SimCity 4 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

April 26, 2012
Do you have what it takes to build and govern the world's greatest utopia? “SimCity 4” is the fifth brilliant simulation game from EA Games. The objective is simple enough: build a city however you like. It's this creative freedom that makes “SimCity 4” superior to stereotypical RPGs or racing games. It doesn't come with missiles and machine guns; “SimCity 4” is an intellectual challenge that anyone can play and everyone will enjoy, but you will only be successful if you know what you are doing. Managing virtual people can be tricky.

It starts when you acquire a plot of land to begin constructing your city. There are three modes: God, Mayor, or Sim (a virtual person). Change the landscape to your liking and start a city when you are ready. After that, the city's fate is in your hands. Will you provide your Sims with what they need to stay happy or mint money for yourself? It's your decision, yet it's never simple.

“SimCity 4” really keeps you locked in the game as you play. Your virtual citizens make no concessions when demanding what they want. Any problem in the city and they will holler at you. The game is very engaging and interactive.

It is an extremely versatile game as well, a fact that makes it all the more appealing. While the premise is simple, the inner machinations are complicated, though not enough to confuse you. There are a lot of city creation games on the market, but none that give you this many choices. There are many utility plants and civic service buildings to choose from, and you will keep discovering and unlocking new items like reward buildings or recreation facilities. It is immensely satisfying to see your mayor's mansion or the town country club built.

For those gamers who need to lay back every now and then after the hassle of mayoral duties, the new “SimCity 4” Deluxe Edition comes with missions that allow you to cruise around the city and unlock rewards if your mission is successful. The possibilities are nearly endless.

The graphics are also something to look forward to. They are not just good; they're mind blowing! EA Games went to the limit of 3-D animation. If you zoom in to your city you will see cars, garbage trucks, fire engines, and people walking or driving around in a totally realistic fashion. This goes hand in hand with amazing sound effects; you will hear cars during the morning commute and even the chanting of protestors. The music is a type of jazz I'm not fond of.

The main problem with this game is that once you start playing, you won't want to stop. It is so good you will become obsessed. If you start a new construction or expansion project, you're not going to stop until you're done. In addition, the simulation provides you with virtual advisors who are a nuisance. They throw requests at you so fast that you will never have time to carry them out, and their advice constantly contradicts the suggestions of fellow advisors.

“SimCity 4” overall is an excellent game that will keep you hooked and never get boring.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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