When SimCity 4 was released in 2003, many considered it to be the high point of the SimCity franchise. People were thrilled when 2013’s SimCity was announced, and eagerly awaited the series’ return.
Of course, everything didn’t exactly go as planned. SimCity‘s launch was, to be blunt, a clusterfuck. The game’s behavior, AI, and stability would all come under fire weeks after launch. It soon became clear that SimCity wasn’t exactly the glorious return many people wanted.
That being said, I couldn’t care less.
I never went into the game expecting a follow-up to SimCity 4. Instead, my friends and I had a plan: focus on creating small communities with various specializations. Since we weren’t really able to get everything connected, I branched off into planning a region that would absorb weeks of my life. The small mining town would set the foundation to help build an educational community next to the river, all feeding into the grid-oriented, skyscraper-laden city.
There was a certain joy about being worry free concerning those sprawling, massive cities. Sure, there’s pleasure that can be gained from, say, recreating gigantic regions that seemingly never end, but sometimes you want something a little different. I wanted SimCity.
SimCity forced me to use my limited space in the most effective way possible. I had to determine how often I’d need to send out my public resources. Which city needed outside health care? Was it worth designating a region as a gigantic trash dump? How vital would public transportation be throughout the region? These are questions I constantly found myself asking, ones I absolutely loved attempting to answer.
Of course, there’s absolutely no defending the game’s technical issues. For me, SimCity is will always be a great idea floating on top of an steaming pile of… well, you know. Still, that didn’t stop my personal enjoyment of the game, though, to the tune of approximately 200 hours within a month.
I do find myself going back every now and then and seeing how things are. There are plenty of hints of what could have been, but that’s not what I focus on. Instead, I sit, peruse my cities, and think “well, at least I have fun playing.”