SimTown is an educational simulation game that is geared more toward children. It was published in 1995 by Maxis, and is similar to the SimCity game. You are to build a town from the ground up and make it and its citizens prosper.
You begin the game with a piece of land with absolutely nothing on it. You will need to position homes, businesses, and other buildings on the land. The graphics are cute, with the buildings being made out of unusual materials.
The video store is made out of video tapes, while the police station’s roof is built out of handcuffs. You also will place streets, roads, plants, and trees in your town.
An educational goal of the game is accomplished by showing how a town is managed. Besides placing the items, you also have to keep the town running by making sure it is supplied with water, has garbage service, has food resources, and a recycling program. These services need to be monitored, as there are consequences if there are problems such as the water supply diminishes or garbage builds up.
There are disasters that threaten your town. You can be hit by an earthquake, suffer a drought, or have buildings catch
on fire. The Food Pig can eat all of the town’s crops. Your water supply can be lowered by the Water Hog. The Litterbug can create a whole lot of garbage. And then there’s the Air Polluter, who needs no explanation. If you are just learning the game, you can turn off these disasters, but can turn them back on again when you want more of a challenge.
Each home in SimTown has two adults, two children, and a pet. Naturally, many adults need a job, so you need to regulate the work force. You must keep a balance between the number of jobs in the town and the number of residents. Businesses and civic offices need a certain number of employees to thrive, so you need to make sure you have enough workers to fill these positions. If you don’t, the buildings will crumble. On the other hand, if you have more workers than you have job openings then you will have many people on unemployment. If they stay unemployed too long, their homes will rot away and they will leave town.
There are a few options in how you play the game. You can start the game off with a Starter Town—a town that is partially set up. Several such towns can help an inexperienced player learn the basics of the game. A more experienced player can select a Fixer-Upper Town, which is a town that has a specific problem, such as no water or crops, that you have to fix. Other game features include the ability to create a resident who provides you with information about how the town is thriving. A local newspaper also gives you the conditions of the town.
SimTown isn’t just an ordinary educational game, as it is a lot of fun to build your own town. The challenge is worth it when you are awarded with trophies and ribbons when you meet specific requirements and objectives. Kids, and kids at heart, will both find this game worth downloading.