Review - SimCity

Posted on March 8, 2013 - 4:25pm

ScrewAttack's Rating

F*ck It

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F*ck It

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From the diary of Mayor Starkey:

January 1st, Unknown year, Day 1
It’s been almost ten years, but they’ve finally re-elected me as their mayor. We didn’t exactly part on kind terms, and I might have bombarded their town with meteors… and tornadoes… and earthquakes… also a volcano. BUT I told them I’ve changed. I’m really in it for them now. They need good jobs and schools and stuff… and maybe a giant lizard monster.

Day 2
Okay, I’ve laid down some roads, and gave the ants tiny houses. They have power and water now too, so they have everything they need to live and keep themselves warm.

Next I needed to give these guys jobs. I zoned up some industrial areas and watched as the little people built up some factories and got to work.

Day 7
The new town is coming along nicely. Industrial freight is moving to trade depots and then distributed efficiently between local business and global markets. I built some new parks to build up land values and help my Sims get a decent amount of equity going. That, coupled with the excellent cash flow from local corporations is keeping these new city running smoothly.

Day 10
Unfortunately I’ve hit somewhat of a brick wall. With 100,000 people in dozens of low-rises, all working in nice fancy office buildings, our city’s facilities simply can’t handle all that poop.

Initially, I built an outflow pipe – something that simply dumps the raw sewage in a field. I was content to kill the land value of my industrial center, but the whole system has started backing up into the yards of my citizens.

I decided I needed to start expanding to pull in some extra tax revenue so we could break ground on a brand new sewage treatment plant.

Day 12
My entire city has been engulfed in flames. Laying out high-density roads allowed them to build high rise apartments and giant commercial skyscrapers. I didn’t take the increased fire risk into account and I lost nearly half the city into to the inferno. What fire trucks and servicemen I did have on hand couldn’t get to the blaze because of traffic.

We’ll have to rebuild.

Day 15
Rolling fires have finally stopped.  The city, like a phoenix, is being reborn from the ashes of its predecessor. This shall become a city of hope, a prosperous, wonderful place where any Sim can achieve whatever they want. They will be happy. They will be free.

Day 20

Yeah… that didn’t happen.

Apparently my Sims are too stupid to keep themselves out of trouble. A plague ripped through the renamed metropolis of Phoenix.

Ungrateful shits… how could they just sit there dying? After all I did for them!

Day 20 Part 2
My advisor has informed me that I didn’t hospitals.

Day 30
I’ve noticed my commerce sector is being overrun with criminals. I’ll need to secure enough funding to buttress my anemic police force.

Day 32
I’ve decided to start a new city, just a few miles away. We discovered some coal and raw metal ore that can be smelted into steel and alloys. Selling them off has given me an enormous influx of cash.

I can use this new city, which I’ve come to call “Cupcakes” to send Phoenix all the spare capital it needs.

Day 33
Well that’s strange. I keep moving cash over, but it’s getting lost along the way somehow.

Day 34
The problem seems to have resolved itself somewhat. I still lost over a million Simoleons, to thin air, but I have what I need to bankroll my new crack team of crime-fighters.

I built two new police precincts, fully loaded with helicopters, a dozen squad cars and crime prevention task forces.


Day 36
I want to take this to the next step, but I need a University to train in detectives and get special Hazardous Materials fire trucks. Surgical wards and the like would also be excellent additions to my new hospitals.

Day 40
Lacking sufficient space in Phoenix, I’ve started up another small town not too far from here. The entire area is zoned as residential and it has been purpose-built to educate the residents of Phoenix and Cupcakes.

Day 45
I’ve just put the finishing touches on the medical school at the new University. Everything finally seems to be coming together. Soon I’ll have clean, renewable energy, a healthy, secure populace and before too long, a space program to take the people of my own tiny hamlet to the stars. The future is looking br---

“Connection to SimCity servers lost.”


“Unable to connect to SimCity servers. Please try again.”

What the hell is this?


Day 95

“Authentication successful. Your game is now ready.”

Where the F*CK IS PHOENIX?

“Unable to load city data.”



I’m starting a new city and EVERYONE will die.


Real-talk time.

I chose this odd format for my review because I wanted to show just how great the game is… when you aren’t waiting in server queues, having your data randomly deleted, or are completely unable to connect or access the game at all.

I wanted to take of my own screenshots to show you g1’s just how bad it is, but I can’t take screens from inside the game—not in the typical fashion anyway. I had to get additional software to get a shot of anything other than my desktop. Now, I’m somewhat of a paranoid man, and I’ve gotten to thinking that that was completely intentional on EA’s part.

All images courtesy of

Regardless, if you purchase a game you should be able to play it. When you don’t have access to a product that you have legally purchased, the company responsible is a liar and a thief.

Please, please vote with your dollars. If you’re okay with a corporation telling you when you can and cannot use a product that you bought, by all means support the game. If not, wait. At the very least until they fix their server problem, if not indefinitely.


SimCity is among my favorite franchises of all time, and already this game is among my favorite of all time. But I cannot play it. I have the game. I have the files. I have a computer that runs it. I even have a blistering fast internet connection. That’s not enough for EA, though. I didn’t pay for my copy, and I’m still amazed on the arrogance it takes to pull a stunt like this.

We all saw what happened with Diablo 3, we all know what launches are like. There is no excuse for this always-on connection. It is a vile business tactic that should be punished with all the hate we, as fans and as customers, can muster.

As of right now, it is a non-functional product. EA is shipping the equivalent of a disc snapped in half. For that, I can think of no appropriate score besides a 1.


1 - Garbage: 1s have no redeeming qualities. They are a complete waste of time to everybody.

Dan Starkey is the latest addition to the ScrewAttack Reviews Team. Some say he never sleeps and eats only gourmet amaretto cupcakes. Others claim he's a hyperactive optimist. To citizens of the Internet, though, he's Captain Starkey, Intergalactic Games Journalist. You can follow him on Twitter, or add him on Facebook.



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