|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 Creators 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 doesnt make any real advances on the visual front.
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 mayors 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, its still horribly imprecise at times an issue not corrected from SimCity DS and youll 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.
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 its 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.
CCC Staff Contributor