SimCity Retrospective: SimCity

July 26, 2012

Occasionally, a gamer will come across a series that really grabs hold of them. For a lot of people, it’s the Final Fantasy series; others have Ultima or The Elder Scrolls series. As for me…well, since about 4th or 5th grade, my drug of choice has been SimCity. I used to have, and this is completely true, a copy of the DOS version’s manual. I did not own a copy of the game for DOS. No idea where I got it, and I probably lost it sometime in the last fifteen years or so.

Still, I really do love the SimCity series, and the original in particular because there’s a certain simple grandeur to it that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The series has primarily been about building yourself a city any way you want, but that isn’t to say that there are no objectives; in fact, the original came with seven scenarios: Traffic congestion in 1965 Bern, RoboCop-levels of crime in 1972 Detroit, dealing with the aftermath of the 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco, flooding (or high crime rates on low-power machines) in Rio de Janeiro in 2046, Tokyo being attacked by Godzilla in 1961, and a nuclear meltdown in 2010 Boston.

But I think my favorite thing about the original game was the music in the Super Nintendo version. Just listen to this music from the starting screen:

Video by supersdf185, go check out their LPs on YouTube.

Just listen to that music. It may be the most calming music I’ve ever heard. I’m serious, if you’re having  a bad or stressful day, just listen to this song. It’s worked for me.

SimCity is a little outdated, sure. But it’s a classic, and it’s the game that introduced me to the SimCity series, and by extension, The Sims. The original is a game I still love to play, even some two decades later.


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