Forgot password?  |  Register  |    
User Name:     Password:    
Blog - General Entry   

Retro Review: Sim City (SNES)

On 10/10/2020 at 10:09 AM by The Last Ninja

See More From This User »


This launch game for SNES proved that the console had more to offer than expected 

Will Wright’s Sim City was a huge hit on home computers in the late 80s, so it was quite surprising when the game was announced for the brand-new SNES. This was actually the very first home console port of the game. No doubt the game was meant to appeal more to adults, as this is a much more methodical and relaxing game, offering some thinking and strategy that most kids would not be able to perform. Of course, the game is also simple enough that kids could come to understand the main concepts and enjoy it for themselves. Let’s analyze this classic and see if it still holds up. 

pic 1

The gameplay is solid, although there is a learning curve here. At first you might not understand what to do, but once you understand, it’s a lot of fun. There are a lot of aspects to running a city, as this game shows. There are three main zones to construct—residential, commercial, and industrial. Balancing these three is key. You have to first put down a power plant and then connect power lines to each of the zones. You also have to connect roads or railways in order for travel. Along the way, you’ll have to balance the budget, take care of taxes, listen to the residents, and handle pollution. It sounds like work, but it’s all very fun, especially when you figure out how it all works. Also, the controls work well. The user interface offers everything you need. It would have been nice to be able to use the SNES mouse, but this game pre-dated the accessory. Still, the game is made with the d-pad in mind, and it’s not a problem to use it. 

pic 2

This is a very colorful game. When you start, you choose a map, and they vary—some have more water, or more trees, or whatever. As you construct your city, the sprites are very small, but when they are put together, they make a very nice looking city. Tall sky scrapers, smoking factories, tiny houses, and little vehicles moving between areas—it’s all quite adorable. 

The game actually offers you guidance as you need it in the form of Mr. Wright, a green-haired man who shows up every now and then to tell you something useful (and he helps lend some personality to the game too). There is a practice mode, which is very useful for first time players, as it tells you exactly what to do. If you jump into making a city without understanding what to do, you’ll find yourself in trouble pretty quick. What’s amazing about Sim City is the fact that it actually teaches you about infrastructure, taxes, pollution, and the like. Of course, managing these in real life would be much more difficult. Natural disasters will also strike your city from time to time, keeping you on your toes. They even have a Godzilla-sized Bowser coming to wreak havoc on the city, which is a great nod to Nintendo’s mascot. 

pic 3

Sim City is not a flashy game, which is perfectly fine. It’s a relaxing game that you can enjoy at your own pace. It’s great to see your city grow from a fledging village to a mega metropolis, and there is a great sense of accomplishment when you see it all. “I did this! This city is the work of my hands!” It’s a wonderful feeling. 

The music is often very relaxing, allowing you to just enjoy yourself. However, the same song tends to loop over and over for an extended time, which gets a little old after awhile. The sounds are minimal, but once the city starts bustling a bit, you can hear faint noises of vehicles and things happening down within the city. 

pic 4

This is the kind of game you could sink a lot of time into. You never really beat the game, I suppose, until your city becomes a thriving metropolis that is able to survive on its own. But it could take some time to get to that point. And should you finally do it, it’s always fun to start over and build a different kind of city. Since 1991, there have been a lot of ports and updated versions of Sim City, even on Nintendo consoles. And yet there is something special about Sim City on SNES. It’s still addicting and entertaining today. Nintendo didn’t do a lazy port, they put their heart and soul into this one, and it shows. 

Final Verdict--4 Stars: Recommended 

Sim City is a lot of fun, and it’s a different kind of fun from Super Mario World or F-Zero, but that’s okay. There’s enough room in the world for all of these experiences. True, the game is a bit dated now, but it doesn’t really hurt the game; in fact, it makes it quite endearing. The graphics, sound, and personality of Sim City make it something special. There’s nothing quite like it, and Mr. Wright would agree: it still stands tall among the landscape of the SNES library.



Matt Snee Staff Writer

10/10/2020 at 10:38 AM

I used to play this on my PC when I was a kid. I really had a lot of fun with it. I don't know if I could handle playing it with a controller though. But you seemed to enjoy it, so I could be wrong. 

The Last Ninja

10/11/2020 at 01:19 AM

I think it depends on what you're used to. Since I didn't play it on computer, I was able to learn how to play it with a controller, but it might be harder for you. 


10/10/2020 at 04:00 PM

I just love that Bowser is a natural disaster that can wreck your city. Such an interesting choice for a PC game for Nintendo to go after but it really paid off.

The Last Ninja

10/11/2020 at 01:20 AM

Yeah lol. There's also a Mario statue that resembles the Statue of Liberty LOL


10/12/2020 at 10:04 AM

"Give me your huddled mushrooms, yearning to be power-ups!"


10/10/2020 at 09:34 PM

I played some Sim City once. Maybe it was on SNES or maybe it was on some other console, I forget, but I didn't really get into it, I forget why. I tried to play City Skylines recently on Xbox but didn't get into that either. It would be interesting if they did a simpler version of it like they did with Civilization and Civilization Revolution. I could probably dig that. 

The Last Ninja

10/11/2020 at 01:21 AM

I get you. When I was a kid I played Sim Town on computer, and it was definitely a dumbed down version of Sim City. I really loved it as a kid, haven't played it in years though 

Cary Woodham

10/11/2020 at 07:49 AM

I remember when Sim City first came out on PC.  It was EVERYWHERE and I still remember the box art that looked like a weird steampunk Game Boy or whatever.  My friend had it on PC, and he'd bring in printouts of his city to show me, which I thought was pretty cool.

Later I rented it on the SNES to try it out for myself and I was surprised on how addicting it was.  Not enough to pay full price for, but I'm glad I got to try it.

MANY years later when the Wii first came out, one of the first Virtual Console games for it was Sim City!  I remembered how fun it was, and the price was reasonable enough so I downloaded it.  Plus I was curious how this whole Virtual Console thing worked.  I showed Sim City on Wii to my brother Jeff and he LOVED it.  After playing the SNES version on Wii, he immediate downloaded Sim City 3000 on his computer and he's been a fan of the series ever since.

PS: I like how Mr. Wright makes cameo appearances in Link's Awakening and Smash.  Also I think it's interesting how Will Wright came up for the idea for this game after having fun making cities in Raid on Bungeling Bay.

The Last Ninja

10/12/2020 at 01:01 AM

I think the VC was a huge help in introducing a lot of gamers to Sim City and other such games. The whole bungeling bay thing is just crazy, I love it. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

10/11/2020 at 08:29 PM

I didn't like it as a kid, but having Bowser in there was fun. 

I'd probably appreciate it more now. Maybe.

The Last Ninja

10/12/2020 at 01:01 AM

Give it another shot if you get the chance. 

Log in to your PixlBit account in the bar above or join the site to leave a comment.

Game Collection


Friend Codes