The year is 1994 (maybe 1995), imagine a little high school raerei in the house library with our family’s single computer. A Macintosh performa 360. Playing one of the few games that were available on a mac at that time.
Music for ambiance:
Simcity 2000 is my first city builder and therefore perfect for the start of my Friday Thing City Builders!
When this game was cheap on Origin, I snatched it up for the nostalgia. I think we had SimCity. But this was the game I played until the wee hours of the morning. It’s a hard game to play these days. either up-sampled on my giant monitor or locked into a tiny 600 pixel screen (which is why my screenshots are so small. I played for just under an hour.
But here it is: Raereiville!
Remember newspapers? Yeah – they don’t even deliver them in TS4 these days. But back in the 90s, you got them from time to time and could see kind of how your city was doing and even click on all the little stories.
The humor in this game!! I’m glad Sims still has a bit of it’s humor. Half the news are vaugly real-world related, half are just bizarre, and the rest are game-related.
Okay, let’s get started. The first step in any city builder is roads and power. Since I started in 1900, I could only pick coal, oil, and hydro for my power. None are great options, and without a good waterfall, hydro was out. I picked coal…cuz it’s cheaper than oil and I like pollution?
And yes, it took me a “game” year (set at llama speed) to remember how to find the power plants. Click on the “power lines” icon and you get a drop down with the lines and the plants. All the icons have drop down menus on them with more options.
I also zoned some industrial. When you start, you need a lot of industry to attract the folks, then houses to live in, then shops and stuff. Yellow is the industrial color for a lot of these games. I wonder, did it start with the first SimCity or even earlier? You can see your city’s zoning needs in the tiny RCI chart in the tool bar (the green is residential, blue commercial, and yellow industrial).
I went wild and crazy and decided to TUNNEL to the nearby lake for my main town, leaving the industrial area over by the edge of the map since it pollutes. Sorry Villa, you get my pollutions, mwhahaha!
Sadly the power lines are visible (for now) over the mountain. They are erased when buildings pop up. But until you zone and get buildings you need them on the surface.
In this game you also need to water to all your buildings. Pumps are used to get the water, water towers to store it, and pipes (which are automatically laid down when buildings pop up) are needed to cross streets and long building-less districts.
If you run out of water the buildings become abandoned. Unfortunately often doesn’t tell you so you turn around and half your town is black and dead. Is it power? Is it water? Is it Godzilla? Who knows? Certainly not I?
Here you can adjust how much you pay for things and see how much you’re making and spending. I was making 62 a year in taxes in 1907 and my expenses was only 2. Sadly My budget did not remain that good.
Sometimes the citizens “demand” things – usually expensive things.
And once you satisfy their need for police…they just want more. By 1914, I was down to 9k and now they wanted fire protection.
I did however build out the lake front quite nicely, I think. half of it is low residential (the small houses) and half is high residential. Bordered with commercial and the annoying demanded Police Station.
You can turn disasters on in case running out of money isn’t your main problem. (Lol). You can also turn them off. I didn’t and in 1919 disaster struct the tiny land of RaereiVille.
Luckily the earthquake wasn’t centered in my town so no buildings were destroyed or set on fire. Which is good cuz as you can see by my newspaper headlines, I still hadn’t given them fire protection! Poor little citizens of Raereiville.
I stopped playing in 1926. That’s still very very early in the game. I was down to only 7k in the bank. But I had a pretty nice “lake city” in the works. And the annoying fire station and hospital. They were spoiled which was why I was out of money. Next up would be either to expand the main town in the valley, or perhaps expand up the hills. I also was running out of industry room. So I’d need to find a safe place for my polluters to expand to as well, if I were to continue playing.
You can do a lot more with this game if you play longer. They also have scenarios you can play or other cities you can load up that are pre-made. And funny story, looking through the games, I caught a familiar name: Bridgeport.
This is Bridgeport.
And with that I leave you with my first city builder game.