IGN Review of SimCity Creator
The Nintendo DS version of SimCity Creator isn't anything like the Wii game of the same name, and it's also pretty different from most SimCity titles. Instead of building a modern metropolis, players begin at the dawn of civilization and progress their city through multiple time periods. It's an interesting take on the long-running franchise, but interface issues and shallow gameplay (compared to other games in the series) keep it from getting its hooks in you.
Creator presents the basic SimCity tools to the player but there aren't as many options as Sim fans might be expecting. Your usual zones can be established, a few public services like law enforcement and schools, and you can (eventually) supply electricity to everyone. But since you are tethered to whichever time period the city is in at the moment, many options won't be available to you. I could see a more streamlined SimCity working, but here the limited options result in a lot of waiting around.
The real problem here is the interface. Using the touch screen to plan your city should be a breeze, but it hasn't been put to good use in Creator. The touch controls aren't responsive at all; usually icons need to be tapped several times before the game reads your input. Scrolling around your map is jerky and sluggish. Getting info about your city is counterintuitive: your food stats display areas with enough food as yellow and no food as red -- but all your food sources like hunting grounds and farms are red. Huh?
It's also not a very pretty game. While buildings show some nice detail, the land, trees, and water are all bland and drab. The animation would be bad for a 16-bit SimCity. Your advisors have a look that is similar to the Sims in MySims and SimCity Creator Wii, but your residents look completely different. When you head down into your village to talk to the little people, you'll see only generic, faceless outlines who provide little to no insight into their needs.
There are two game modes in Creator: Challenge and Freeplay. Challenge presents specific objectives that need to be met in order to cultivate your society, and Freeplay is a more traditional SimCity experience. But you only have two save slots shared by each mode, so you have to be frugal with your cities. Saving a game takes an eon, too. Your Sims will have launched themselves into space by the time your game is saved.
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