previews\ Dec 7, 2010 at 7:00 pm

SimCity Deluxe (iPad)


There is something timeless about the SimCity franchise. While the general Sim franchise has moved on to people simulators (and very little else), the core of the original game stands up pretty well. Sure, it's not exactly pretty anymore, but the core gameplay works pretty great. All of the following games in the franchise have built on the city simulator, with improved graphics and more realistic economics, but at the end of the day, there is something comforting and timeless about the franchise.

That's probably why SimCity Deluxe for the iPhone was so well received. Firstly, it was a gorgeous game, and smartly designed too, making it one of the best versions of SimCity. While the iPhone's screen was a little on the small side, the developers were able to work around this problem in a smart fashion. For anyone with an iPhone, it was a great game to pick up and play.

More importantly, the upcoming SimCity Deluxe for the iPad solves a lot of the problems of the iPhone version. With so much screen real estate, they've been able to add dockable info boxes, so players can have all the information they need at any given moment. Additionally, there is a solid focus on seven starter cities designed to look like real world metropolises. Disasters come back in a major way, and with seven that can go on all at once, destroying the lives of your citizens have not been so fun. As well, there are seven challenges to address, such as hosting the Olympic-like World Games and fighting against heat waves. As a game based upon SimCity 4, SimCity Deluxe for the iPad looks hot.

Controls on the iPad are even better than on the iPhone, and all the traditional pinch-to-zoom techniques are at play. With that big screen, building cities is easier than ever, dropping roads and utilities with a drag of the finger, as well as raising and dropping the ground to make for dryer and wetter environments. For more casual players, the road and utility management can be modified so that the game takes care of that for you, and there is plenty of flexibility to for casual and hardcore play. SimCity Deluxe for the iPad is a promising and exciting new addition to the iPad game library. Playing the the strengths of the device, it looks like SimCity Deluxe might be one of the most accessible entries in the franchise.

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