SimCity

SimCity was a groundbreaking game. It was the first that had no end, no defined goal, that you could not win (though you could lose, if you ran out of money). It was also the first game where the map itself became the object of the game, instead of being a more or less immutable board where the players moved their pieces. It spawned off a whole new genre. Classics like Sid Meier's Civilisation or the City Builder Series, yes, even the whole real-time strategy genre would most likely not exist without it.

Maxis themselves liked to call their games "software toys":

When you play with our toys, you set your own goals and decide for yourself when you've reached them. The fun and challenge of playing with our toys lies in exploring the worlds you create out of your own imagination. You're rewarded for creativity, experimentation, and understanding, with a healthy, thriving universe to call your own.

Versions

The publication history of the first SimCity game is somewhat confusing. These are the version I know to exist:

Commodore 64

SimCity Commodore 64 screenshot.

This is not a port, but Will Wright's original development and demo version. It lacked several of the features of the finished game, like budget and disasters, but had a water supply system that would reappear only in SimCity 2000.

Macintosh

According to some sources, this version was released before the others. There were two different ones, one for black & white Macs, and one for color Macintosh II, sold seperately. You can see screenshots of both versions. Over the years, many patches were issued for this version, the most important being 1.4 (1992, introduced 16-color graphics) and 2.0 (PPC compatibility, 256-color support, music?). The 2.0 patch is still available from ftp.ea.com.

IBM PC

There were probably more PC versions than for any other platform:

  1. The DOS version from 1989. It supported Hercules, CGA (hi-res monochrome only), EGA, and Tandi graphics, in some versions possibly VGA/MCGA hi-res monochrome (11h) too. 16-color hi-res EGA (12h) had the highest system requirements, needing not only 256kB video RAM, but also the full 640kB main RAM. On a 512k machine, the choice between hi-res monochrome (Fh) and 16-color lo-res (Dh) remained. The only sound card supported was the Covox Soundmaster. You can play it under Windows without any problems, except that it does not recognize Windows mousedrivers. You have to load a DOS driver. Playing it without a mouse is painful.
  2. SimCity for Windows, 1992.
  3. SimCity Classic for DOS, 1993. It supported VGA and had all the sound effects used in SimCity 2000, and music.
  4. SimCity Enhanced, the Multimedia CD version with SVGA graphics from 1994.
  5. SimCity Classic for Windows, 1996. It added sound and music, and came with the DOS terrain editor.

Screenshots

Amiga

SimCity Amiga, 16 colors.   SimCity Amiga, 64 colors (EHB).

Along with Mac and PC, this was one of the original versions by Maxis themselves. There are two versions: one had 16-color graphics and could run on a 512k Amiga, the other used EHB for 64 colors and required 1MB RAM. Only the 1MB version had the capability to utilize the graphic sets from the Architecture packs.

Atari ST

SimCity Atari ST title screen.   SimCity Atari ST gameplay screenshot.

Released 1990. It was done by Infogrames and is not, as sometimes stated, a port of the Amiga version. It is oriented on the Macintosh version and fully used the ST's GEM interface.

Other Systems

A NES version was planned, but cancelled. According to the defunct planetnintendo.com (former GameSpy's coverage of the Nintendo platforms):

SimCity was originally going to be released simultaneously on the NES and the SNES, as Nintendo had acquired the licensing rights to develop console SimCity games. The two versions would be almost identical aside for some slight graphical and musical alterations to compensate for the NES's age. However, it seems the NES version was dropped at the last minute, perhaps to promote the new console with its exclusive software.
The SimCity Games
SimCity C64 ZX Amiga Atari ST DOS W16 Mac   SNES 89
SimCity 2000     Amiga   DOS W16 Mac   SNES 93
SimCity Classic         DOS        
SimCity Enhanced         DOS         94
SimCity 2000 Network Edition           W32       96
SimCopter           W32      
Streets of SimCity           W32       97
SimCity 3000           W32 Mac Linux   99
SimCity 4           W32 Mac     03

SimCity Architecture

While the original SimCity never had the ability to import your own graphic sets, a few tilesets were offered by Maxis. So far I have found evidence of them only for Amiga and PC.

  1. Ancient Cities: Ancient Asia, Middle Age, Wild West
  2. Future Cities: USA 2055, EEC 2155, Moon Base
  3. Terrain Editor

Links