- Developer: Maxis
- Publisher: Electronic Arts
- Import cities from SimCity 2000 or create your own
- Seek the advice from seven different advisors
- Manage a budget, utilities, public safety, and more
This follow-up to SimCity 2000 has you once again playing as a mayor to the city of your dreams. SimCity 3000 retains the isometric viewpoint of its predecessor while offering four times the building area.
A news ticker replaces the newspaper headlines, keeping you appraised of your city’s development as you play. Also new are seven advisors who will give your helpful insight on specific areas of need: finance, transportation, city planning, environment, public safety, utilities, and health and education.
Revamped graphics allow for new levels of zoom, and players can place authentic landmarks from Paris, Manhattan, and more to customize their cities. Owners of SimCity 2000 will be able to import their favorite cities as a starting point in SimCity 3000, or build one from scratch. A Building Architect Tool available as a separate download offers the option for players to design their own structures, and neighboring cities controlled by the computer can now be used for trading resources.
As with earlier games in the SimCity series, each city you create will offer a mix of three main zone types: residential, commercial, and industrial. Residential zones are where Sims eat, sleep, and relax from a day’s work. Commercial zones are where you can build stores and offices, while industrial zones consist of warehouses, factories, and industries that help produce the goods needed for your city to succeed.
After establishing the three zones in your city, you’ll need to implement three types of utilities: power, water, and garbage disposal. Power involves selecting a power plant and then connecting it to the zones via power lines. Water is brought to your city via pumping stations placed near a water source, with water traveling down a series of underground pipes that you’ll connect to each zone.
Garbage disposal involves placing a fourth zone type, the landfill, somewhere within the city and connecting it to the other zones via roads. As you might expect, Sims won’t appreciate having a landfill near where they live, so landfills are best placed as far away as possible. Once roads are established leading to and from the landfill, garbage trucks will begin hauling away trash to keep your city clean and Sims happy.
Since having a city filled with Sims isn’t necessarily the recipe for peace and harmony, some protection in the form of police and fire departments will be necessary. Establishing some law and order will allow your city to withstand the rigors of growth, but there’s one last important piece when planning for a metropolis: cash flow. In order to ensure you have enough money to maintain your city, you’ll need to adjust budgets and taxes based on feedback from your advisor as well as information gleaned from charts and graphs.
Beginning a game of SimCity 3000 offers you a number of choices in your starting city. After naming your city and mayor, you’ll be able to choose from three difficulty levels, which influence the amount of cash you’ll have to start the game. Easy gives you 50,000 simoleons, while hard starts you off in debt, with a 10,000 loan. Your start date can be set to 1900, 1950, or 2000, which will influence the types of building options available in your city, and your city’s size can also be select from four options, ranging from miniature to large.
The terrain in your starting city can also be adjusted through a series of sliders that will influence the prevalence of mountains, water, and trees. For those who’d prefer to start with the basics already in place, SimCity 3000 includes a number of starter towns with the basic infrastructure already set. There are also a number of cities that included real-world terrain data for those who want to manage something a bit closer to home without having to reconstruct the land from scratch.