SimCity Review
SimCity Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Maxis
Pub: EA
Release: March 5, 2013
Players: 1-16
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Mild Violence

GlassBox isn't just used for the game's charming visual aesthetic. Instead, the engine makes the city a living, breathing thing. Your sims will go to work, shop, and live. Well, they've always done this, but GlassBox allows you to actually see it. You'll be able to pinpoint traffic jams (there will be a lot of those), track an enormous amount of data such as land value, crime trends, which sims are being educated, and what areas are most likely to expand. For a game that features smaller map sizes, Maxis made up for it with a large amount of data to digest and comprehend.

SimCity Screenshot

And SimCity has a lot going on under the hood. Thankfully, Maxis didn't change the core gameplay experience, meaning it's still addictive, it’s still fun, and yes, it’s still frustrating. The minutes spent planning your city will quickly become hours, until you look out the window and wonder where the sun went.

I was finally able to get back into the game, but the servers went down during a play session. So while I’m still waiting for money to be gifted between cities, Origin’s servers earned some brownie points as my play experience wasn’t interrupted. I wasn’t thrown out of my game, nor did I receive an error message. Instead, just a warning in the top left corner of my screen saying I was disconnected. Once the connection was re-established, the warning went away and I kept playing. For all of the issues with the game’s launch, some kudos should be given for this one thing at least. But those issues are still a thing.


Even so, SimCity is a game I absolutely adore. When I’m not home, I miss playing it. When I’m failing miserably with my city planning, I’m learning how to avoid those same mistakes. Take that urban sprawl I mentioned earlier. In a bout of frustration, I demolished everything. The entire city is gone and all that remains are signs of pollution. Immediately, I regretted this decision, because there’s no undo button in this game. Everything you do has a consequence.

Ultimately, Maxis set out to create a real living world for players to tinker with. At that, they’ve succeeded. Well, they’ve succeeded whenever the game actually works…

Jake Valentine
Contributing Writer
Date: March 7, 2013

The engine is adorable and the filters are charming, but the bugs are annoying.
It’s fun to finally build curvy roads, but grid patterns are still best density wise. OCD gamers will undoubtedly stress out when building roads due to snapping issues.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Subdued music is fitting for the scene. “Sim speak” gets annoying pretty quickly.
Play Value
When it actually works, you’ll become wholly absorbed in SimCity’s game world.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Constructible Worlds - Be part of a creative and customizable world that you can manipulate and tinker with ease.
  • Sims Matter - The Sims in your city speak to you directly and it's up to you to respond to their needs. Will you listen and be the toast of the town? Or abuse your power for fame and fortune?
  • Specialize in What You Love - Mold your city as a casino resort, manufacturing hub, educational enclave, and more, and then watch as a unique look and feel spread throughout your city.
  • Multicity - Build a region of cities with friends for the first time! Share resources and work together to construct huge projects such as the International Airport!
  • GlassBox Engine - SimCity introduces GlassBox, the revolutionary simulation technology that gives you the power to impact individual Sims lives, manage city level simulation, and balance multiple city simulations at once.

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