SimCity Societies (2007)

by Christopher
6 minutes read


SimCity Societies breaks new ground by allowing players to craft cities defined by their cultural and societal choices. With its focus on diversity and innovation, it invites players to explore the complexities of society building in a way no game in the series has before.


SimCity Societies stands out in the city-building genre by allowing players to craft not just the structures of their cities, but their very souls. This 2007 installment challenges players to think beyond zoning and traffic flow, encouraging them to envision the kind of society they wish to cultivate.


SimCity Societies, released in 2007, is a city-building simulation video game developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts. It is part of the renowned SimCity series but introduces a significantly different gameplay with a greater focus on social development.

Unlike its predecessors, SimCity Societies combines the genre of social-engineering with that of city-building. This unique blend was introduced to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for new players. The game developers aimed to create a unique gaming experience by allowing players to develop their ideal society.

The gameplay of SimCity Societies is less focused on “stricter city-planner roles” and more on “social-engineering”. The complexity of the game was reduced by removing the need to lay pipes and power grids. The zoning feature, a staple in previous SimCity games, was also removed. Instead, players simply build whichever buildings they want.

In SimCity Societies, each building has an effect on citizens’ behavior. The adviser system of previous SimCity games was replaced, with a city’s status instead indicated to the player by the behavior of citizens. There is also an awards system to give players access to new buildings and other features when they meet certain goals.

The game introduces six “societal values” which determine the attributes of a city: productivity, prosperity, creativity, spirituality, authority, and knowledge. Focusing on a certain “societal value” can change the visual appearance of a city. For instance, the authority “societal value” can result in security cameras appearing on buildings. These “societal values” can also affect what buildings are unlocked by the player.

SimCity Societies is “fully customizable” and allows the player to customize individual buildings, decorations, citizens, and game rules. The building specs are stored in XML files for easy modification. A version of BAT was planned, though it did not ship with the game.

Despite the changes to the original series formula, SimCity Societies received mixed reviews. It was praised for its improved accessibility and visuals, but criticized for being oversimplified and having poor performance.

SimCity Societies represents a significant departure from the traditional SimCity gameplay. By focusing on social development and reducing complexity, it offers a unique and accessible city-building experience. Despite the mixed reviews, it remains a noteworthy entry in the SimCity series.


While SimCity Societies does not feature characters in the traditional sense, the citizens themselves reflect the diversity of societies players can create. Each societal choice influences the population’s behavior, needs, and happiness, essentially making the society itself the game’s protagonist.


The gameplay of SimCity Societies is centered around choosing and placing buildings that align with one of several societal values, such as productivity, prosperity, creativity, spirituality, authority, and knowledge. These choices affect the city’s development and the behavior of its citizens, introducing a strategic layer to the city-building experience.


SimCity Societies represents a bold experiment in the city-building genre, broadening the scope of what such games can be about. While not without its flaws, it offers a unique experience that encourages creativity and reflection on the values that underpin our communities.

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