August 24, 2008

Simulation Gaming

Lately I have wanted to play some of my simulation style games. So, going old school I pulled out The Great Empires Collection II, Sim City 4 Deluxe Edition, Sim City Societies, Sid Meier's Civilization IV and a new online browser style game called Ikariam.

The Great Empires Collection II was one of my first simulation city/world building games. I really quite liked playing it when I first got it, so I figured I would again re-playing. However, the old graphics and general lack of things to do proved me wrong. I guess I have just been too spoiled with updated games for me to appreciate older games such as this classic. It does offer quite a few options of play ruler-wise. I prefered the Pharoh one myself.

Sim City 4 Deluxe Edition is a great game. By far it is the best Sim City game out there. I remember I loved playing this game when I got it, but only could play it for maybe an hour at a time because it would crash on me. However, this time around it didn’t! A new PC in between that time helped too I’m sure. Playing a city or a region of cities and watching them grow and expand is really fun. I also liked watching the buildings get fancier or even become abandoned. I definitely recommend this game to anyone who enjoys these kinds of games.

Sim City Socities is a really cool game. It is similar to Sim City 4 - but not quite the same. The graphics are a lot better but unfortunately that caused my PC to crash out of the game every half hour to 45 minutes. Beware the system requirements even if met may cause the same thing. Not sure why this happens, but it does. If it didn’t do this to me, I may have enjoyed it more. Overall, I recommend trying it out. The price has really dropped on this item, so why not?

Sid Meier's Civilization IV was the first of the Civilization series games I tried. It was fun but the turn-based style annoyed me. It was a bit too slow. The single-player custom game was slow and doesn’t offer the option of just playing alone (without other nations invading in on you). Overall, it looked cooler on the box than actually playing it.

Ikariam is a web version of the above games, I guess. It is free and has nothing to download. It is constantly going on – even if you don’t login to play. I signed up for an account to check it out. I played off and on for a few days. Basically, don’t expect to get much accomplished in a short time. It won’t happen. Don’t expect to do much each time you login because it takes a long time to build or upgrade buildings, research things, etc. On the upside, you don’t have to do much to play it. Perhaps it gets better further on once you can expand to other islands and such. It is worth messing around with because you really have nothing to lose by doing so. They make their money off of people buying “Ambrosia” which I am not sure what the point of getting is yet. They sell 100 for $14.99 or 1,000 for $79.99. Not something I’d invest in, but whatever floats your boat.

After playing all of these games, the one that gets my stamp of approval is Sim City 4. It is the best overall game and for only $14.99 now it is in everyone’s price range. I would like to check out some new simulation style games, but for now I’ll stick with this one. Happy gaming!

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