The definitive version of Sim City
, in fact the greatest of all the 'Sim' franchise games. Released by Maxis
, it was one of the very first high-profile games to require SVGA
on the PC. The game's interface was very closely modelled on the Mac
OS (or that's how it seemed to me, being a DOS
user at the time).
SC2000 is basically a software toy with a whippy-smooth interface. At first glance it looks more like a very clean, nicely-laid out CAD package than a game. Your city is presented in an isometric view (with no weather, seasons, or day/night cycle, but pretty high detail). Using a set of paint-program-like tools, you can shape and classify the available land and construct civic buildings (power stations, police stations, roads, etc). The game is very relaxing, with soothing music and the muffled hubbub of your city far below. You are kept up-to-date with important street-level events by a very nicely done newspaper (full of Mad-Lib style sillyness) and can track specific factors that affect your citizens' welfare using a comprehensive range of charts and graphs.
Because there are tangible goals, hidden and time-locked events (and buildings) and a challenge with just the right amount of randomness, it is a much more focussed, enjoyable and addictive game than The Sims. You could try to make the biggest metropolis ever, maximise your bank balance, try to make a paradise on Earth, or even model your home town. Eventually you were awarded the ability to contruct Arcologies, self-contained vertical colonies that you were supposed to dot around your map connected by subways, powered by clean fusion (or hydroelectricity) and surrounded by lush, terraformed forests and lakes. In practice I would just flatten as much land as possible and build them back to back, creating a hellish, yellow-aired dystopia.
Many games have been released within the management genre since SC2000, including a sequel, SimCity 3000, which was much delayed and detracted seriously from the enjoyment of its predecessor. (In layman's terms: it really, really sucked.) Probably the best game of this type is Chris Sawyer's Transport Tycoon, which took the general concept to a whole new level (and was written entirely in assembly), although you were limited to 256 pieces of rolling stock.