Customer Review

651 of 683 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Escape from Reality -- Or is it?, November 9, 2003
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This review is from: SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition - PC (CD-ROM)
You don't have to be a gamer to appreciate SimCity 4. If you have the hand-eye coordination to browse a website, you're covered there. You don't need a great sense of spatial relations with the various levels of zoom. You don't need to be able to make split-second decisions with the possible exception of quickly hitting the pause button. You don't need many of the traditional computer gamer skills to enjoy SimCity 4.
What you do need is the ability to make risk-benefit decisions, and a sense of how the real world works. You need to know, for example, that people with a few bucks in their pockets don't choose to live next to a factory, and you need to understand whether it's better to spend money to build a fire station now, or risk having to rebuild if you wait.
One thing that SimCity 4 does real well is it's simulation of how a government budget works. If, for example, you build an infrastructure that appropriately supports your city, you'll find that funding everything at 100% would require raising taxes beyond what the residents and business owners will stand for. Pretty soon you'll see abandoned residential, commercial and industrial properties. That means your tax base goes down, and you'll have to raise taxes even further.
If you take the alternative and cut the funding to your infrastructure so you can lower taxes, you'll be faced with teachers, fire fighters, police, transit and healthcare worker strikes, and satisfying them enough to bring them back to work will cost you more than appropriate funding would have.
Just when you think you've found that balance between funding your infrastructure and your tax rate, the power plant and roads you originally built start reaching the end of their lives, and you need to replace them. (You were building up a surplus you can tap into, weren't you?)
While your budgetary problems may consume you, there are other factors to consider. A big one is transportation. Sims don't like rush hour traffic any more than you do - and probably less. If you let commutes get too bad, the Sims will stop going to work. You'll either need bigger roads, more efficient mass transit, or you'll need to move the factories and residential areas closer. But wait... Didn't we already establish that people don't like to live next to factories? Again you have to struggle to find a balance - and that balance needs to fit within your budgetary constraints, too!
SimCity 4 Deluxe includes the Rush Hour Expansion Pack. In addition to more transportation options, Rush Hour (and thus Deluxe) adds a "you drive it" feature that allows you to control cars, planes, helicopters, and other transports. If you're really getting into the planning and strategy of the game, these options are a distraction. But if you're showing your city to someone less interested in city planning, a you drive it mission may be a fun way to tour the city.
Something I would love to see in real life is instead of having candidates for public office debate each other, set them down in front of computers, and have them prove their ability to successfully build a working city in SimCity 4. The only governing skill SimCity 4 doesn't simulate well is the ability to work with others. I think we should be very worried about any big city mayor who isn't able to demonstrate their abilities by being successful in SimCity 4.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 21, 2007 10:59:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 21, 2007 11:02:06 AM PST
excelente review..!..

Posted on Feb 6, 2009 10:27:29 AM PST
one of the best reviews for any game i have read

Posted on Dec 31, 2011 5:15:15 AM PST
Vicente G. says:
Elegantly arranged, perfect review.
I love this game too.

Posted on Jun 7, 2012 7:29:15 AM PDT
Garbonzo says:
Great review. I think our politicians could learn a thing or two by playing this game. Once they clearly saw how much the pensions are sucking this country dry.

Posted on Jul 11, 2012 1:15:19 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 11, 2012 1:16:07 AM PDT
Sarah says:
Can we force all the politicians in Washington to play this game and if they don't reach a certain level, fire them or make it a prerequisite to running for office? But thanks for the great review, made me decide to purchase this game.

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 2:47:01 PM PST
DevilsPunch says:
Man I LOVE the idea of having this replace a political debate!!! Nicely said...

Posted on Jul 17, 2013 12:34:27 PM PDT
M. roberts says:
Can i download it to windows 7 and play it? Or is it XP only as they say?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2013 3:42:06 PM PDT
Fred Gossage says:
I have successfully played this game on a computer with 64-bit Windows 7.

Posted on Aug 28, 2013 6:38:58 AM PDT
asdf says:
I could have wrote the review myself! The game starts to become a little stressful (in a good way) because your always trying to find a balance. And if the sims are not happy, they will certainly let you know. "The Mayor dont care!"
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