A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that players can destroy the cities they have created by using natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms, and meteor showers. Sims -- the city's inhabitants -- can become unhappy to the point where they turn to crime. Also, they can become drunk from visiting bars and liquor stores that the player can build. Overall, however, these instances are rare, and in most cases are controlled by the player.
What's it about?
Instead of managing taxes, energy distribution, and expenses, players need to keep an eye on two main things in SIMCITY SOCIETIES: the happiness of their citizens (\"Sims\") and six \"Societal Values,\" which include productivity, prosperity, creativity, spirituality, authority, and knowledge. Different buildings either produce or use one or more of the values, so players need to balance the types of workplaces and homes they choose. Venues are places that provide happiness to Sims and can range from baseball parks and pubs to haunted houses and strip malls.
Is it any good?
The SimCity series has long been known as a relatively challenging city simulation game with plenty of educational opportunities in city planning and administration. SIMCITY SOCIETIES breaks radically from that tradition and focuses on aesthetics. It is great-looking game (although the graphics can get really bogged down as the city grows). The sound effects and music are well done.
Fans of the previous SimCity games will find this version a letdown because it has so few objectives. It's nearly impossible to run out of money, Sims are generally happy as long as the player builds enough venues, and the only goals consist of a handful of awards and medals easily met after a few hours of play. It is also easy to pick up and play -- which will have a greater appeal to a casual or younger gamer. This is an entry-level game for young children with no previous city-building simulation experience.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.