SimCity 3000’s spiffy new graphics add to the original’s charm.
Mac users remember few games more fondly than Maxis’s original city simulator, SimCity. This delightful toy allowed those with delusions of grandeur to design, build, and run their own metropolises. SimCity 3000, the latest spawn of the original, comes to the Mac bearing improved graphics, waste-management responsibilities, intercourse between neighboring cities, and a Windows-like interface.
SimCity veterans will feel completely at home with the new version. All the usual elements are available: a Landscape button, for changing the countryside’s elevation; a Zone button, for creating light, medium, and dense residential, commercial, and industrial zones; a Build Transportation button, for laying down roads and rail; a Build Utilities button, for adding power and water; and buttons for placing civic buildings (schools, police stations, and hospitals, for example). You can also call upon advisors who offer their two bits on various issues that affect your city.
As in any other version of SimCity, your job is to lay down zones, transportation, power, and water in such a way that people will want to inhabit your burg. To keep them there, you must maintain a reasonable tax rate; provide adequate police, fire, health, and educational services; and avoid choking the town with traffic and pollution. Your rewards for sustaining a prosperous city come in the form of special structuresa mayoral mansion or a statue, for example. SimCity 3000 also includes landmark buildings you can add to your city. These landmarks, like everything else in the game, are beautifully rendered.
The biggest changes in SimCity 3000 are the waste-management responsibilities and the relationships with neighboring cities. Every city generates trash, and your SimCity is no different. You must deal with the trash created, or your city becomes smothered with garbage and the population flees. Your neighbors may offer to take your garbagefor a fee, of courseif you haven’t zoned enough space for it. If you have loads of dumping ground, other cities can pay you to take their trash. Neighboring towns offer power and water deals as well.
Although these new elements enhance an already enchanting simulation, some users may be disappointed that SimCity 3000 adds few other new features. In many ways, SimCity 3000 is little more than SimCity 2000 with a very successful face-lift. And Mac users accustomed to a Mac interface will likewise be disappointed with SimCity 3000’s Windows lookcomplete with a chunky, white arrow cursor and Windows-style folder navigation.