Nintendo and Maxis teamed up in 1991 to bring SimCity to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was one of the Super NES's launch titles and became one of the first success stories on the console.

The Nintendo version of the game remained true to the original, although it did improve the graphics and provide a memorable music score. As always, players could place different zones - a 3x3 block of Residential, Commercial, or Industrial spaces - and businesses and homes would move into the spaces if the conditions were right. The Airport, Seaport, and Stadium were also included, although they were of an irregular size and did not fit into the 3x3 blocks that made up most areas of a city. Of course there was also the Police Station, Fire Department, roads, and other items that made the game a classic in the first place.

There were some new additions to the SimCity formula in this release. In the Disasters category you'll find that the Godzillaesque monster has been replaced by the King of the Koopa Troop himself, Bowser. A green-haired man by the name of Dr. Wright (no relation to the creator of Mega Man) could be summoned to offer advice on current crises and situations. Every so often when the correct conditions had been met the good doctor would present a gift building to be placed wherever one pleased. Gifts include...

  • Mayor's House
  • Bank (borrow money if needed)
  • Casino (provides income, but raises crime nearby)
  • Amusement Park (boosts Residential and Commercial zones)
  • Police HQ/Fire HQ (provides greater Fire and Police protection)
  • Zoo (Kids in the Residential zones love a zoo!)
  • Windmill (a gift from a sister city)
  • Mario Statue (commemorates reaching 500,000 residents)
  • Landfill (place this blank 3x3 block over water to create new land)
  • Park (a 3x3 block of greenspace)
The game also includes the now-famous scenarios where players must beat back crime, pollution, floods, and UFO attacks. Completing all the scenarios unlocks Freeland, a landform totally devoid of water and featuring trees that have grown to shape Mario's face. The cartridge allowed two seperate cities to be saved at a time in a standard battery pak (including scenarios). Yerricde tells me that the Super NES version runs its simulation quite a bit slower than the Mac and PC versions because of the slower CPU (3.6 MHz 65c816)

The Super NES rendition of SimCity is a true classic and should not be missed by fans of the series, especially those out there who feel they've mastered all the original rendition of the game has to offer. The game can be found these days at online auctions and used game stores, although it is fully emulatable if you should find the ROM. Note that other Sim games, including SimCity 2000 and SimEarth, were ported to the Super NES without Nintendo's input, so they lack the overall fun and enjoyment of this title. Nintendo did coproduce a sequel in 1999 for the 64DD machine, SimCity 64, but it was only released in Japan to mixed reviews.