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SimCity App for iPhone Review: How Does it Compare to the Real SimCity Game?

by: Daniel Barros ; edited by: Simon Hill ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

SimCity for the iPhone is out - but is it everything we've ever wanted and more? Read on inside to find out the final verdict.

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    What is SimCity?

    First, for those who don't know what SimCity is - it's basically a simulator for you to create your own city. On the PC, you could create a vast metropolis or a rural town, the choice was mostly yours. The game functioned with advisors telling you how to build your city in the best way possible, along with several graphs and charts letting you know how much you were spending, whether or not the people were content, and so on. It essentially works like if you were mayor and city planner of a city at the same time.

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    SimCity App Now Available for the iPhone

    SimCity has always been a popular game amongst PC Gamers. EA has always been saavy at knowing what will port well over to other devices, like the iPhone, PSP, and DS. SimCity has always proved to be a popular game regardless of what platform it's on - would the same prove to be true for the iPhone?

    Sure enough, those fine people managed to port over what I have to say is probably the iPhone's most entertaining game to date. The game functions perfectly, has good graphics, and most of all, doesn't skimp on the important features you would expect.

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    Building Your Virtual Cities

    Buildings are created in real time, and you have to wire the city for electricity, water, and build roads. Overall, the experience is rather addicting and functions well as bite-size for the iPhone. You build, you destroy, you watch your city grow, and when you're tired, the save button is a mere key away. Sure, the save feature isn't as innovative as say, Rolando's save feature, but it is good enough for when you need to quickly exit the game.

    You start off by selecting the type of terrain that you want, as well as how much of that terrain you want occupied with water and land. Once your terrain is set, you can go ahead and start building the city you've always wanted to. Start off by building roads, zones for buildings, electricity and water - how you decide to build these and in what order is completely up to you. Unlike the PC version, the iPhone version allows you to see what it is that you're going to build before you actually build it, this allows you to increase, decrease, or move the desired building until you've got it perfectly in the position you want.

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    Overall Review

    The game works astoundingly well - aside from a couple of slowdowns here and there when zooming in, it works like you would expect a competent PC port to work. Not to mention that hooking up the entire city's power and water grid on the iPhone may seem surprisingly micromanage-y, but you get accustomed to working with smaller aspects of your city - watching it grow the way you would on a fully featured console or PC game.

    And EA hasn't left out anything. You can still build special buildings, bulldoze to your heart's content, and even build under and over water. It seems that EA learned a thing or two from its rather ill-fated "Spore: Origins" which diluted the complex PC game to a simple action-platformer that proved rather boring after a few hours. SimCity doesn't suffer from this problem, on the contrary, it shows us what the iPhone is capable of and what we expect to see out of publishers for years to come.

    Overall, the game is polished and well worth the paltry $10 that are required to purchase it. Wait no longer - go out and splurge a little, after all, if you only get one iPhone game this year, let it be the one that has the most replayability, the most longevity and the most value - that game is SimCity for the iPhone.