SimCity (1989)

by Nish
7 minutes read


SimCity (1989) is a pioneering city-building simulation game that introduced players to the challenges and joys of urban planning, setting the standard for the genre with its innovative gameplay and lasting impact.


SimCity, also known as SimCity Classic, is a groundbreaking city-building simulation game that set the standard for the genre.


SimCity, first released in 1989, is a groundbreaking city-building simulation game designed by Will Wright.

The idea for SimCity came from various sources. Wright was inspired when he spent more time creating maps for Raid on Bungeling Bay than playing the game. He also cites “The Seventh Sally”, a short story by Stanislaw Lem, as an inspiration for the game. The first version of the game was completed on the Commodore 64 in 1985. Wright spent four years trying to find a publisher. Many major publishers, including Brøderbund, were hesitant due to the innovative gameplay of SimCity. Finally, Maxis agreed to sell it as one of their two initial games.

In SimCity, players build a city without a specific goal, so the player can’t win or lose. The player can zone areas as residential, commercial, or industrial, add buildings, adjust the tax rate, construct power lines, and build roads, among other things. Depending on how the player builds his city, people will move to his city or leave. As the population grows, the player must accommodate their needs. In certain versions of SimCity, players get rewards for having a large population.

Players will sometimes have to face disasters such as giant fires and earthquakes. They can happen randomly or can be purposely triggered by the player. In scenarios, disasters occur at predetermined moments. Not all disasters were available in every version of SimCity.

Scenarios were included as a different way to play SimCity. Rather than having no goals and as much time as the player wanted, scenarios gave the player a goal and a time limit. Scenarios in SimCity replicated a real city and sometimes a real event. As with the disasters, not all scenarios were available with every version of SimCity.

SimCity was independently developed by Will Wright, beginning in 1985. The game was not released until 1989. Because the game lacked any arcade or action elements that dominated the video game market in the 1980s, video game publishers declined to release the title for fear of its commercial failure until Broderbund eventually agreed to distribute it. Although the game initially sold poorly, positive feedback from the gaming press boosted its sales. After becoming a best-seller, SimCity was released on several other platforms, most notably on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1991. Its gameplay was significantly revised with Nintendo’s involvement. SimCity sold 300,000 units for personal computers and nearly 2 million units for the SNES.


While there are no characters in the traditional sense, players interact with advisors and citizens who provide feedback on city management.


SimCity offers a sandbox experience with open-ended gameplay, allowing players to create their cities from scratch using zoning tools, budget management, and urban planning strategies.


SimCity remains a classic in the city-building genre, offering a timeless experience that continues to inspire players and developers alike.

Review Score



Cover Art


Fan Art

Fan Art Style: Normal

Fan Art Style: Retro

Fan Art Style: Modern

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More