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SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow
Score: 85%
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Maxis
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation/Strategy/God Games

Citywide Expansion Pack:

SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow offers the true meaning of expansion by allowing you to further develop your favorite cities into vertical megalopolises. With Cities of Tomorrow, the developers at Maxis may not allow territorial expansion as I had hoped when writing up the original SimCity: Limited Edition review, but the population of your cities can increase nonetheless. On top of that and even more importantly, Cities of Tomorrow throws some new elements into the mix which require even more balance to sustain your profit margins and put smiles on the faces of each and every Sim walking your streets, at least until the new giant robot disaster happens.

Overall, Cities of Tomorrow done a fine job of infusing a bit of life back into the newest SimCity. There are a few main points of emphasis that take place in this expansion, and we’ll go over them below. Seeing both the highs and lows in city management, balance and pacing your expansion is as important as ever because as fast as your income can rise, the fall can be even greater. If you’ve enjoyed the workings of SimCity’s history and gameplay, as well as the micromanaging that lies within, you will likely find it worth picking up SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow because this expansion really does allow you to easily and quickly get everything, yet it feels like it will take a bit of time to master.

As you go through this overview, you will be able to check out direct links to certain pages within the SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow Blog by clicking on their highlighted names. Rather than drop tons of detailed information about each expansion element, check out the blog posts as you see fit.

Build Up, Not Out:

Sims rejoice… that is, if you like overcrowding in your city! Instead of allowing for expansion into the wasted areas between the cities in region view, Cities of Tomorrow eliminates the need to annex new land by expanding vertically. Thanks to the new abilities included in the expansion, as the mayor of your favorite city you will be able to increase your population, commercialization, and office space by creating MegaTowers that reach into the heavens.

These MegaTowers allow for up to 8 gigantic floors and can be expanded at any rate and any order. For example, you can drop in low or medium density versions of apartments, offices, malls, parks, or other opportunities. At the top, you’ll be able to crown your creation with multiple uses, including solar-powered tops. This is a City of Tomorrow, after all.

The great thing about the new MegaTowers is that you can plop more than one in your growing city from either normal MegaTowers as described above or their elite versions once unlocked, but be warned that you’ll need to find a balance between growth and the consumption of Omega, the new centralized hub in which SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow revolves around. It is actually quite easy to over-expand too quickly and watch your city’s profit margin plummet.

A Company That Everyone Loves:

The addition of MegaTowers is outstanding is the sense cities are a little less limited moving forward, but in order to support the growing density, expansion of resources is also necessary. The newest, latest, and greatest Omega resource is produce by none other than OmegaCo, a new factory producing exactly what every Sim wants.

As with everything in SimCity, it takes balance to keep a sustainable factory running, but the benefits are outstanding. The successful production of drones means they can travel the city and automate things for your Sims’ everyday lives, but they require a lot of electronic upkeep. The catch is that OmegaCo requires certain resources to function and produce. For example, to get Omega production started, you’ll need a steady supply of Oil and Ore, and there are a whole lot of things to consider for success.

The Future Looks Bright:

A bright future can mean many things, but in Cities of Tomorrow this means building and expanding your resources to keep Sims happy, healthy, and wealthy. By bumping up the wealth of your city, you’ll be awarded the opportunity to build The Academy.

As you may guess, The Academy uses highly skilled workers to help drive a futuristic, high-tech industry that will allow your city to move into using things like elevated high-speed rail, a garbage atomizer to help clean up the city, and a fusion power plant, the cleanest power source available for your Sims to applaud your wisdom of going green.

All of these add-ons require a futuristic wireless computer network connection called ControlNet, and like everything in the game, this ends up being a bit part keeping your city balanced as a whole. After all, as the mayor, the underlying goal of SimCity is to keep your Sims happy, which ultimately means sustainability.

-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele
Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista/7; AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better or Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better; At least 2GB RAM; DVD Drive; At least 10GB of free Hard Drive space; ATI Radeon HD 2X00 or better, NVIDIA 7800 or better, Intel HD Graphics or Better, with a minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM and Shader 3.0 or better support; Minimum 256 kbps download, 64 kbps upload Internet Connection
  Test System:

Mac Book Pro with the following installed as a dual-boot:
Windows 7 64-bit (NOTE: SimCity: Limited Edition installs only in 32-bit mode) with Service Pack 1 installed; Intel Core i7-3720QM CPU @ 2.60GHz 2.60 GHz; 8GB RAM; NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M

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