The SimCity name inspires fond memories for many gamers, regardless of which of the four main installments they have played the most. Wherever your SimLoyalty lies (personally, I’m a fan of SimCity 2000), the latest SimCity combines elements of your favorite entry with new features to ensure your urban planning experience feels both familiar and modern.
With a few months to go before the game’s February release, I played two hours of an early SimCity build at Maxis. The first lesson I learned is that smart city planning begins with building a road that connects your patch of land to the regional highway. This is how you open the lines of communications and trade with other cities in your region. These cities might be controlled by your friends playing simultaneously, or they could be your own carefully constructed communities running automatically. Your interaction with these nearby towns plays a central role in your own planning – but more on that later.