SimCity Creator Impressions - Hero Buildings and Zoning Permits

Here's a bird's-eye view of EA's upcoming city sim for the Wii.


Real SimCity needs no introduction, and SimCity Creator is real SimCity. Don't be fooled by "Creator"; they just put that in the title because "SimCity: It's Real Deal SimCity on the Wii" wouldn't fit on the marketing brochures. However, just because this new Wii version has everything the old SimCity games had, doesn't mean that a few new buildings haven't sprung up in the familiar zones.

You'll build big, colorful cities in this new Wii game.
You'll build big, colorful cities in this new Wii game.

First and foremost, curvy roads. That's right, SimCity Creator will mark the first SimCity game ever to feature curvy roads. No longer will you be forced to use clever zoning patterns as your signature; you will now be able to literally write your name in your domain with concrete. You just draw on the map with the Wii Remote and boom! There is your curvy road. Of course, this doesn't mean every road will be curvaceous. You'll still have normal tools for gridlike avenues, should you require them. But you probably won't because zones will now automatically come with their own roads built into them.

This is possible because you can now create zones by either drawing enclosed shapes or using one of the shaped zone-creation tools. You simply choose circle, stretch the circle shape over the area you want, and presto! That circle is now low density residential. But how much residential do you want? You'll have cute advisors from the MySims games to tell you.

From what we saw, that was the only MySims influence on the game. Everything else is old-school SimCity, where buildings need power, people need recreation, and towns need landfills (preferably not too close to the restaurants). You'll build up an idyllic city and then crush it to flaming pieces.

But there are two big differences we still haven't mentioned. One is the inclusion of hero buildings; these huge monuments will color the landscape of all other buildings within 40 units, so that you can stylize your city into the type of civilization you'd prefer. Want things sleek and shiny? Build a couple of crystal towers and marvel as the surrounding zones become chic and look crystalline. Have a sweet tooth? Build a giant cake tower and watch as your city turns into...Candy City! Yes, this will turn your zones into the most delectable locales you've ever seen. People will flock to candy land to enjoy the sticky goodness you've provided.

So what better opportunity to unleash all manner of hellish calamity upon their happily snacking faces? If any land is damned, it is one made of candy. Bring down killer robots upon the sweetened masses or serve them up to raging dragons. You can even call down Wii Remote-specific disasters by shaking the remote (earthquake) or banging it like a hammer (disembodied hammers of destruction). Who knew a place so sweet could become so bitter?

Once you're city's built, you'll be able to rule it like a king. Or more accurately, a mayor.
Once you're city's built, you'll be able to rule it like a king. Or more accurately, a mayor.

EA could have just ported SimCity to the Wii with a basic set of Wii controls and been guaranteed to sell a lot of copies. The fact that it included things like new disasters, revolutionary city-creation tools, and, of all things, curvy roads, you really get the idea that it didn't just want to give you an old-school version of SimCity--it wanted to give you the best version of SimCity yet. Whether or not its building is up to code will be revealed this September 22.

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