The lights are on
Attempting to step up from previous Simcity titles was Maxis' goal during the development of the reboot of the franchise. They not only excelled wonderfully, but also crafted an experience that never deteriorates with each playthrough.
At the beginning of the game, you're greeted with a tutorial that gives you all the basics of the game. After the painfully boring tutorial is finished, you get to select a server and join a game. You begin by selecting a plot of land in a region to begin building your city on. The downside to this is that multiple plots of land can be claimed by a single person, so one person can essentially be running an entire region. However, this occurs very rarely.
Once you connect a road to the highway, you begin to get to work. Placing zones is easier than ever, and you don't have to pay for any of them. You can easily place them on the sides of roads, and can use them to increase the amount of tourists that you gain in the city. Your population quickly skyrockets with the construction of residential zoning, and they can even "evolve" into larger buildings that hold more people.
Money is often scarce, and you'll need to raise taxes in order to get a sufficient amount of money. If you push the taxes up too much (around 5% is fine, but gets you about $100 an hour) people will begin moving out. Once people move out of their homes, they leave behind an abandoned building that will be more likely to cause fires. The only way you can fight these fires is by either bulldozing the building in question before a fire begins, or by building a fire station. The fire stations, along with nearly every other major building in the game, is pretty expensive. You'll be better off getting fire trucks from neighboring cities, even if they run a little late.
The graphics are very nice and simplistic, and the small people are detailed from a distance. The vehicles are varied and are nicely detailed as well. Major buildings are often the best looking buildings in the game, with many details (and some you can add).
My only major gripe about this game is the fact that your city doesn't really rely on most of the necessities of daily life. Your city can go years without a school building, but certainly can't focus on anything without worrying about the mayor not building public transportation in the middle of the city. These small problems with the people are presented in the guise of speech and thought bubbles, and are very annoying. They could've easily been removed from the game, since they don't really matter.
Overall, Simcity is an enjoyable game that most simulation fans should definitely pick up and play. If you are reluctant to play the game due to faulty servers, bear in mind that Maxis releases patches nearly every week to ensure the game runs smoothly, and smooth is good.
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