Build, manage and play on the go, as your city simulation arrives on Nintendo DS! In SimCity DS you can be the Mayor, call the shots, and manage every aspect of life in your new town.
Pick one of eight fictional cities or create your own then get ready to modify, manage, and grow your new domain. With user-friendly Nintendo DS stylus and touch screen controls, running a successful, bustling metropolis is easier than ever.
“Welcome, Mayor! This is a momentous day for all of New Sim City!”
Release dates: February 22nd 2007 (JPN), June 19th 2007 (USA), June 22nd 2007 (EURO)
Developer: Electronic Arts Japan
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Whether you’re tackling daily challenges, from planning to pollution, or dealing with natural disasters, help is always at hand from your dedicated team of in-game advisors. With their tips to guide you (or ignore their current events news blabla) and make the right decisions to shape the future success of your city and the happiness of its citizens.
In addition to the advisor, a news ticker scrolls along the bottom of the upper screen, displaying important information about the city in the form of news stories, such as indicating that the city needs improvements in certain areas, or how well a particular city department is functioning. And when life is good in a city the news ticker displays comical headlines, basically it’s useless info good for a chuckle. While the graphics have aged, this feature makes you feel like you’re really controlling a city that’s alive.
The game features a number of disasters that can happen to a city, these include: earthquakes or fires, and crazy attacks from King Kong or a UFO. The disasters are actually minigames in which the game requires you to use DS-specific controls to successfully avert the disaster, such as blowing into the microphone to put out fires, or using the touch screen to fire missiles at a giant ape.
Independent real-world landmarks, and one fictional landmark, are also prominent in the game, but must be unlocked throughout play or by using passwords. Examples of landmarks featured are: the Eiffel Tower (France), Great Pyramids (Egypt), Taj Mahal (India), Big Ben (England), the Statue of Liberty (America), and even Bowser’s Castle (Mario World). To unlock landmark buildings with codes, from the main menu, go to Museum, then select Landmark Collection, and then select Password.
Watch as the SimCity DS trailer shows how you build, manage, and play.
So what are SimCity DS’s main features?
* It’s Your City — Take charge of one of eight fictional cities or build your own, exactly the way you want. Varied townscapes, beautiful international landmarks, and entertaining characters create a truly individual flavor for each location.
* Stay in Control — Enjoy city management made simple with a user-friendly design and intuitive controls, the controls really are a breeze to use. You can also use the +-pad to move around the touch screen map. View your city in 3D on the top screen as it grows and develops, then get to work with the DS stylus and touch screen.
* Tutorials — If you’ve played one of the previous SimCity games you can skip this. Otherwise the extensive tutorial teaches you how to use nearly every building and option. Right down to a gameplay mode that gives you an already built city and extra money to finish building it.
* Save Our City! — Jump to the rescue to protect your town from disaster. From blowing out fires with the microphone to fighting off monster attacks with the Nintendo DS stylus, it’s up to you to defend your citizens when calamity strikes. Can you be the hero of the hour?
* Do It Your Way — Choose from two gameplay styles to customize your SimCity DS experience. Select objective-based game modes to tackle tricky challenges, or opt for more open-ended fun, enjoying the everyday ups and downs of being a city boss.
* Only in SimCity DS — Use local DS wireless communications to swap letters with fellow Mayors and unlock international landmarks, and sign your latest decree with a flourish using the Nintendo DS stylus.
Watch SimCity DS gameplay by Takahiro Murakami, the Producer of SimCity DS.
In conclusion I’d like to point out that SimCity DS is a heavily modified version of SimCity 3000, while it has the same graphics, on DS you can logically view both the city and the city’s map at the same time. Other changes include: Terrain is now gone, you can simply bulldozer land over water; Water pipes are gone and are now part of the road.
A weakness in the game is that there’s only one save file, so you can only keep one city alive at a time. But otherwise there’s not much to complain about if you’ve always wanted a portable version of SimCity or enjoy building stuff. So how much fun is SimCity DS on a scale from 1 to 10?
FUN FACTOR – 7.0
Add a point to the score if you’re a SimCity fan looking for a portable version. There may be limitations in the game dampening its score here, but if you’re a fan it won’t matter, especially considering its new $20 budget price. The newly presented scenarios on top of a Sim City classic make for a fun foundation for you to build on.
Graphics – 7.0
The animations are simple but work for SimCity. The city graphics have nice details, again it’s what it needs to be to fit on the DS screens, although some more color would’ve been nice.
Audio – 6.5
Loads of sound effects. Sadly the background tunes don’t stand out.
Ingenuity – 8.0
This is where the game shines, the gameplay is very well balanced for the DS. Everything is thought out, even if you mess up you can press the undo button.
Replay Value – 7.5
Once you’re hooked on the game, you’ll want to build a city as far as the eyes can see (in this case the entire map) and since you can save at any time you can keep going. While the meat of this sandwich is in the casual Build A City mode, the new Save The City scenarios on top of mail and monument trading all add to the longevity of the game.