The recently leaked Simcity 5 trailer (that’s been taken down, I just linked to it so you know that I know there was a video at one point) and stills (above, not taken down, yet) have pretty heavily hinted at a forthcoming (maybe GDC) announcement and a 2013 release date (good for me, plenty of time to get a not so horrible computer).
I’d say I’m approaching the idea of a new Simcity with restrained enthusiasm. On one hand, it’s Simcity, what could possibly go wrong? On the other hand, more recent Maxis releases such as Spore just didn’t do it for me. On one hand, Maxis is developing it. On the other, Maxis belongs to EA and I don’t necessarily trust them to handle the series with the proper respect it deserves. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how it looks once more information is available.
A new Simcity aside, I’d like to sidetrack this whole discuss for a few paragraphs and ask you, Maxis (I’m sure your whole company is a regular reader), about Simant 2. Not that I’m not thrilled there’s a new Simcity game coming out, but Simant is, or should be, a classic in it’s own right. It’s certainly worthy of having it’s own sequels and you could be teaching the younger generation about the joy and excitement of the ant world! I’m really only half joking, too, as I have a fascination with ants sparked largely or wholly by playing Simant when I was younger.
While easily the greatest ant simulator ever created, Simant was amazingly fun to play. I loved conquering the yard, square by square, taking part in one section of this gigantic, largely hidden (you could only be in one square at a time) ant war that was raging in some guys lawn. I loved sending winged queens into adjacent squares to establish colonies, slowly beating down the occupying, filthy red ants and stealing their precious red ant larva for food. I loved navigating the other myriad dangers of the ant world: spiders, lawnmowers, the human foot and rain flooding the colony. I loved taking over the entire house in the final stages of conquest, forcing the unlucky inhabitants out and obliterating the red ant threat once and for all.
I mean, you could regurgitate food into other ant’s mouths! AND you could see the speech bubbles over the ants/spiders heads if you turned on a certain setting and the queen would bitch about how boring it was to sit around and lay eggs all day and the spider would talk about how delicious ants are to eat. Finally, the manual, which I still own despite no longer owning the game itself, does not just contain instructions for the game but is packed with real world ant facts and data, it’s huge and great and goes the extra mile when it really doesn’t need to.
There truly is no greater feeling of accomplishment then finishing the game, looking back and knowing that you alone helped the black ants establish the largest unified empire known to ant-kind. You conquer all of the known ant world, you are ant Genghis Khan.
I know it will never happen, but I think there’s a market for the other Sim titles. Simtower is just another example. The idea of the two day work week, one day weekend used in the game always intrigued my younger self, just imaging how awesome it would be to live in this sweet tower where I would simply go to school for two days then have a weekend! I felt like this setup would be so much more manageable then the five day week. Anyway, regardless, you let that concept sit around and then Tiny Tower comes along and makes a bazillion dollars (roughly), but it could have been you, Maxis, and it would have been better.
Simcopter, also, while apparently a huge commercial bomb, was cool cause you could enter the cheat code “superpowermultiply” and turn into a dog and run around really fast and people talked funny! Actually, thinking about it now, I’m pretty sure the game itself wasn’t that fun, we’d just run around in dog form a lot. Whatever, bring that series back, too.
OK, done with all that. My original plan was to note how amazing Simcity soundtracks are. Simcity 3 and it’s jazzy soundtrack, in particular, is great. Some nice person somewhere for some reason put a bunch of them on Youtube, and I’m embedding them below.
…I think that’s all of them. I probably missed one or two.