SimCity DS First Look

EA affords us a brief glimpse into the life of a pocket-sized city mayor.

Earlier today, at its Summer Preview event in San Francisco, Electronic Arts showed a playable version of SimCity DS for the first time. We didn't have an opportunity to get our hands on the game on this occasion, but we saw more than enough of it to convince us that styluses and touch screens could well be the urban planner tools of the future.

The two main gameplay options in SimCity DS will be "build a city," which challenges you to create and maintain a city from scratch, and "save the city," in which you'll be tasked with rescuing one of several cities from around the world from such disasters as UFO invasions and attacks from giant monsters. Before attempting either of those, you'll also have the option to play through any of 15 tutorials dealing with such mayoral concerns as transportation, waste disposal, crime prevention, and demolition. We saw a couple of the aforementioned tutorials being played through, and we're pleased to report that both the construction of roads and railways and the designation of zones as residential, industrial, or commercial appear to be no more complicated than using the stylus to draw lines and drag boxes on a grid respectively.

Later in the presentation we were treated to a look at a relatively well-established city, and we noticed that you'll be able to scroll around the upper screen's isometric view of it simply by dragging the stylus across the touch screen. Although the upper screen is the one most commonly used to display your city (along with a news ticker detailing current events), the touch screen is where most of the gameplay will be happening since it's used to show other "layers" of your city, such as transport routes and power grids. The touch screen is also where you'll be able to track aspects of your performance via a series of charts and diagrams and where you'll be playing most of this SimCity game's unique minigames. We're told that there will be around seven minigames in total, such as blowing into the microphone to put out fires and using the stylus to search the city for thieves. The minigame that we were shown on this occasion focused on Santa's annual visit to your city, during which you'll be required to tap his flying sleigh with the stylus to make him drop presents.

As you progress through the game you'll unlock a total of 56 international landmark buildings and around 125 standard buildings, one of which is a post office. In another new feature designed to take advantage of the Nintendo DS's unique functions, building your first post office will unlock a new option on the main menu that lets you exchange letters with other players wirelessly. We look forward to bringing you more information on SimCity DS as soon as it becomes available.

Written By

Want the latest news about SimCity DS?

SimCity DS

SimCity DS

Discussion

28 comments
Leick3
Leick3

I always liked simcity, hope it transfers really well to the ds

MrZeb
MrZeb

Looks fun. Always liked sim city. Never any good at it though :) The way u could handle disasters with the stylus was interesting!

lew_0911
lew_0911

It seems that handhelds work well with Sim games. I hope the developers can make this great.

s0njas0n
s0njas0n

sweet, this is the only sim game i like :D i played the old ones on the pc and snes, even my dad plays this game for hours.

theKSMM
theKSMM

I wonder what version of SimCity this game is modeled after. I wouldn't think the DS has the chops to run SimCity 4, but I guess version 2 or 3 would be well within the range.

Chef_Bretz
Chef_Bretz

This is looking like a wikid little game :)

CaRD0N
CaRD0N

Great, now my work productivity will drop even more at the office.

Harvestbuddy
Harvestbuddy

man, Sim City for the DS......nice nice!

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

I hope there's some online functionality

Elrasiel
Elrasiel

Looks like a mix between 2000 and 3000. Makes me wanna play 4 again.

Adam_the_Nerd
Adam_the_Nerd

SOunds interesting. Hope it lives up to it's PC brother/sister/whatever!

Kbs64
Kbs64

Man, can't wait! I love SimCity :)

Yagr_Zero
Yagr_Zero moderator moderator

Sounds cool, can't wait.

Gigatron
Gigatron

same guys that did Theme Park DS? AWESOME.

broojo02
broojo02

ahh i designed this game loong ago, glad they made it finally

Colinllama
Colinllama

Sounds great! Looking forward to this!

AceCometh
AceCometh

It's good to see SimCity making a return. I used to love playing this game back in the 1800's....

muppet1010
muppet1010

I hope they pull this game off better than zoo tycoon. The DS has great potential for these games with its stylus and touch screen, it sounds great though so far.

Santas_Hitman
Santas_Hitman

Now here is a game the DS needs. Innovative, unique and deep. It takes full advantage of the touchscreen (and not just for menus). This is a game I cannot wait to get my hands on.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

Sweet, I'll be looking forward to more coverage of this..It's been a while since i actually played a simcity game>_>