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In Sim Town, you still have to build a town and make it grow, but you will also control various elements related to the environment such as trees, crops, water, rubbish and air quality. You won't have to deal with water and energy distribution anymore, nor watching how much money you have left to run your city. Your unique goal will be to preserve natural ressources and continue the development of your town.
At the beginning of the game, you have three choices that will let you create a new town, start up with a Fixer-Upper town or a Starter town. The Fixer-Upper towns are different scenarios in which you must find a solution to critical problems like water shortages, crop depletion, air pollution and no trees at all. Each of the four scenarios must be completed within a limited amount of time, and if you win you will be allowed to continue playing with the town. If you fail, you will have to give it another try. The four Starter towns will help you to design your city by providing basic lay-outs. The road town for example comes with a series of roads you can place your buildings around and the Mixed town has a network of roads, bicycle paths and parks. However, if you prefer to start from nothing, select the new town option to design the city of your dreams.
The construction of each building uses a certain amount of trees and water that depending on its size. This quantity will be shown when you select a building and you won't be able to build additional ones if you don't have enough raw materials. To be certain you will have enough trees and water to support your town, regularly check the natural ressources screen. Whenever one natural ressource becomes critically low, use the credits collected each month to replant trees and crops, or rise water's level in the dam. The credits can also be used to recycle rubbish produced by the town and to increase the air quality when pollution is getting bad.
Sim Town has three different views available, but contrary to Sim City 2000, the detailed zoom will allow you see people walking in the street, children with their bikes, cars on the roads, etc. There are four types of Sims in Sim Town: boys, girls, men and women. If you click on a woman for example, you will get her name, occupation, status and favourite things such as food, sports and entertainment. The program will even let you design your character and let you choose what kind of food, activities and pets he or she prefers. You will also have to decide what your character says in a happy or sad mood and select the colour of cloths your character will wear.
What I like the most in Sim Town is when you click on a building to watch what there is inside. You will see people in their sofa watching TV, cooking in the kitchen, playing with their pets, etc. The SVGA graphics allowed artists to design buildings with many details and a part of the game consists in clicking on external and internal decorations to watch funny animations.
Like in the more complicated simulation that is Sim City 2000, you must take care of your citizens by creating enough employment to support them. There are plenty of different business activities you can develop such as shops and restaurants and also places for public amusement. The large choice of buildings you can place is remarkable, and each type has its own animations and sound effects that will delight children.
Sim Town also has its catastrophes and "monsters". An option allows to turn them off which will make the game even easier. The disasters can be earthquakes, fires and droughts and the monsters called "Eco-Villain" will steal trees, drink water ressources, etc.
With its nifty graphics and cute music, Sim Town has much to offer to children, and I'm sure that even adults will find something attractive in the game. Moreover, Sim Town will make children aware of environmental problems so that once back in the real life, they will hopefully apply what they learnt in the game.
386 DX-33 MHz or higher,
Min 8Mb memory,
Windows 3.1 or later,
Hard drive required,
Double speed CD-ROM drive or faster,
SVGA video graphic card,
Microsoft mouse and 100% compatibles.
Windows compatible sound card.
Maxis UK Ltd.,
18-20 St.John Street,
London EC1M 4AY.
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