SimCity Societies

Infobox VG
title = SimCity Societies


developer=Tilted Mill Entertainment
publisher=Electronic Arts
distributor=
designer =
series = "SimCity"
engine =
version = 1.04.243 (v1.5)
released = Vgrelease|Personal_Computer|PC|November 13, 2007cite web | url=http://www.thesims2.co.za/content/view/727/1/ | title=SimCity released | publisher= Business Wire | accessdate=2007-11-14]
genre = City-building game
modes = Single player
ratings = PEGI: 3+ ESRB: E10+
OFLC: G
platforms = Microsoft Windows
Mobile Phone
media=
requirements = Windows XP SP2, or Windows Vista, 1.7 GHz Intel CPU, or AMD XP 2100 processor, 512 MB RAM memory, 2.1 GB free hard disk drive space, 128 MB video card, DVD drive, DirectX 9.0-compatible video card. (Windows Vista requires a 2.4 GHz processor or equivalent and 1 GB RAM)
input = Keyboard and mouse

"SimCity Societies" is a city-building simulation computer game of Electronic Arts (EA) and is part of the "Sim" games series. It is the fifth main SimCity game, but it is the first not to have a numbered title. The game was developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment and was released worldwide on November 13 2007.cite web | url=http://www.thesims2.co.za/content/view/727/1/ | title=SimCity released | publisher= Business Wire | accessdate=2007-11-14]

Announcement

On June 5 2007, Tilted Mill Entertainment, creator of "Caesar IV", announced that it would be developing "SimCity Societies" instead of Maxis, which had created all preceding titles. [cite web | url=http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3160086 | title=SimCity Societies Under Construction | date=5 June 2007 | last=Lee | first=Garnett | publisher=1Up.com | accessdate=2007-06-11] Rob Humble, head of EA's Sims Division, indicated that EA representatives had asked Tilted Mill to create the game at E3. Immediate reaction was negative, especially on the official forums of the developer towards this game. Responses directly from the developers attempted to ease some concerns. [cite web | url=http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3160146 | title= Tilted Mill Responds to SimCity Worries | last=Kollar | first=Phillip | publisher=1Up.com | date=7 June 2007 | accessdate=2007-06-11]

Gameplay

While previous mainstream "SimCity" titles could be best described as mayorship, or "god" simulators, "SimCity Societies" is different, as foreshadowed by the previews and statements from the developers, [cite web | url=http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3160151 | title= DPreviews: SimCity Societies | date=7 June 2007 | accessdate=2007-06-11] by being a "social engineering simulator" rather than a city-building simulator.

Public works and a tax system do not play a part in the basic game. Instead, players get daily income from workplaces in the city. However, a downloadable update includes gameplay modes where a daily tax is incurred based on the buildings within a city. Transportation networks have been simplified to dirt roads, paved roads, subways and bus stops. Players do not build zones, a key element of past "SimCity" games; instead, they have the ability to directly place individual residential buildings and work places, something not seen in previous editions, and similar to Monte Cristo's game "City Life". There are also six "social energies", called societal values, which allow players to learn about the characteristics of the citizens. The six societal values are productivity, prosperity, creativity, spirituality, authority, and knowledge. [cite web | url=http://simcity.ea.com/about.php?languageCode=1 | title=SimCity Societies Official Site | accessdate=2007-09-19] The city will look, and act, in accordance with the energies the players choose. Players may focus on satisfying one, several, or all of these values. An improved version of the reward system introduced in "SimCity 2000" has been included in the game. [cite web | url=http://www.1up.com/do/previewPage?cId=3160151 | title= SimCity Societies PC Preview | publisher=1Up.com |date=7 June 2007 | accessdate=2007-06-08]

The game is "fully customizable" and allows the players to customize individual buildings, decorations, citizens, and game rules. [cite web | url=http://pc.ign.com/articles/804/804046p1.html | title=E3 2007: SimCity Societies Update | publisher=IGN | date=11 July 2007 | accessdate=2007-07-14] Prior to its release, when mentioning the depth to which the game will allow customization a Tilted Mill representative stated that those who were proficient in C# and XML will have easy access to every asset of the game and that basic tools would be provided for building editing. [cite web | url=http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=429 | title=E3 07: SimCity Societies Impressions | date=13 July 2007 | last=Breckon | first=Nick | publisher=shacknews | accessdate=2007-07-14]

ocieties

*Authoritarian: Built up with a focus on authority, authoritarian cities are reminiscent of stalinist capitals such as Moscow, or the fictional London in Airstrip One from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four—complete with surveillance cameras, secret police, propaganda ministries, opulent buildings for the leadership, and slum housing projects.
*Capitalist: Focus is on productivity and prosperity. Capitalist cities feature buildings such as department stores, skyscrapers, stock markets, corporately-owned condos, and major company headquarters.
*Contemplative: Focus is on spirituality. Buildings include cathedrals, pagodas, monasteries, evangelical centers, megachurches, dojos, and golden statues of Buddha.
*Cyberpunk: A futuristic city built with the use of knowledge and authority, complete with flying cars and holographic sport stadiums.
*Fun City: A city built up entirely of venues to maintain the happiness of its citizens. Buildings include ferris wheels, carnivals, zoos, casinos, water and amusement parks, and candy shops.
*Industrial: Industrial cities are primarily made up of polluting industry, slum housing, high crime, sweatshops, and factories to produce various wares.
*Romantic: Focus is on providing prosperity to the Sims while maintaining cultural and artistic elements. Buildings include concert halls, opera houses, baroque fountains, and cobblestone streets, like Rome, Venice or Edinburgh.
*Small town: Focus is on small town Americana. Buildings include windmills, sheriff stations, butcher shops, corner delis, town houses, and farms.
*Haunted: Hidden profile included as an easter egg. It functions on a smaller scale than other profiles and is built up with buildings including graveyards, asylums, dungeons and haunted houses.
*Normal: An average North American city with no extremes on social energies. Buildings include a mix of buildings from the societies listed above.

Buildings

In "SimCity Societies" there are four types of buildings: power plants, houses, workplaces, and venues. Houses are where citizens live (granted the Sims are not homeless), workplaces are where Sims work (granted the Sims are not unemployed), and venues are places that provide happiness to citizens. Power plants provide power to the city, and generate income. There are also decorations such as plazas and sculptures.

Reception

VG Reviews
1UP = B- [http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3164348]
GameZone = 8.7 of 10 [http://pc.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r32755.htm]
GMaster = 69% [http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/simcitysocieties?q=SimCity%20Societies]
GamePro = 3 out of 5 stars [http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/153208/simcity-societies/]
GI = 8 of 10 [http://gameinformer.com/NR/exeres/73607EF5-DE9B-40F8-9B16-2BBF85FE51C1.htm]
PCZone = 61% [http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/simcitysocieties?q=SimCity%20Societies]
ATrip = 6.1 of 10 [http://www.actiontrip.com/reviews/simcitysocieties.phtml]
GSpot = 6.0 of 10 [http://au.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/simcitysocieties/review.html]
GSpy = 3 of 5 [http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/939939.asp?q=simcity%20societies]
IGN = 5.8 of 10 [http://au.pc.ign.com/articles/834/834720p1.html]
PCGUS = 65% [http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/simcitysocieties?q=SimCity%20Societies]
MC = 62 of 100 [http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/simcitysocieties?q=SimCity%20Societies]
GR = 63% [cite web|url= http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/939939.asp|title=SimCity Societies Reviews|publisher=Game Rankings|accessdate=2008-01-10]
GMS = 6.5 of 10 [http://www.gamestats.com/objects/925/925931/]
MG = 65 of 100 [http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/simcity-societies]
TTR = 2.4978 of 4.0000 [http://games.toptenreviews.com/reviews/g34528.htm]

"SimCity Societies" received both positive and negative reviews. IGN criticized the changes; [cite web|url= http://uk.pc.ign.com/articles/834/834720p1.html|title=SimCity Societies Review|publisher=IGN|accessdate=2007-11-17|date=2007-11-13|last=Butts|first=Steve] GameSpot commented that this version of "SimCity" was a "lackluster spin-off" and cited that the game was “way too easy” with the frame rate being mediocre even on higher-end computers. Other reviews reached as low as 3 out of 10 saying the game had completely gotten rid of the "city feeling". [cite web|url=http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/simcitysocieties/review.html?om_act=convert&om_clk=gssummary&tag=summary;review|title=SimCity Societies for PC Review|publisher=GameSpot|accessdate= 2007-11-17|date=2007-11-16|last=VanOrd|first=Kevin] However, GameZone praised the game for taking the simulation franchise in a "bright and bold direction" and containing "great graphics". [cite web|url=http://pc.gamezone.com/gzreviews/r32755.htm|title=SimCity Societies Review - PC|publisher=GameZone|accessdate=2007-11-17|date=2007-11-13|last=Lafferty|first=Michael] GamePro added that the game has "pretty architecture," but the game is "far too simple" with "some frame rate woes". The review went on to add that the new direction taken by "SimCity Societies" was a good idea, but unsuccessfully implemented.cite web|url=http://gamepro.com/computer/pc/games/reviews/153208.shtml|title=SimCity Societies review|last= Lewis|first=Cameron|date=2007-12-17|publisher=GamePro|accessdate=2008-01-11] Aggregate review sites result in scores of 63% on Game Rankings [cite web|url= http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/939939.asp|title=SimCity Societies Reviews|publisher=Game Rankings|accessdate=2008-01-10] and 62 (out of 100) on Metacritic. [cite web|url=http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/simcitysocieties|title=SimCity Societies (pc: 2007) Reviews|publisher=Metacritic|accessdate=2008-01-10]

In response to criticism a second update was released designed to fix bugs and add new features to the game. [cite web| url=http://simcitysocieties.ea.com/community/forum/messages.php?threadID=6961b673ac13abe8b65c1565ecae2dab&directoryID=214&startRow=1&openItemID=item.214|title=SimCity Societies Second Update|publisher=Electronic Arts|accessdate=2007-12-22] In this update three new modes are introduced into the "Creative play" mode. These modes are, in order, "Basic", "Hardcore", and "Nightmare". Basic mode is the easiest of the three but is more difficult than the most challenging mode from the game's release version. [cite web|url=http://simcitysocieties.ea.com/updates/docs/gameupdate2_en.pdf|title=Game Update #2 Notes|publisher=Electronic Arts|accessdate=2008-03-30|format=PDF] A third update adds a UFO attack, bug fixes, performance improvements, and content from all previous updates. [cite web|url=http://simcitysocieties.ea.com/updates/details.php|title=SimCity Societies Game Update #3|publisher=Electronic Arts|accessdate=2008-03-20] A fourth update added a new disaster called "Monster!" to the game. [cite web|url=http://www.infinitesims.com/content/view/951/1|title=New Monsters Update|publisher=Infinite Sims|accessdate=2008-03-25] A fifth update added further features including six city scenarios and improved building maintenance costs. [cite web|url=http://www.gameborder.com/game/SimCity%20Societies%20Patch/|title=SimCity Societies Patch #5|publisher=GameBorder.com|date=2008-05-23|accessdate=2008-08-13] There are currently no updated reviews of "SimCity Societies" that take into account the changes made in the game through updates.

"SimCity Societies: Destinations"

On June 23, 2008 released the first expansion for "SimCity Societies". The new expansion, "SimCity Societies: Destinations" focuses on a new strategic scene in "SimCity", this time tourism and transportation. [citeweb|url=http://pc.ign.com/articles/853/853951p1.html|title=EA Announces First City Pack for "SimCity Societies", "SimCity Societies Destinations"|publisher=IGN|date=2008-02-21|accessdate=2008-03-20]

References

External links

* [http://simcity.ea.com/ Official SimCity portal]
* [http://info.ea.com/news/pr/pr951.pdf Official Electronic Arts press release] dated June 12 2007


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