City Builders 2: SimCity (2013)

Jumping ahead around 20 years, (really 1993 – 2013) we have the latest in the SimCity series. (Don’t worry we’ll get to some of the others soon.

I really looked forward to this game, and I know it goes against the grain, but I wasn’t super upset with it when it came out. Granted I didn’t try to play it on day one so by the time I got around to it, the server issues were minimized. (I also never played SimCity 4).  First though, Ambiance:

So, like last time I picked a region and started a city. Then I promptly forgot to take any screenshots for a half hour and suddenly I got this message.

City is broke alert. You must do something before you can play again.
I’ve actually never gotten this message before.

So quit and started a new region. Eventually remembered to take screenshots here. (Sorry!)

Rolling hills, little town in the distance, awkward elevation changes. doesn’t do hills very well.

Unlike in SimCity2000, you don’t need industry right away, just houses and commercial. However There was a huge plot of oil in this game and I wanted the money from that to prevent running out of money again. That requires 7 industrial buildings before you can “plop” the oil drills.

Here’s sort of the base shape of my city. The wind flows from the water and the oil patch is directly right of the residential district.

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My long term plan in this city is to have the main road through town go just behind the wind plant and industrial area. But for now, there’s a baby road running from the main street to the residential area by the lake, ocean? I’m not sure what it is.

I went for an every exciting “grid” pattern. Eventually to relieve the single traffic point, I ended up connecting every other road of this residential area to the “main” road. But connecting them all would have been a traffic nightmare.

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I like the rolling hills of this little town.

Whatever people might say about “always online” “terrible traffic” “tiny maps” or whatever. It’s a very viscerally satisfying game. Things snap into place, you can watch the power go to each house, and I’ll spend hours watching the garbage trucks collect.

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They get out of the truck and “collect” the garbage cans! I could follow them forever.

Traffic is a bit of an issue in SimCity2000, you can click on the roads to see how much traffic is flowing through and get an ideas with the number of cars how a stretch of road is doing. But the tunnel that connected my industry to my town, never a bottleneck. Here we get nice color graphic to let us know if our streets work or not.

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This was when I first decided to connect more than a single point. Traffic eventually evened out fairly nicely.

Finally it was time for our main money maker. The Oil.

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Oil! So much oil.

Money was never going to be an issue in this game. Or so I thought. I ended up taking out one loan soon after this as my town had slight fire problem. I lost about four industrial buildings and two commerical.2016-01-31 13_44_09-SimCity™

Although the oil does bring in a lot of money, I didn’t want both my commercial and industrial districts to go up in smoke while I waited. And watched.

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They raised their flag, and the fire engine went screaming down the road where it proceded to block all traffic into town and failed to save a single building. On the plus side, it did prevent further spread of the fire.

Budgets are a lot easier to read in this game. You get to see all three revenue streams and (eventually) set the taxes different for each type. I’m not making $3 a year anymore! Yay.

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With the oil wells running, it was time to step up my city and start expanding. So as not to die from grid boredom, I went with curved roads for the next neighborhood. The hole in the middle is the oil fields.

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It kind of worked out…there were a lot of blank spaces where the houses fought for space so my roads were quite far enough out. Later I went through and added parks (nature and sports) to increase the value of the area to middle class. They went in the spaces where houses weren’t being built.

Last week when I was playing SimCity2000, I couldn’t remember if this game had disasters or not. I don’t remember them being a big thing, then I got my “newspaper” alert.

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Oh yeah…Let’s watch!

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That was it. One house destroyed. Phew. I now remember having zombie outbreaks as well in this game which overload the hospitals.

And that’s it, an hour of gameplay. We didn’t get near the megatowers, futuristic upgrades, or anything. (Then again we didn’t get to Arcologies in the last game – or were those in 3000?) But I’m sure we’re “well” on our way. Oil will be our ticket to plastics and money. (We use wind power ourselves, so everything we dig is for export. This is kind of a blue color town, at least until the oil is tapped out. Neighboring towns can venture into other aspects.

2016-01-31 14_16_53-SimCity™That’s something it takes a bit of time to get used to, these towns are really meant to be played together, each one specializing on one or two things, sharing people and resources. So you could have an entirely residential/commercial town next to a huge industrial complex. You can also have each town be self-sufficient, but it’s not designed for that, not really. It’s almost impossible for a single town to unlock everything (you run out of room!).

Overall, I find the game fun to play for a couple days, but not really something that steals hours of my time. The fun is limited and every time I play the game I end up starting a new city. Sadly I don’t have any shots of cities that I worked on back in 2013 when I played this game more than I do today, and since I had to reinstall the game, none of the cities were available either.

If you’re curious Quill18 has 71 video’s in his Let’s Play on this. He’s a bit more aware of how games are built, and very strategical. Feel free to check it out for tips and tricks and thoughts from back when this game was new.


  1. “Overall, I find the game fun to play for a couple days, but not really something that steals hours of my time.”


    I was really excited when this game came out too! I spent hours upon hours, day and months on my cities. But, in this game, it just didn’t have that stickiness for me. I think it’s too difficult to manage. Like, in a way, the game is sooooooo much more easier. Just plop some zones, sit back, and let her rip. But, the game always always always gets to a point where things become unmanageable to me—or maybe I just don’t know how to play anymore lol. I always get to the point where the citizens are really upset about EVERYTHING and I can’t fix anything without breaking something else. Crime gets too rampant, so I blow the budget on police. Health takes a nose dive, so I blow the budget on clinics. Times need to evolve and jobs want educated people, so I increase the education budget which is always very high. I can’t win lol. One of these days, I’m going to play and actually take my time with it. I always try to in the beginning, but the people’s complaints make me anxious lol. I’ve always thought that if I just focus on building up a really strong budget in the beginning and not concentrate on adding a bunch of stuff, maybe I would put myself in a better position down the line. But, to do that, I’m gonna have to ignore everyone’s requests initially. They won’t be happy with me, but at least the town won’t be broke!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I find the slower you build the better in this game, but it’s definitely set up to make you blow your budget quickly. The catch is once, say, crime is rampant you need a lot of police to catch them all and fix that – but then it’s too much for normal city life. So once crime is contained you have to defund or destroy some of it. And also believe that 2 deaths a day isn’t a terrible health crisis despite the citizens whining. Cuz the moment they get 1 death a day or one crime, they start panicking!

      But yeah…fun to play for a bit – and maybe fun to play a combo city with friends and chat…but not a soul-sucking game.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That was really fun–makes me think about playing… My ideal would be Sims + SimCity.So I could build and manage the city, then zoom in and play the Sims, then zoom out to build and manage a bit more.

    And thanks for sharing the lovely music! I wanted to get out my cello and play along! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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