installed on my nice high-end computer. So far so good. Read more
Published 21 months ago by SF88
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