IGN Reviews Simsville at E3

Friday, May 18, 2001 - 23:10

Simsville sits halfway between SimCity and The Sims. Think of it as SimSmall Town.

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We've updated our preview of the small town and added some new screens.

May 18, 2001
E3 2001

Simsville sits halfway between SimCity and The Sims. Think of it as SimSmall Town.

Like SimCity, you are trying to run a growing urban development, adding shops and civil amenities on a fixed budget, but what's different is the scale -- it's a lot closer and more personal. In fact, you can actually look at every citizen in your town, what their interests and needs are, and how well they're doing right now.

Your citizens' personalities are defined in a way that's almost identical to how they're described in The Sims, which is convenient, because it leads to a very interesting feature. If you happen to have The Sims on your hard drive, the game will automatically go into your game and import them as families into your new SimsVille.

However you won't be able to control these people directly the way you did in The Sims. Rather you have to respond to their wants and needs, growing the town's commerce and character, or arranging to buy things for individual families. Do well, and your town may become an upscale burg full of yuppies and boutiques, but run out of money and you'll end up in a seedy dump lined with liquor theaters, biker bars, and porno theaters.

These changes come across in the on-screen graphics, and almost right away. Maxis has put together a very nice, almost hand-painted look for the game too, as you can see from the screen shots below. There won't be a multi-player mode, though Maxis will likely have an online community similar to what's available for The Sims -- web pages for players to post their towns and trade files online, for example.

SimsVille is due in early 2002.

-- Jason Bates

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