|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Maxis||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Virtual-city planners once again get their call to duty as EA brings us their latest in city building simulation. SimCity Creator allows players to build and customize huge cityscapes and then rain down destruction upon them. With a slightly new look, new features, and an interface geared toward more casual players, does this Wii iteration hit its full potential?
Upon first booting up SimCity Creator, youre presented with a menu of gameplay options. The game offers a Tutorials mode, a Free Play mode, Missions, an options menu, and even online gameplay via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. If youre new to the SimCity experience, your best bet is to first tap the tutorials, for this is the only area in which SimCity Creator will hold your hand. There are 15 tutorials in total about an hour-and-a-halfs worth of instruction and theyll get you up to speed on everything from the menu icons to putting out fires in your city.
Once youve got the basics under your construction belt, you can head off to one of three main gameplay areas: Missions, Free Play, or Contests. The missions are a collection of scenarios designed to slowly test the knowledge youve gained from the tutorials. That said, from the very first mission its easy to be overwhelmed. Youre told what your mission objectives are, but with so much to digest in the tutorials, its difficult to know where to begin once youre actually doing the real thing. The game may have many Wii-centric, casual-crowd trappings, but its still very much constructed with SimCity veterans in mind.
Regardless of the mode you choose to play, SimCity Creator serves up mostly the same things weve seen before from the franchise. Build zones for the different types of city areas residential, commercial, industrial; build roads, power lines and water pipes; manage your citys economy and growth with the aid of advisors, etc. and so forth. New features include Hero Buildings and various aircraft you control to get a closer look at your city.
Hero Buildings are structures based on various styles of architecture, and when you place one of these buildings in your city, the surrounding buildings will begin to mimic its style. Theres no real strategic element to this feature, but its an enjoyable novelty to tinker with.
When you want to get a closer look at your city, you can survey your work from different types of craft, including a helicopter or plane. When controlling the helicopter, for instance, you tilt the Wii-mote to change directions or gain or lower altitude, and press up or down on the D-pad to speed up or slow down. This particular extra is very enjoyable, and control over the various craft works well.
Additionally, though already a staple of past SimCity games, disasters allow you to beat down everything youve created. Bored with your metropolis and feel like causing some random destruction? Call down a meteor shower or summon an earthquake. You can even cause monster eggs to rain down upon the earth, hatch, and then watch these mammoth tyrants lay waste to your citizenry. Each of the disasters is initiated (and controlled in one or two instances) using various motion gestures with the Wii-mote some more satisfying than others.