How I Use It
I played about 50 hours of it and it’s like the old SimCity, just with a lot more complexity and better graphics. In this new SimCity, you control everything from sewage to trash collection to transportation. The game does a great job at giving you a sense of the trade-off between cheap and clean energy, how short term fixes can turn into long term nightmares, how the growth of heavy industry can affect the quality of life of residents, providing wonderful graphs and tools to monitor all sorts of city systems and issues. The game got trashed by critics when it came out a year ago for its server problems and for being online only, though that has now been fixed and you can play offline. We loved building our city and felt we learn a lot of about how a city works from SimCity and the dilemmas and pressures faced by city managers.
I really loved SimCity and recommend it as a terrific way to learn/reflect on urban systems: education, sewage, electricity, traffic, taxes, zoning, etc. SimCity is great and we would even suggest just letting students play freely and explore the many systems in the game while building their own city.