Reviewed on PC


Reviewed By: Carole Steward McDonnell

Computer Platform: PC, MAC
Produced by: Maxis
Price Range: $15-40
Learning curve time: 45 min.
Age level: 8+

Genre: Simulation
Christian Rating: 5 of 5
   (nothing offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 5 of 5
Adult Content: 5 of 5

The adult or child who wants to build a city but who finds “SimCity” too daunting might want to try “SimTown”. As in the various version of “SimCity” and like other simulation games such as “Civilization”, uses of resources and cause and effect are present in “SimTown”. And as always, Simpeople are notoriously hard to please. But in “SimTown” the world and empire building is scaled down to neighborhood proportions. The animation is more immediate and more whimsical. Consider the fact that in “SimTown”, we know our Simpeople by name and we can always keep track of them, little dogs race while boys and girls play in the street. In “SimCity”, the parks are created at a distance, almost as an aside. In “SimTown”, each flower and stone and fern is lovingly planted. Homes are of differing styles, Tudor, cottage, Japanese Modern; buildings are not divided into "commercial, industrial and residential buildings", instead a child has the option of building hospitals, zoos, pizzerias, Chinese restaurants, etc. Everything is brought down to a personal scale.

There is nothing offensive in this game. Kids will learn about what makes a city work and they will understand why a city doesn't work. Sure, the Simpeople complaint a lot, but Simpeople are generally hard to please. An extra Chinese restaurant, a new road, a new place to work and lower taxes generally helps the situation. As mayor of his city, your child can fix things quite easily. And if not, he can always delete the failing Simtown and build a new one. The game teaches perseverance and the child learns by trial and error. As such, it's a great example of learning from our mistakes. If your child doesn't mind thinking through a problem, this is certainly a fun way to learn that "Practice makes perfection…or something close to perfection" and "Rome was not built in a day."

Year of Release—1995

A fun little game that has cartoonish graphics. Fun to go inside people's houses and see what they do. Definitely not the funnest game, but it does pretty well. The only thing that suffers is the sound. I suggest buying SimCity if you're interested in building towns and cities. My Ratings: [5/4]
   —Chris Jurewicz, age 12

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