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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that SimCity Deluxe is a new, improved version of the SimCity app that was previously available for iPhone/iPod Touch. It replaces the original, which is no longer available through the iTunes app store. The game charges you with building a city from the ground up, plotting out streets and blocks, constructing buildings, supplying power, even zoning for commercial, industrial, or residential occupancy. Handling disasters is also part of the game, and kids may see their cities destroyed (or at least damaged) by fires, floods, and the like.
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Is it any good?
SIMCITY DELUXE takes what was already a very good mobile app and fixes almost anything that you might have had a complaint about. The graphics are better, the buttons are bigger, zooming and scanning across the large playing area are much easier to do, etc. At the heart, the gameplay is the same -- you build and run a city, dealing with the needs of its citizens as well as various natural hurdles the Earth throws in your direciton -- but there are many more options and features to be tried here. One neat new addition lets you try to recreate famous cities from world history, including one with an Ancient Egyptian theme, where you'll be building pyramids instead of skyscrapers. Seasons will also change now, and bring new challenges with them. Mission-based play -- in which you might have to prep your city to host an Olympics-sized sporting event or guide your citizens through surviving a heat wave -- provides plenty of reason to play over and over again.