SimCity Creator Review
Wii | DS
SimCity Creator box art
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?

SimCity Creator screenshot

Upon first booting up SimCity Creator, you’re 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 you’re 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-half’s worth of instruction – and they’ll get you up to speed on everything from the menu icons to putting out fires in your city.

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Once you’ve 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 you’ve gained from the tutorials. That said, from the very first mission it’s easy to be overwhelmed. You’re told what your mission objectives are, but with so much to digest in the tutorials, it’s difficult to know where to begin once you’re actually doing the real thing. The game may have many Wii-centric, casual-crowd trappings, but it’s still very much constructed with SimCity veterans in mind.

SimCity Creator screenshot

Regardless of the mode you choose to play, SimCity Creator serves up mostly the same things we’ve 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 city’s 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. There’s no real strategic element to this feature, but it’s an enjoyable novelty to tinker with.

SimCity Creator screenshot

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 you’ve 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.

Screenshots / Images
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