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February 7, 2001
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 Overall Score: *92*ESRB Rating: Everyone (E)

SimCity 3000 Unlimited 

by Maxis  Reviewed by: Barak Tutterrow  


ScreenshotOverview

Step into the shoes of the mayor of your own simulated city once again with SimCity 3000 Unlimited. The "Unlimited" at the end of the title is a subtle way of telling us that this game contains all that we loved about 1999's release of SimCity 3000, while packing it full of goodies to reinvigorate the series until the release of SimCity 4000. With new artistic touches (two new building sets and new world landmarks), new challenges (four new disasters as well as added scenarios), and new expandability (a building creation tool and a scenario creator) there is even more to love.

Gameplay, Controls, Interface

If you're familiar with SimCity 3000, or SC 2000, or even the original for that matter, you should have a basic understanding of how gameplay in SC3KU (my goodness, that's a long acronym) works. As the mayor of your city, you zone areas, install utilities, build roads, and construct building to protect your citizens (or at least bring in profit). Little SimCitizens will start flocking to your city as long as you make your domain livable. Adding spice, four new disasters are included along with the original five, to frustrate the efforts of your well-planned city. As with most Maxis games, SimCity 3000 contains no real predefined goals, which can completely stress-out certain goal-oriented people. SC3KU helps calm their psychosis, by providing 13 scenarios that can actually be completed. These range from protecting your city from a locust horde to reuniting East and West Berlin. And, if you've beaten all those, you can download or create your own scenarios to keep you up all night long.

ScreenshotGraphics

I can't honestly say that the graphics in SC3KU are stupendous, but they do get the job done. Little people walking, riding bicycles and driving cars populate your city, making it seem lively and interesting. The skyscrapers are impressive and normally everything is detailed enough to differentiate one building from another. This upgraded version includes two new building sets (one Asian and one European, beside the standard American style) that help extend the graphic palate. You can also use the Building Architect Plus tool that comes with the game to design your own buildings to use and share over the Internet. Obviously, it isn't easy to create well-designed, attractive buildings, but you needn't fret because, besides the many user-created buildings on the Internet, there are 95 world landmarks you can sprinkle into your landscape to add civic color.

Audio

The music tracks are surprisingly well done. They remain in the background while still adding a little toe-tapping to the game. The sound effects aren't very memorable; simply utilitarian in representing the buildings you've created.

System Requirements

Windows 95 or 98, 166 MHZ processor, 32 MB RAM, 4x CD/DVD-ROM, 450 MB free disk space, and a 2 MB PCI or AGP video card.

ScreenshotBottom Line

If you have ever played any SimCity game, you most likely know how addictive they can be. After stumbling to bed early in the morning, I can attest to the fact that this one carries on the tradition with style and substance. If you have never played a SimCity game, here is the place to start, with both linear and non-linear gameplay that will keep you busy for hours. If you already have SimCity 3000 and are wondering if it is worth the upgrade, I would also recommend SC3KU, for not only are you going to receive plenty of extras to keep you busy, but you can send in for a $10 rebate. No matter how you look at it, SimCity 3000 Unlimited is a city full of fun.

Review Posted On 7 August 2000.

 
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