SimCity, here we come! Well the trip isn’t a total blast, but it’s creative, challenging and sure to spark plenty of memories. This Electronic Arts game, remediated from the classic original, retains several appealing elements, but the “touching is good” mantra on the DS doesn’t always apply here.
Sometimes you need pinpoint precision to accomplish touching tasks in the game interface. Once you get the specific touch of the interface, you can start the building process as mayor by mixing commercial, industrial and residential to create a functional, efficient society.
The role-playing element gets a boost by empowering the mayor with many civil duties… plus some beyond his worldly realm. The honorable one can help his citizens in peril from assorted disasters while communicating with other mayors in some nifty networking options. Too bad the almighty can’t change the landscape/topography more.
Tutorials and special visitors provide plenty of help, plus players get starter cities, which saves time for those who want results more quickly. Refusing help won’t deconstruct the experience (basically exists to enhance role playing elements of the game), so go at your own pace.
For players who savor the experience more, this game offers plenty of extras and a wide range of building that really let you experiment with different mixes. They may not always match civil engineering guidelines, but the results are realistic with the right balance of fictional creativity. Using the game’s built-in “undo” feature can prevent additional and unnecessary aggravation.
The graphics are amazing for a handheld and could easily be adapted to other consoles, and consequently, larger screen. Be sure you have lots of light and minimum glare. Even with those conditions, most players will find the touch screen applications challenging and even aggravating because they sometimes require pinpoint accuracy. At first I was dreading the possibility of another disaster similar to the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory game where everything was lined up wrong, but most players will adjust with patience and time. The music doesn’t exactly get those creative juices flowing and you can’t choose a starting date, but this remediated SimCity still serves the public pretty well.
Though the learning curve is short, the troublesome touch screen may offend new players without surgical skilled hands, a must for hardcore fans and familiarized players. Seasoned pros will like the improvements and remember playing previous versions, which will also make the learning curve almost non-existent.
A bigger screened version would have more appeal, possibly through a Nintendo DS to Wii compatibility add-on similar to the Game Boy Advance adaptor on the bottom of the Gamecube. Gamers could see the screen better, which would great help the building through touch screen issues. Still, enough positives to outweigh the negatives, and SimCity DS is a fairly decent game.
Sim City DS is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.