SimCity Creator Review
Wii | DS
SimCity Creator box art
System: 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

The game also sports an updated interface, one a bit more attractive and user-friendly than past games in the series. The look and feel is borrowed directly from MySims – the game even includes many of the main characters to act as advisors for you here – but these cutesy features don’t change the fact there’s a steep learning curve for players new to the SimCity formula. If you can get over the game’s hurdles, however, there is fun to be had here.

SimCity Creator screenshot

The missions offer hours of challenging strategy gameplay, and the Free Play area is the equivalent of having a giant toy set to fool around with, minus the mess. Additionally, there’s the Contests section where players can compete in missions against other players online.

Though there are plenty of options for players to enjoy in SimCity Creator, the gameplay is not without its flaws. As mentioned, there’s a frustrating lack of relevant instruction, even with the addition of the 15 tutorials. Sometimes it’s impossible to know how to meet mission objectives, and only through trial and error will you succeed. Your advisors offer only vague tips about general aspects of managing your city, and, ultimately, you’re on your own, often with no clue as to how you should proceed. It can also be frustrating simply panning the camera around your city map. The game uses only the Wii-mote, and you’ll pan by moving the pointer to the edges of the screen. It’s a set-up meant to mimic a PC’s mouse, but it’s often jerky and unmanageable.

The presentation of SimCity Creator is modest yet attractive, and everything is neatly compartmentalized. In addition to the different gameplay areas, there are options to view snapshots taken while in-game, as well as view the myriad unlockables you acquire in the Missions mode. Menu navigation is straight forward, and the MySims theme definitely helps to lull players into what can otherwise be a fairly daunting gameplay experience.

On the graphics front, well, it’s pretty much everything we’ve come to expect from the SimCity franchise. So, it’s not the prettiest Wii game out there. Maps sport drab-green tiles, dull water areas, and crammed-city overviews. You can zoom in or out on the map, but the game never allows you to get up close and personal, which is probably for the best. The buildings look okay, but monster models and other disaster animations are right out of an N64-era game. The MySims characters are the most visually attractive element, though, they too are decidedly simple in appearance.


One of the game’s big surprises, however, is its music. SimCity Creator truly scores in the audio department. There aren’t a ton of sound effects, and the ones that are here aren’t particularly great, but the music really fits wonderfully alongside the SimCity experience. It’s also recorded in pristine fidelity, with nice stereo separation and smooth transitions between themes. There are a few hiccups here and there during gameplay loads, but for the most part, everything sounds great. There’s also a ton of musical variety, and at any time, you can go into the collectables section and sift through the many themes you’ve unlocked. It’s a small extra perhaps, but a nice touch that adds one more element of value to the overall package.

SimCity Creator isn’t an overhaul of the series. If you’ve played any SimCity game before, you’ll likely feel right at home here. It’s a touch of Déjà vu, but the new features offer some incentive for series veterans to perhaps give the game a look. Considering the updated interface, MySims characters, and the simple fact the game is on Wii, Creator seems to be aimed at a more casual audience. It’s just too bad the developers didn’t stay on track in this regard, because the learning curve is basically on par with past games in the series, and newcomers will have a frustrating road ahead when approaching this city planning venture.

That said, players who muster the moxy to press on will find a fair bit of enjoyment, as well as some truly challenging strategy gameplay. It’s a hefty-sized package with plenty to do and see. If you’re up for the sort of dry pleasure city building offers, SimCity Creator might be something worth checking out. There are some issues with the controls, much of the gesture gameplay is gratuitous, and the game offers all the perplexity of a chemistry set. But folks looking to role play as mayor might consider SimCity Creator as a rental.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

SimCity games have never been pretty, and SimCity Creator does little to break away from that tradition. However, the MySims characters are as adorable as ever, and the menus and icons are very attractive.
Controlling helicopters and planes is a blast, but there’s really not enough of it. Panning the camera with the Wii-mote is jerky, and many of the gesture-based disasters are little more than boring novelties.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound effects are sparse – there isn’t even any Simlish from your MySims advisors – but the themes are wonderfully fitting, and there’s a ton of musical variety.

Play Value
There’s a lot to do here, but there are also many hurdles for new players to overcome. SimCity Creator also doesn’t break any new ground, and series veterans will be hard-pressed to justify investing in this Wii iteration.

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

Game Features:

  • Build: Construct amazing cities with a wide variety of choices. Create a New York-style metropolis, a romantic European city, an exotic Asian paradise, a futuristic Cyberscape, or combine them to make something truly unique.
  • Destroy: Lay waste to your city with a variety of epic disasters, including earthquakes, meteors, and giant monsters. Prepare for and handle unexpected crises.
  • Create: Create your city with your Wii Remote, using it to draw curvy roads, shape the layout of your neighborhoods, and place landmarks of your choice.
  • Hire: Hire assistants who help you run your city and can build new neighborhoods based on their unique personalities.
  • Fly: When you feel like getting a closer look, get into a helicopter or airplane and fly through your city and check out all the details of your creation.

  • Screenshots / Images
    SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge SimCity Creator screenshot - click to enlarge

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