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SimTown

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SimTown
SimTown Coverart
Developer(s) Maxis
Publisher(s) Maxis
Release date(s) 1995
Genre(s) City building simulation
Mode(s) Single-player
Platform(s) PC
Media CD-ROM
Input methods Mouse, keyboard
Ratings ESRB: Kids to Adults
Series SimCity


SimTown (Also known as SimCity Jr. in Japan) is a spinoff of the SimCity series, released in 1995, done to a smaller scale with more graphics and some cartoonish features. It was intended to be, essentially, SimCity for children; the target age range listed on the box was 6-12.

Gameplay

Simtown222

Gameplay

Like other games in the SimCity series, SimTown focused on managing resources and keeping citizens happy. However, it was based on building individual buildings, and used more concrete resources: "water" and "trees" to build and maintain buildings, and "crops" to support population. More resources are bought with points that are awarded each month, but must be monitored because running out of a resource will lead to building decay or population loss. Players start with ten points (five for the hard level) and get two more (one on hard) each month of game time. Money is not part of the game. 

During game play, players must balance jobs for adults with work in buildings, while providing schools and fun places for children. Imbalances will cause homes to deteriorate from the family's lack of income, or businesses to deteriorate from under staffing. Buildings may also deteriorate if the upkeep in trees, water, or both is not available, and homes may deteriorate if there are not enough crops to feed the families. Animations do not work on deteriorating buildings. If the problem is not fixed, eventually the family will move out, leaving a pile of rubble (or the building will collapse and be lost if not a home). If everything is kept in balance the Sims will be happy, the news will be good, and the city's building will be maintained.

Design

The maps on which towns are built is a completely flat, two dimensional grids, and have a desert look (light brown dirt, no plants). To have plants in town, they must be bought / built as decorations, costing water but reducing air pollution.

Housing and Zoning

Each home in SimTown contains one Sim family, consisting of two adults, two children, and one pet. Sims are seen walking on around town and going to various "business," "fun places," and "Civic Buildings." One of these Sims is the player's characters, who can be named by the player and whose likes, age (child or adult), gender, and clothing can be chosen. The other townspeople are generated randomly by the game. Clicking on a Sim will display the character's name, favorite things, and text indicating if the Sim is happy or not.

Each building has several comical animations that can be activated by clicking the right part of the building, and double clicking a home will show the interior (top floor only). If the resident Sims are home, they can be seen on the interior view, and interior animations can be activated. Buildings are represented as flat bit maps, always facing the same way, and cannot be turned to different orientations.

Bugs

  • The city map shows a lot of space to build in, however only a small space of it is allocated for construction. This mostly happens with newer computers, as they have a higher resolution.

Legacy

  • It's possible that SimTown inspired the drop and plop design in SimCity Societies. In Societies, players simply drop lots in instead of zoning. Also in Societies, players can name Sims and do other things with them. These are all present in SimTown.

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