Sim City 3000
Written by Shigamoto   
Tuesday, 17 May 2005
Sim City 3000 was hyped before its release to be the first Sim City all displayed in 3D. However Maxis ran in to trouble and quickly changed to the old trusty isometric perspective.
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Actually it doesn’t matter much if Sim City 3000 is in 3D or not. Gamers were used to the isometric perspective and it did look pretty good anyway. The graphics sure beats Sim City 2000 and then some.

Sim City 3000 was developed with Ed Koch as a consultant. Ed Koch was the major of New York City before Rudolf Guiliani took office. When playing the game you notice that this is not a game just about numbers as the previous versions pretty much were.

The player has to use wits and intelligence when planning the city. You can’t just zone a whole city in 4x4 blocks and hope for the best. Usually it’s a one-way ticket to a ghetto town with no future.

Instead you have to plan how the traffic will flow in the city, does the city have enough connections with the outside world? Is it more than one way to travel through the city? Much of the game is about traffic flows and mass transportation. However there aren’t many alternatives when it comes to transportation, just railways, bus stops and subways.

Another time-consuming feature is as always getting the budget to balance. This is particular hard in the beginning of the game, as the citizens are demanding stuff all the time. You usually have to turn down a number of suggestions from the inhabitants, sure they don’t like it but Rome wasn’t built in a day so.

Maxis introduced garbage in Sim City 3000. It means that the population in the city produces a lot of garbage, which you have to handle one way or another. You have to build a land-fill (which causes land value to dive in that area) after that you can burn the trash and convert it into energy. If you want to you can make a deal with your neighbour for them to take care of your trash against a fee. The garbage handling isn’t really that interesting and the game might as well have been without it, but it’s still a realistic feature.

I like that Maxis has implemented more dynamic features and problems that real cities face. For example it’s better for the environment and for the citizens health if you attract biotech or electronic industries to your city. In order to do that you have to have a trade-fair but also a good solid education foundation.

Everything in the game is linked one-way or another, and that’s why this game is about smarts and intelligence. For example if you have to reduce crime you can do so by implementing a neighbourhood watch program, together with junior sports and build more police stations and jails.

The problem is that using all the tools to solve problems costs a lot of money, so you usually have to settle for just two or three good measures.

After a while your city will hopefully grow in to a large metropolitan area. During the game you will be presented with a lot of problems to crack but also a lot of fun. A nice feature in the game is all the extras that you get to build, for example a lighthouse, a stock exchange and much more. All those special buildings bring new opportunities to your city, so the game isn’t just stuck at one level all the time.

Your city can also be striked by a series of disasters from fires to UFOs. I don’t think that the disaster handling in the original version of Sim City 3000 was that enlightening. Fortunately Maxis improved this in the Sim City 3000 World Edition with scenarios in different world cities, very real and fun.

I believe that Sim City 3000 is one of the best in the series. It’s simple with not too much detail, but it has so much dynamic features and it really takes some intelligence to master it. I recommend it strongly to anyone who hasn’t played it.

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Developer: Maxis
Website for Game: http://simcity3000unlimited.ea.com
Publisher:
EA Games
O/S: Win 95/98/ME/XP
Cost of Full Game:
Year of Release: 1999 for Sim City 3000, 2000 for Sim City World and Unlimited Editions

System Requirements:
Pentium 166 MHz, 32 MB RAM, 2 MB VRAM,

Tested On:
Pentium 3 733 MHz Mobile, 356 MB RAM, Windows XP

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