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Developer(s)Maxis, Nintendo EAD, HAL Laboratory, Tilted Mill
Publisher(s)Brøderbund, Maxis, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Superior Software, Acornsoft
Year introduced1989
Parent seriesSim

SimCity is an open-ended city-building computer and console video game series and the brainchild of developer Will Wright. It was published by Maxis (now a division of Electronic Arts). First published in 1989 as SimCity, it has spawned five different editions sold worldwide. The ongoing success of SimCity has also sparked the release of many other spin-off Sim" titles, including 2000's The Sims, the best-selling computer game in history.


The player is given the task of founding a city, while maintaining the happiness' of the citizens and keeping a stable budget. In SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4, the player is allowed to alter the terrain of the city before building on it.

The player must lay down zones, each having a specific kind of building that will be built there. The residential zones, in green, provide housing for Sims, the commercial zones, in blue, provide shops and offices, and the industrial zones, in yellow, provide factories, laboratories and farms. There are three different densities (two for SimCity 2000) in the game: High-Density for large buildings, Mid-Density for smaller buildings, and Low-Density for small buildings.

The player may customize their city by putting in famous landmarks (Hollywood Sign, etc.), and (in SimCity 2000 and SimCity 4: Rush Hour) name streets and terrain features.

As the city matures, the player may get to place government and other special buildings (Mayor's House, Courthouse, etc.) depending on how large their city is. The player must supply services to their citizens. These include health, education, safety, parks and leisure. These come in the form of different buildings, where each building covers a circular "range" of service. Improper funding to services can lead to strikes.

Cities must also provide basic utilities, like electricity, water, and, later in SimCity 3000, waste management.

The primary source of income in the game are taxes, which can be altered by percent in all versions through SimCity 3000, and by tenths of a percent in SimCity 4. Legalizing gambling and placing certain "special" buildings (military bases, federal prisons, etc.) can generate income as well. There are also cheat codes that can be used to generate instant money (except in the case of SimCity 3000).

SimCity is predominantly a single-player game (the exception being a "Network Edition" of SimCity 2000, and an obscure of the original SimCity). SimCity 4 also makes an attempt at multiplayer gaming with the ability to share regional maps and cities with other players, allowing players to collaborate, but not play in real time.

This format differs in SimCity Societies. Unlike the other versions which focused on urban planing, this version focuses on the sims and general mood of the city.


Maxis versions[edit]

  • SimCity (1989)
  • SimCity 2000 (1993)
    • SimCity 2000 Special Edition (1995)
    • SimCity 2000 Network Edition (1996)
  • SimCity 3000 (1999)
    • SimCity 3000 Unlimited/World Edition/UK Edition (2000)
  • SimCity 4 (2003)
    • SimCity 4: Rush Hour Expansion Pack (2003)
    • SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition (includes SimCity 4 and Rush Hour) (2003)
  • SimCity (2013, also known as SimCity 5)

Other versions[edit]

The SimCity Box[edit]

The SimCity Box is a bundle pack that will contain these games:

Awards and ratings[edit]

SimCity (1989)

  • Best Entertainment Program 1989.
  • Best Educational Program, 1989.
  • Best Simulation Program, 1989.
  • Critics' Choice: Best Consumer Program, 1989, Software Publisher's Association.
  • Most Innovative Publisher, 1989, Computer Game Developer's Conference.
  • Best PC Game, 1989.
  • Member of the 1989 Game Hall of Fame, Macworld.
  • Game of the Year, 1989., Computer Gaming World.
  • Second Best Simulation of all Time for C-64.
  • Fourth Best Simulation of All Time for Amiga, .info.
  • Editors' Choice Award: Best Simulation, 1989, Compute.
  • Editors' Choice Award: Best Recreation Program, 1989, MacUser.
  • Best Computer Strategy Game, 1989, Video Games & Computer Entertainment.
  • Best Game Designer of the Year: Will Wright, for SimCity, 1989, Computer Entertainer.
  • Best 20th Century Computer Game, 1989, Charles S. Roberts Award.
  • Software Award of Excellence, 1990–1991, Technology and Learning.
  • Best Educational Program, 1990, European Computer Leisure Award.
  • Tild D'Or (Golden Award): Most Original Game, 1989, Tilt (France).
  • Game of the Year, 1989, Amiga Annual (Australia).
  • World Class Award, 1990, Macworld (Australia).

GameSpot — An average of 7.933 in scores.