SimCity 4



City building sim offers great entertainment & education.
Popular with kidsParents recommend

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This game teaches kids that cities are complex and that problems are complicated but through hard work, can be resolved.

Ease of play

While this game has a steep learning curve, the tutorials help.


Disasters such as tornados, fires, earthquakes, and even giant robots can wreck havoc on your city.

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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that players have the ability to bring down a massive series of disasters (such as tornadoes, fires, earthquakes) to reduce their cities to rubble.

What's it about?

SIMCITY 4 carries on the tradition of the SimCity series by allowing you to be the all-powerful mayor of your own city. Start with a 100,000 simoleons (Sim-style dollars) and a city name. Zone land for people and jobs; plan roads, the water system, and the energy network; trade with nearby cities; establish schools, hospitals, and emergency services; create parks and gardens. Plant trees, create parks, and plan community gardens.

Graphs, charts, and maps aid you in your decisions, as does listening to your Sims, a major new element in the game. You can name individual Sims, decide where they will live, and then observe how your city-level decisions affect them. Place a school near your Sim and they have a better chance at getting a higher-paying job; poor health care means your Sim could get sick and even die.

Is it any good?


Who would have guessed running a city could be so challenging, yet so fun? Your city is surprisingly resilient and the game is forgiving as you learn how to make your city a better place to live. You cannot help but learn some of the mechanics of politics, economics, geography, and ecology. For example, you can see the positive impact of a well-designed mass-transit system -- how it affects congestion, pollution, and the quality of life -- but you also see its cost.

There is one violent element: disasters, which can be brought on either by random acts determined by the game or by the player. Tornadoes, fires, earthquakes, and even giant robots can wreak havoc on your city. The game may not communicate the emotional impact of disasters very wel l-- something you may want to address as your children play the game.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how these disasters may affect the people who live in the cities.

Game details

Available online?Not available online
Developer:Electronic Arts
Release date:October 7, 2003
ESRB rating:E for (Windows)

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byTermiteruler November 22, 2010

Great City Simulator

This is a great, fun, and engaging game. You build cities, ground up, into massive metropolises. You are pretty much the mayor, and control everything from water to education. Depending on your standards, this game can be pretty difficult. Balancing a city budget is hard to do, and it's always a pressing matter. You can immerse yourself into your city by driving around in it and doing missions to benefit your city. Your cities will trade with each other, and your region will grow. If you're bored, you can send down a giant robot or a tornado to tear up the city. Seeing buildings collapse is about as bad as the content goes for this game. I enjoyed it a lot, a must for the creative.
Teen, 16 years old Written bynhrihjnbofnhbia April 9, 2008

how can you rate this

in my opinion this game cant even be rated
Teen, 13 years old Written byBig-D April 9, 2008

i laughed

i think it is very good


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