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Top Five Games to Play Instead of SimCity

SimCity 2013

For anyone who purchased the new SimCity on launch day, you have my sympathies. Server errors, lack of offline singleplayer, a delayed Mac release, lack of promised features, among others, are the latest in a streak of disappointments with Electronic Arts. There have even been threats of boycotts against the video game publishing giant. While that may be a step too far, I think plenty of us could use a break from the blunders and play a great simulation game until they work out the kinks! Here’s the Top Five Games to Play Instead of SimCity!

5.) Theme Hospital

Theme Hospital

Yeah, that Elvis at the front door is sick…

One of my favorite games from childhood, this was a fantastic introduction to simulation games. The mechanics for building rooms, hiring staff and effective budgeting are simple to use. New, hilarious diseases like Bloaty Head, Slack Tongue and The Squits (eww…) are slowly introduced to the game and are hysterical to watch the treatments for. Random events like VIP visits, Earthquakes and Emergency Patients keep gamers on their toes, and make this a worthy game to play, even if a little hard to locate on either PC or PSone…

4.) Caesar III

Caesar III

A Coliseum, and it isn’t even Rome

The first sim game I never had trouble getting money in, Caesar III made you responsible for expanding the Roman Empire, city by city. Housing was divided between Plebeians (workers) and Patricians (tax income). City needs like Religion, Food and Water Service were basic necessities, and luxury goods, hygienic services and health services raised the quality of homes and citizen class. Even better, balancing citizen quality of life with industrial production and trade to fill the city coffers made you really care about what you would add to your city next and where. Oh, and it supports military combat as well. Awesome.

3.) Tropico 4

Tropico 4

This kind of humor is prevalent throughout

Founding a Banana Republic has never been more fun. A full campaign allows you to take starter towns to sprawling island powerhouses. You can create your own dictator with their own merits and flaws, meanwhile taking into account the desires of more than five different sects on the island, like the Military and Communist factions. The edicts in the game are well-balanced, allowing you to sneak currency into your slush fund, sponsor a Spring Break tourist package and have your military eliminate troublesome individuals!

2.) SimCity 2000

SimCity 2000

The SimCity of Choice

Bet you saw this one coming. After more than twenty years of this series, 2000 is the one that I’ve always seen as the pinnacle of the series. Great additions like highways and water pipes, great new disaster types and land zoning made this one great. Money is still a pain to get, but there’s nothing like watching a city grow from humble beginnings to greatness in a SimCity game. Until the 2013 edition gets its act together, this is the SimCity game I’ll be playing, unless of course I’m playing…

1.) RollerCoaster Tycoon

Rollercoaster Tycoon

One of the few “Tycoon” games I happily recommend

This game is the best of the best. Who never wanted to make an amusement park? This game lets you place rides, food stalls, decorative statues and lines in order to make the world’s best theme park. Feeling creative? Start building your own rollercoaster from beginning to end. Feel like taking revenge against your customers? Pick them up and drop them anywhere on the level. Staff members are basic, but the AI makes sure they do their jobs efficiently. You could always pick up one of the later incarnations of the series, but nostalgia and great game mechanics say this is the one to come back to.

Did we miss your favorite sim game? Let us know below!


About RedGuinness

Andrew Shortall (RedGuinness) is the Writer, Editor, Administrator and founder of Stay-At-Home Gaming. He also suffers from sleepless nights, summer new release withdrawals and trying to behave himself in front of his new nephew.

9 comments on “Top Five Games to Play Instead of SimCity

  1. Man Walking
    March 19, 2013

    SimTower!!! Just saying.

    • RedGuinness
      March 19, 2013

      I totally considered that one for the hours of fun I had with it, but it’s so hard to find… Theme Hospital being on another system gave it the push ahead!

  2. Nate
    March 19, 2013

    Sim City 4 and Sim City 3000 are just as good if not better than 2000. Still, I totally agree that Roller Coaster Tycoon is arguably the best of all time in this genre of games. It’s literally my favorite game of all time. You should also give railroad tycoon a try.

    • RedGuinness
      March 19, 2013

      Railroad Tycoon was another great game. If this was a Top Ten List , I guarantee you this game would be on it.
      SimCity 2000 is on the list because of its nostalgia value more than anything. And because most people still have a copy of it somewhere in the house… But 3000 and 4 are both equally worthy games to play as well.

  3. Hari M
    March 19, 2013

    comment on #3 – I always wanted to start a Banana Republic and then push for total mall domination. Those bastard at JCrew will pay for what they have done !!

    • RedGuinness
      March 19, 2013

      Fortunately, Tropico 4 added a Shopping Mall to do just that! Unfortunately, you have to import all your luxury goods from China…

  4. Dean
    March 26, 2013

    Are you just talking about building stuff, if not, then what about the original Sims? 🙂

    • RedGuinness
      March 26, 2013

      Lol was going for similar to SimCity, but The Sims was a great one!

  5. Pingback: Reader Request: SimTower ReExamination | Stay-At-Home Gaming

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