Sim City Review

Review by Dave LeClair

Sim City is easily one of my most anticipated games for the iPhone, so when it finally came out and I got my review copy I was really excited to say the least. When you are looking forward to a game this much there’s only one place your final opinion of it can go, and that is down right? Wrong, Sim City lives up to my expectations in almost every way. Read on to find out why. (read to the end for a free bonus)

So for anyone who has never played a Sim City game out there, (and if you haven’t, there is something wrong) Sim City is a city planning game. You are the mayor and you are tasked with building a city and making it thrive and prosper. You need to keep your citizens happy and at the same time keep money in your own pocket for further city development. It’s a tough balance that is fun and engaging.

simphone2This is not an easy game by any means, and if the last Sim City you played was on the SNES, than you are going to have a lot of learning to do because there is a lot more depth and areas that need to be monitored. Once you get the hang of micro managing all the aspects of your city, be prepared to have your iPhone’s battery drained, because you will have a hard time putting the game down. Even as I’m writing this I have the game open in front of me, and I’m constantly making little tweaks to my city. Surprisingly, Sim City is really a perfect game portable game, because you don’t have to constantly watch everything, so if something is going on, you can focus on the for a minute and let your city sit and grow on it’s own for a few minutes.

There is a ton of stuff to do in Sim City. There is of course your basic blank city where you just get a plot of land and try to build a profitable, and prosperous city. There is also the pre-set up cities that you have to try to maintain and keep successful. They even included a great tutorial for those of you who are new to city planning genre of games. It truly is the total package, and if you like this type of game, you will sink a lot of time into it.

simcityThe big thing that had me worried was how the game was going to control, because in a game like this, accuracy is crucial. It’s hard to make a game like this with a touch screen, and that comes out when you are playing. You may find yourself putting roads in places where you didn’t intend for them to be, no worries though, because any item you build in the game is final until you confirm it. So you will always be given the option to reposition it, or adjust it’s size. While this creates an extra step, it’s completely necessary to keep you from wasting tremendous amounts of money placing things where you don’t want them. Overall, I did not feel like the controls were a hindrance to the game at all, in fact they came up with a pretty good system, and I couldn’t imagine any way it could be done better.

The game also looks really, really good. It looks as good some of it’s more recent PC big brothers. When you really zoom all the way in on your city, it’s amazing the amount of detail that you can see. There is a lot of variety in the way the buildings look, it never gets stale. The sound is also pretty solid, it’s your typical Sim City, elevator type music. The sound effects are nothing special, but they aren’t intrusive. In all honesty, I usually played this game with the sound off, because even though the music isn’t bad, there’s really no necessity to have it on.

Overall, there is a ton of fun to be had here. Great visuals, control, and game play, what more could you ask for? If you actually said that there is something else, than you are greedy and you don’t deserve to play Sim City. If you are a good person and think that all those things are plenty, than go buy the game. NOW!

Presentation and Graphics:
Incredible detail on the all the buildings in the city, and a great variety of buildings to keep things from looking slate. Overall, just a great looking package.

Decent enough elevator style music, and pretty good sounds effects, not mind blowing, but good.

A great system for controls. Ingenious way to compensate for the fact that your finger will get in the way when placing more intricate roads and water lines.

There is SOOO much to do here it’s incredible. You can sink hours into just making a blank city, but than when you factor in the pre built scenarios, it will never get old.

Game Rating


An incredibly solid total package, if you are into city planning, or any simulation for that matter, than Sim City is the game for you. Plain and simple, if you don’t like Sim City, you’re nuts.

(Bonus Cheats: I am weak – Makes everything free and pay tribute to your king – gives you all the items that you would have to unlock)

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  • Dominic Feeney

    Great review Dave.

    I am so tempted to pick this up right now but Christmas and new year have rinsed my disposable and I’ve still got brothers in arms, bugdom 2 and venger to finish.


  • Pintos-n-cheese

    Thanks for the review Dave. This game is great and worth the $10.

    I come from playing SimCity 4 & a bit of SC 3000 on the PC and can compare here.

    Overall SimCity for iPhone really seems like it falls bewtween SC4 and SC 3000 on the PC in graphics, music, and features. So if you’ve enjoyed either you shouldn’t be disappointed.

    As Dave said, game controls would be the deal breaker if the mechanics simply failed, but they work very well.

    This game is as engrossing as its PC counterpart.

    There were a few details I wondered about before purchasing:
    1. Terraforming- Surprisingly yes and no. It’s not like SC4. But you can choose amount of trees versus water AND choose where water is or is not by tapping sections of land at start. Playing with all these factors yields various land layouts. I was able to get an island in a river for example.

    There’s only one road type and it cannot be placed diagonally, bit this does not hinder gameplay.

    You cannot rotate the view of the land. It works fine without this ability and is not a deal breaker.

    Who knows, maybe a future update will add these features.

    Untill then, buy this game and enjoy it!