It’s like a little city in the palm of your hand.
I have pretty much played every single version of SimCity that has ever been made. Maybe it is because I have some kind of “god complex”, but I have always fancied the idea of running an entire city full of little people. My problem, however, has always been that I am absolutely hopeless at the game. For some reason, no matter what I try, I always end up completely and utterly broke. It is amazing how video games can mirror real life like that.
Anyway, when the opportunity arose to try the latest SimCity Deluxe on the iPhone, I thought to myself that maybe the small screened, hand held version would be something that I can deal with. How wrong I was…
SimCity Deluxe is the second helping of city management on the iPhone from EA, with the word Deluxe being added to represent a number of both graphical and gameplay improvements over the original that this version has replaced.
Most people will already know what to expect from a SimCity game. As Mayor, the player must either create a thriving city from scratch or, in the case of the various scenarios included, take control of an established city and achieve certain goals within a time limit. The player has complete control over zoning, where the player creates grids of a given building type – either residential, commercial or industrial, transportation, emergency services, healthcare, education, taxes and all of the other stuff that goes into a working metropolis.
The player is not alone in their endeavor. Aside form the demands of the screaming masses, which they can choose to ignore if they wish, there are a number of advisors. These gurus of their given areas will give helpful advice and try to guide the city, through the player, towards prosperity. However, even taking their advice is no guarantee to success.
Bringing a game of this scale to the iPhone is obviously going to have it’s problems. Actions such as the laying of roads and pipes are going to be especially difficult given the small screen and drag ‘n drop nature. To combat this, the placement of such things as buildings, zones, roads etc is dealt with by first placing the item on the map, then making any necessary adjustments before finally confirming that everything is exactly how the player wants it. This method works quite well, but there are still some difficulties, especially when dealing with bridges and junctions.
Even the most sausage fingered gamers out there should be able to get things pretty much how they want them. But the downside is that all of this “faffing” about takes time, and that is more time added to an already very time consuming game.
The game looks quite good on the iPhone. Obviously everything is pretty much in miniature, so detail is not really an issue. But the buildings and such look how you would expect them to at such a scale, and it is nice to zoom in and see all of the vehicles going about their business. EA have done a good job of getting as much of the SimCity look into the small handheld as possible.
But doing a good job is something that is obviously beyond me in this game. No matter how hard I tried, I still could not make a successful city. But this version has included a nice little something for gamers like myself – natural disasters. There is nothing like an Earthquake to bring about the demise of a failing city.
Although SimCity Deluxe did nothing to improve my understanding of the game, it does a good job of bringing this series to the handheld. It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but the majority of the problems are more to do with the limitations of the hardware. SimCity is not a game that is ideal for a small touch screen. That being said, the budding Mayors out there will certainly get their mobile kicks from this version.
SimCity Deluxe, from EA, is available on the App Store for just Â£2.99