|Min OS X: 10.8.5|
The graphics in SC4 are about what youíd expect from an 11 year old SimCity game. Theyíre nice, an improvement over SC3000, but the more you zoom in the blockier things will look. But letís face it, SimCity was never about the graphics, and it certainly wasnít reasonable to expect the graphics to be updated for newer computers. I had no problem with them in general, though I did find it difficult to identify some of my city buildings such as schools and medical clinics when my cities got bigger. This actually used to be easier, back in SC2000 days, when the graphics were blockier and your buildings stood out more.
The ability to fly or drive around your city is nice, and gives you a fun way to explore, but letís face it, this game has always been about building. In SC4 you can put in actual landmarks such as Alcatraz, the Spinx and many more. Save your money if you want to do that. SC4 has a day/night mode that provides a better sense of time passing than before, and clouds and storms will still blow through on occasion. All in all SC4 is a nice graphics upgrade over SC3000, though not as extreme as that from SC2000 to 3000. But the better graphics do make your city more fun to look at, if occasionally more difficult to decipher.
The sound is what weíve come to expect from SimCity. You get realistic city sounds, which in a nice touch get louder and more distinct as you zoom in. Thereís background music if you choose to listen to it, and a nice feature that allows you to play music from your iTunes library if you wish. Thereís nothing spectacular here, but no real downsides either. As I said, itís what Iíve come to expect from SimCity, which is maybe a nice thing, makes the game feel comfy and familiar.
I was surprised and thrilled to see this game appear on the Mac App store (also available on Steam). At less than half what it cost when it was originally released and cheaper than the newer EA version and without the constant temptation to buy add-ons, I think itís a great value in a game that can provides hours of unique gameplay. When this version first came out the high price and steep system requirements kept me from even considering buying it. Now it runs great on a 4-5 year old iMac (though a high end one at that) and at a price any gamer can afford. For the money I think this is one of the best gaming values available now, and from the reviews on the App Store even people who owned it before are buying it to run on their new Macs.
Yes, I think this IS the SimCity youíve been looking for, unless you loved the new EA version. There are certainly quibbles to be had: some people donít like that the individual blocks you get to build your cities arenít as large as they used to be, but having played EAís version, they seemed plenty big to me; the graphics arenít up to console or 2014 computer standards; and like the new EA version youíre strongly encouraged to build multiple cities in your regions to get the full benefits instead of being able to build one huge city. But even with all that this game brought me back to the days of losing hours in my city (remember to save often, no auto-save here), trying to build the community of my dreams. Sadly I donít have as many of those free hours as I used to, but itís nice to have Aspyr tempting me anyway.
ē Has all the SimCity features weíve come to love
ē Includes Rush Hour expansion
ē 11 years old and shows it in some ways
ē Smaller city sizes than previous versions
ē Some have had stability issues (though not this reviewer)