SimCityDS (DS) - Review

SimCityDS (DS)
Ages: Everyone

This new spate of Sims city games is an attempt to make the original product easier to use and to attract the crowd with less time, who opt for lunch instead of dinner.

Lets face it – as much as Electronic Arts tries to squeeze the PC version into the DS – you won’t be getting it all. But for these new players – this is great. I mean even I didn’t find laying water pipes and stringing power lines to be much fun. When you begin building your city your advisor/assistant has already put in power, water, landfill, police, fire departments and a few starter roads and some residential and commercial areas.

Everything basically is done with the stylus on the touch screen, and moving it is almost too easy, but then you can always use the demolish tool to tidy up things. Remember to speedup time so you can see the buildings appear in your city – no you do not actually place them with the exception of civic buildings and train stations. It’s a little like going to bed at night waiting for the tooth fairy.

Already being warned about the chattiness of assistant Julie McSim I did not choose her and opted for an assistant more suited to my personality. After a number of questions which I answered as negatively as possible, I got Ayako Tachibana – who stayed quiet unless I asked her for information.

With only one save, I went in and out of the game and the Save-a-City mimis but quit without saving and spent most of my time in Build-a-City Mode. Your job is to plan the city. You start with roads, then zoning levels. Just imagine your city – what do you like to live next to? How far is the walk to a grocery market – to a shopping mall? If your planning is good, your population will increase.

I like the scroll at the bottom of my screen – it made the city feel alive. The music was OK but then I mostly keep the volume low so as not disturb those nearby. The tutorial should have been more show than tell. Two zooms, in and out were not sufficient – I wanted more of a close-up but I guess what I got was sufficient for the screen resolution. The scrolling, either with the directional keys or the scroll function was way, way too fast and had me off into the dark side too often.

Growing the Sims games, for the next gen – people and machines, means making them smaller. But for some of us – we will always have the PC and pipe lines.

Fun Factor: All this on a DS - yes
Player Friendly: Only one save. Boo

Reviewed by: Editor - 12/07

  • SimCityDS (DS)
  • © Electronic Arts
  • Platform(s): GBDS
  • To Order: GBDS $18.99