My Sim City 5 (2013) Review & My New Sim City Story

simcity 2013I wanted to create a new region to develop a story around, and I came across the new Sim City 2013 game. I’ve long been a fan of the Sim City games, since Sim City 2000, I loved seeing the detailed graphics I saw on YouTube Gameplay videos and new stuff in SC2013, I finally tried the free trial this morning. I thought since I’ll be creating a story based around my city, I’d write a SC:2013 game review for my book blog.

I own Sim City 2000, Sim City 3000, and Sim City 4 and played the games on my free time from school or work. I like games but I’m not a huge gamer. Aside from the Super Mario games, Sim City is the game I play most. So, naturally, after discovering and researching the new Sim City 2013, known now as just Sim City (TM) or Sim City Reboot, I knew I had to buy it and add it to my collection! I read a few reviews and came across a bunch of scathing ones, so I researched it more on YouTube and video game review blogs and decided to try the free trial before I bought it — IF I would buy it.

I began with the “Getting Started” scenario in a city called Summer Shoals and plotted residential (house), commercial (businesses and shops), and industrial (factories) zones, then an extra classroom for the local school, plopped down a fire station, a sewage system, and exported city trash to a neighbor city by truck.

I liked how I could view the city’s beautiful buildings by following the garbage truck driving the roads of the city. I “asked” the opinion of a pedestrian who worked for Perry Accounting and was walking home after pay day to their apartment trying to decide how to spend his cash. I updated my HD graphics driver before starting the game however, although the graphics are pretty, the game play was slow. I had to adjust the texture, and animation, and lighting to “low” and still the game play was slow. I was able to view the city in multiple angles, including do a 360 degree around any given building or mountain, and even see the sky and sun!

I learned a lot about how the new Sim City (2013) works. However, being a veteran Sim City player, it didn’t take long for me to get into the nitty gritty and play my own city. To start with, I had to decide if I wanted to create a region in a mountainous terrain or island — I only had 2 out of 12 (or so) options on the free trial. I chose the island region just to try out things like build bridges, ports, see how industries polluted nearby lakes and rivers, and build road up mountains, and see if my sims would get happy about living in my city. I played my new city for a shorter time (40 minutes), as police, bus stations, and schools all had to be approved. I liked how I could build new units onto wind power plants and classrooms to schools, but building new zones was troublesome. The game would not let me build 15 squares along the same road, only 3. Another thing I didn’t like about the game was not being able to build square zones — you could only make zones 1 single line along roads. You also do not have to build water pipes for your buildings, something I personally enjoyed doing in older Sim City games because I felt like I was helping my citizen Sims by building them plumbing 🙂

Overall, I was disappointed in the new game — a game we got 10 years after Sim City 4. The buildings were more detailed, but what I enjoyed more was the the ability to see the city in so many points of view, including 360 degrees, helicopter or satellite view, and even watch the beautiful sun rise from a mountainside. However the graphics also slowed down the game significantly. I liked the variety of roads, including the curvy roads, versus the orthogonal roads traditional with Sim City 2, 3, and 4. I also liked the ability to specialize a city to a High-tech, trade, gambling, or resort city. At the same time, I could not terraform my own region or build neighboring cities adjacent from my main city. The game does not allow players to in/decrease the tax rates to decimal percentages to encourage or discourage people, business or factories. Out of the 4 hours of game time, I used 2 hours and 10 minutes. I will probably end up buying it because I’m a hardcore Sim City fan, and plus it’s cheap (at around $30). In conclusion, I think it’s a fun game to create your own city and see its citizens come to life, but not for more serious sim city builders.

If you didn’t want to read all that here are my thoughts in a nutshell:


  • more detailed graphics
  • following a truck or car unit along the road and seeing the city’s beautiful buildings
  • farther zooming into street level and see windows on buildings and pedestrians walking, criminals robbing banks
  • view citizen or pedestrian opinions about city life
  • adding units to schools and power plants like an extra classroom or wind power plant unit
  • 360 degree city viewing at any given point
  • city specializations


  • cannot drive in the city (like Rush Hour on Sim City 4)
  • pre-selected regions and city placement
  • cannot build cities adjacent to other cities
  • cannot terraform your own region
  • not as realistic terrain as Sim City 4
  • cannot increase or reduce taxes by decimal points
  • unrealistic city building scenario
  • cannot zone residential, commercial, industrial in larger square shaped areas

OVERALL RATING:            4/10

I’m not blessed with a whole lot of free time, however, I am writing a NaNo Novel this summer, and I decided I will be writing a story based on my region for Camp NaNoWriMo – reduce my word goal to 30,000 words, because I’ll be posting a lot of pictures of my city. I will blog more about my NaNo story later this week. I haven’t posted any entries yet, however, I will be updating my story on my city journal which you can find here.

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