SimCity Societies - updated impressions

Oct 25, 2007

How difficult can it be to stimulate an economy and please everybody all the time? The original SimCity games tasked you with making a healthy dose of greenbacks by increasing the population and number of buildings despite the occasional tornado or Godzilla mucking things up. Not so in SimCity Societies, EA's radical reinvention of the franchise. Rather than crafting only one type of burg to rack up cash and Mayoral popularity, EA has given you the tools to erect a city with a soul.

Before you could only build a city that was hardly distinguishable from other creations; something that was bland, shiny and looked virtually like downtown Los Angeles (read: soulless). Societies offers six values, or "Societal Energies" that will shape a type of city you're aiming to create. Using values such as Productivity, Prosperity, Creativity, Spirituality, Authority and Knowledge, you can create unique cities with different cultures and appearances. So, it's possible to build your envisioned cyberpunk landscape or oppress your residents Big-Brother style.

It's not necessary to dabble in each Energy value however, as focusing on specific areas will create particular kinds of cities. In addition to these values, you'll still need to populate your city in order to bring money in. The larger the population, the more workplaces you'll need. Makes sense, right? However, in a slight twist, you'll need to care about your Sims' happiness so they'll get their lazy asses to work.