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SimCity 4

by Electronic Arts
Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 56.99
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Game Information

  • Platform:   Windows 98 / 2000 / Me / XP
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone Everyone
  • Media: CD-ROM
  • Item Quantity: 1

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Product Description

From Amazon.ca

It's hard to believe that creator Will Wright had trouble selling his original SimCity concept to publishers. That first game went on to fame, notoriety, and great praise--from critics, gamers, and even educators--and spawned countless imitators, not the least of which include Wright's own smaller-scale The Sims, which went on to become a phenomenon in its own right. Now on its fourth edition, SimCity returns to our hard drives, and would-be city planners everywhere will be busy for a long, long time.

SimCity 4 functions much like its predecessors. You've got the power to zone land as residential (green), commercial (blue), and industrial (yellow). You control the budget. You decide where to place crucial services like police, fire, medical, and even utilities like power and water. You place schools, parks, roads, water towers, and scenery as you accede to the many demands of your Sim citizens. Do a good job and your city will grow and the money will flow into your coffers. Do a bad job and the people will pack up and move away, leaving your city treasury in horrific debt and landing you what the game cheekily considers to be a far easier job: senator. The game requires a balancing act that takes both planning and a persnickety nature. There are charts to read, reports to watch, and, above all, needs to juggle. It's rewarding when it all comes together, and frustrating when you fail, once again, to build anything worthwhile.

That's why I wish the game came with a better manual. The included book glosses over most major information and then neglects important aspects, such as the RCI indicator (which explains zoning needs) and parts of the budget. At the very least, the manual should include tips on handling debt. There are two tutorials which cover the basics, but again, they won't help you get out of trouble once you get in too deep. You can find this information in the strategy guide, which is sold separately, but you really shouldn't have to go that route.

The graphics are amazing, showing a vibrant metropolis with scurrying traffic, wandering Sims, smoking chimneys, and sparkling lights when night falls. Fireworks reward each year of service. And wait until you see the cool disasters you can unleash if the mood strikes you--fire, lightning, tornado, volcano, and giant robot. Oddly, there's a significant performance hit even on fast systems. Thankfully, the stuttery scrolling and slow-to-respond zoom don't hurt the game too much since you can pause it at will or fast forward if you need to wait for your cash reserves to build. The most significant flaw is that the game only offers one save slot, which discourages experimentation.

Despite minor imperfections SimCity 4 is an awesome game. You can build several cities next to each other on the map and make them dependant on each other. (You can build the greater L.A. area, in other words.) You can even import your Sims from The Sims to live in your city. Such familiar characters can tell you a lot about what your city needs. Put simply, city planning has never been this fun, this challenging, or this deep. --Andrew S. Bub


  • Beautiful graphics and animation
  • Deeper and more realistic than ever before


  • Runs slowly on most systems
  • Inadequate manual

Product Description

Create, customize and populate your own city in the latest version of this outrageously popular addition to the Sims franchise.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing leap forward but marred by serious problems March 20 2004
I for one am absolutely thrilled to actually get this game. I for one remember how much I enjoyed playing SimCity 2000 but after losing it to a computer crash and the CD-Rom by unfortunate circumstances, I decided to get "SimCity 4" and I have to say I am absolutely thrill yet disappointed at the same time.
By playing style, "SimCity 4" Follows the same patterns in a lot of ways like the SimCity 2000 games. You lay down zones; let it be industrial, commercial, and or residential. You also have to manage the city's fiscal status as well, by making sure your city doesn't fall into the pits of debt, passing ordinances that benefit the city...at a cost, and making it thrive by fighting crime through police stations and jails, fighting fires by building fire stations and dispatching fire engines, and educating your citizens with schools, colleges, and museums along with numerous other things.
On a positive note this game is a HUGE quantum leap forward from SimCity 2000 in almost every way. There are two main reasons for this. First, the actual details are stunning! Now buildings, and houses look like real structures and the street systems are much more realistic instead of looking like a hodgepodge of shapes like some of them did on SC 2000 from many years ago. The landscape looks so incredibly amazing too. Now it looks like a real actual landscape whether it be hilly, a peninsula, or plains, it's absolutely amazing! My favorite is elevated plains (I.E. Texas Panhandle) right next to large mountains (Going from Amarillo to around central New Mexico). Absolutely amazing!! The best part of this game too is not only the improvements on the graphics and landscapes but the background music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful graphics... but unplayable Sept. 10 2003
I'm a huge Sim City fan. This game starts out with a bang and looks beautiful. However, even on my 1-year-old desktop, the game virtually crawls to a halt after only 10 minutes of development. Scrolling takes at least 30 seconds, zooming in or out takes even longer -- unless it locks up entirely.
Does the game really need working traffic lights, packs of wild animals, construction workers, and all the other bells and whistles that make it look breathtaking, but ultimately unplayable? I think the developers have gotten carried away with the graphical capabilities.
PS -- I've installed the patch from the manufacturer's website that's intended to fix this problem. The improvement is noticable, but the game is still slow and unenjoyable. I've uninstalled it and re-installed SimCity 3000.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best games I'd already played July 21 2004
Sim City 4 (and its expansion pack Rush Hour) are very cool! Simply amazing. I was also a Sim City 3000 fanatic and I was expecting much about the new release. Well, it was better than I thought it would be. The graphics are astonishing and the entertaiment given by hours planning and developing your cities are incredible.
This game also offers a much higher challenge, one of the main problems in SC3000 was already solver, that was that it was relatively easy to build a city and develop. Nope, in SC4 you must have complete control over the budget.
I see some small problems, like the size of your cities (why we not have the option to size the cities in a region in a new region?), the high price of the game, some things could be added to the game and, mainly, the necessity of a super-computer to play the game (512mb RAM recommended if you are playing in a big city with more than 300 thousand inhabitants), but sure the game its worth all these problems.
Having patience and caution in planning your city, you won't regret the fact that you spent hours, days, weeks, even months to do a big and nice city.
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2.0 out of 5 stars I'm Rummaging Through Garbage to Find SimCity3000 June 23 2004
By John
Please listen to me and realize that this was a very dissapointing game. What went wrong I don't know. EA "Challenged" their reputation making this game, cause it freaking sucks.
- Graphics (Everything is more lifelike and seems almost that you can zoom in further than the other SimCity/s)
- Terrain Builder (You can build mountains, hills, or make valleys and lakes)
- Airport (This airport actually brings in people to your city and is no longer a zone. It is pre-made)
- Difficulty (Certainly not for the younger crowd)
- Budget (I'm having a lot of trouble keeping money... no matter what- I have like three toxic waste dumps and a naval base missile tester and still my monthly income is negative. I've raised my taxes and lowered matinence and buses and everything- nothing works. MAJOR FLAW!)
- Zoning (The zoning puts in streets that don't line up with other streets and if you delete you wast money because it's part of the zone.)
- Overrated (look at the front of this game. Never will you see buildings like that- trust me. I never see blimps or helicopters.)
Overall- 2/10 (I like the terrain builder a lot... but that's the only thing better than SimCity3000).
Final Word- I was terribly dissapointed with this game. SimCity3000 is just so much better. Get it, and save some $.
Have Fun w/ SimCity300, cause you WILL not have much fun with this.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend for building.
I highly recommend this game. My son, who is 11 yrs old, loves building & this is perfect for him.
Published 3 months ago by Tammy Johansson
1.0 out of 5 stars Stick to Sims 1 game
I tried Simcity 4. I did not like this game because I found this hard to understand. Maybe I should get a SIm City 4 hint book guide. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kevin Barton
4.0 out of 5 stars sale delivery all perfect
Vendor is 5 star my ability on this game without cheats is zero :-)
I bought version 4 as you don't need internet and don't know why EA would limit it instead of optional... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Bill
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I've always loved playing simcity when I was younger. What I was surprised to find out about it now is it's actually challenging to play.
Published 16 months ago by Sarah
3.0 out of 5 stars Impossibly hard, but slightly rewarding
First off, this was a ... mleh game. This is a extremely complex game. The farthest i've gone without cheats is about 5 min. Read more
Published on July 15 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars best sim city title yet and more to come
it was one of my first CD roms because i always download demos and games of the intenet.i got it because it was my sisters birthday my dad went to buy gifts and didnt want me to... Read more
Published on July 6 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars this game is great just read the manule
I've never played a sims city game before till I played this and now I'm willing to buy it. The graphics are great and if you do things good in your cityyou can get a good... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by cracka
1.0 out of 5 stars So horrible the company stopped publishing it !
True. Within months it was clear that even very basics within SimCity4 were horribly done. The only hope was for those already owning this version, to PURCHASE an expansion or... Read more
Published on June 28 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Best Review Ever!!
I played Sim City 3000 in school. Me and my classmates loved the game! We all have contests to see who could get the biggest town, with the most people. Read more
Published on May 21 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good
A good improvment the graphics are amazing, but they have pretty much given the same idea as before aside from all the high tech stuff its still the same as 3000 unlimted was. Read more
Published on May 18 2004
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