SimCity Creator Review
Wii | DS
SimCity Creator box art
System: DS, Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Maxis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 22, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Anyone who played SimCity DS will immediately notice the bulk of SimCity Creator’s gameplay looks almost exactly the same – warts and all. The pixelated, isometric buildings do change from age-to-age, but the game appears to run on the very same engine. This is a disappointment, considering the visuals in the DS original were nothing to get particularly excited about in the first place. They get the job done with little finesse. Regardless of how you choose to design them, cities range from drab earth-toned structures in the early ages to the more visually interesting structures found further along the evolutionary timeline. Even with the subtle variety in the tiny buildings themselves, the game doesn’t make any real advances on the visual front.

SimCity Creator screenshot

You can now zoom into a static, 2D cityscape backdrop to consult citizens who wander back and forth. Mysteriously, they appear as featureless red and blue silhouettes that walk across the screen and offer comments about the high and low aspects of your city. Their design seems lazy, but these basic character representations offer a surprising level of personality, for little colored blobs. At the very least, they are a useful tool to gauge the needs of your city. In contrast, the special visitors who frequently stop by the mayor’s office with nagging requests have returned with a cool facelift. They sport a charming MySims-like appearance and frequently inform you of new buildings to create and other ways to improve your city.

In theory, the stylus makes an excellent tool for concocting your city designs via the touch screen. However, it’s still horribly imprecise at times – an issue not corrected from SimCity DS – and you’ll frequently find yourself hunting for the single undo button. This is more of an issue when undergoing demolition, which cannot be undone at all. The same crummy lag still pops up whenever you attempt to scroll around the map, and load times remain horrendously long. The upside is you can now save two games on a cart instead of one.

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SimCity Creator is an occasionally fun experiment in what happens when you mix the series’ classic city micromanagement gameplay with the age-hopping aspects of games like Civilization and Age of Empires – though such concepts appear here in only the most basic of forms. The amalgamation certainly presents a different way to experience SimCity, but whether it’s really an improvement or not will hinge largely on individual players’ tastes. Some of thee major changes would be less of a put off, if Maxis had spent a little more time fixing some of the issues leftover from its predecessor. SimCity on the DS still has further to evolve.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.0
Graphics
A few pleasant upgrades brighten the game, but it looks very close to the last title.
2.8
Control
Many of the issues from SimCity DS persist.
3.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Upbeat tunes change up from time to time. They aren’t amazing or horrible.
4.0

Play Value
Though it’s a fairly different experience, there’s a lot to explore in this game.

3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Evolve: From the dawn of civilization to the future, your city will evolve through time, its growth dependant upon your decisions and achievements.
  • Make History: Experience historic times like the Renaissance and Industrial Revolution.
  • Pictures: Take pictures of your city landscape and exchange with friends by using DS wireless communication. You can see exchanged photos in the menu screen of your game.
  • Landmarks: Earn epic landmarks to enhance your city. You earn these monuments each time you progress to the next era of history.
  • Modes: Explore two modes: Challenge Mode, where you guide your city through historic ages, and Free Play, where you can create cities within any time of history.


  • Screenshots / Images
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