Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back to the Societies

When it originally came out, I was thrilled about “SimCity Societies,” but I soon realized it wasn’t a ‘real’ SimCity. However, after playing the new “SimCity” (which rightfully doesn’t add ‘5’ or ‘V’ to its name), I am more than ready to ‘forgive’ the weaknesses of Societies.


Nice, isn’t it? I’m going for a ‘romantic’ city with this one, which is precisely the point about Societies. Instead of focusing on the city building (which is what the ‘real’ SimCity games do), Societies focuses on creating a certain type of society. You can have fun societies, driven by creativity, capitalistic societies, driven by wealth, and many, many more. Romantic is the option I’m currently going for, using mostly creativity and wealth. Those are the resources, by the way, which some buildings produce and others use up. This is how the same place looks, once I’m starting to go down the ‘romantic’ path. Notice the different street graphics?

Overall, “SimCity Societies” is much easier to play than the other SimCity games. For instance, you only need to have energy production somewhere on the map, you don’t need any connections between the production and the rest of the city, which is why I usually find a nice, isolated spot at the border of the map for my energy production (I prefer wind energy) and just build as many facilities there as I need. Then I start my city proper somewhere in the middle of the map and most likely never will need to build any other buildings close to the energy production area. There’s no underground construction, no water pipes, no underground tubes (even though you can have underground stations, there’s on in the picture up there).
You need workplaces to make money and employ your populace (a small amount of it - most inhabitants of any home will not count as workers). You need facilities to educate and entertain your populace. Education is one of the resources, alongside wealth, productivity, creativity, faith, and authority. The balance of the resources determines the kind of society you will get. You need decorations to boost the resources as well.
The game offers several goals, which usually mean ‘make a … society.’ As with every sandbox-type game, though, you make your own goals as well. You try to build your own kind of city, you try to make a huge city confirming to one of the possible societies or you change over time from a tyrannical police state to a fun-based community. That’s actually possible, you just have to build different buildings, break down some other buildings, and concentrate on different resources.

There’s also quite a bit to be seen in the game, if you zoom in and move around a little. For instance, there’s this quaint, little police box - you can build those, if you need a workplace for just one person.

The game still looks surprisingly good, given it’s been out for a while now. The online features are no longer available, but I don’t really care about those, anyway. It plays nicely on my Windows 7 computer, too (even though Vista is listed as high-end OS).

Me? I’m going back to “SimCity Societies” for a while. Much better than the new “SimCity” and at least fun and entertaining, even if it’s not a ‘real’ SimCity.

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