SimCity Deluxe

SimCity™ Deluxe is the iPhone version of Sim City published by EA. There are various sim games available for iPhone and iPad nowadays in which you must build and control a city, but it is probably fair to say that SimCity was the original in this genre. (An iPad version of SimCity is also available, but we concentrate specifically on the iPhone version here.)

For those acquainted with other town or city simulation titles, in which there is a large focus on "building up" your city, it is worth emphasising that the gameplay of SimCity revolves much more around management of the city: balancing the books and controlling the population by establishing appropriate tax levels, bringing in and revoking city ordnances (e.g. smoking bans, car pooling schemes etc) to resolve issues but at the expense of associated costs, deciding on the placement of fire stations and police stations to combat danger hotspots, replacing ageing power stations to meet the city's needs, etc. As such, building up the city is actually much more of a challenge than with other spin-off games that you will see in the app store.

This iPhone is enjoyable and playable overall. My main complaints are that placement of items on the small screen can be fiddly at times and some of the menus are cumbersome to navigate, while drilling down to the place where the required item is actually located is not always obvious. Players of other city simulation games will also find the available space for your city a severe restriction: SimCity does require intelligent placement and layout compared to other games in the genre. A couple of tips that I would suggest with hindsight are to avoid starting with a layout with too much water (which eats into available space with no obvious benefit to the game) and avoid dedicating space to landfills too early on (it's practically impossible to get rid of them once they're allocated and recycling plants and other solutions will appear during the game if you are patient).

Overall, then, SimCity will greatly appeal to fans of this type of sim game who want to focus more on the strategy of city management than on the "aesthetics" of building up a large city.

A moderately sized city in SimCity Deluxe for iPhone
Type: 
Sim
Attention span: 
Medium
In-app purchases: 
None
Ad-supported: 
No