Tuesday, 25 March, 2003

SimCity 4 Strategy Guide

I've been tinkering with SimCity 4 as I have time, which usually works out to a few hours one day or two during the week, and perhaps an extended period (4 or 5 hours) on a weekend if I'm lucky.  I've built and destroyed uncountable cities while trying different strategies.  I picked up a few hints on the official site, and a few more here and there on the Web.  But my cities keep getting to about 30,000 population, go into budget deficit, and nothing I do seems to turn that around.  I finally got hold of Prima's SimCity 4 Strategy Guide, hoping that it would give me some strategies to try.

The book is terribly disappointing.  It's a reference manual that describes the formulas used in the different parts of the simulation, and a recitation of the numerical effects of different actions in the game.  There are a few broad hints peppered throughout the text, but it's not a strategy guide.  I was looking for more direct hints on city layout and proven strategies for dealing with the myriad details of the simulation.  To make matters worse, the book has many typographical errors, some incomprehensible descriptions of key points, and many examples of conflicting information.  Those errors aside, it's a reasonably good reference, but hardly a strategy guide.