This is the most popular sim of all time, cranked up to a high-tech gloss and packaged with all the popular expansion sets. The original SimCity gave players the opportunity to create and oversee the growth of a living city as well as all its problems: crime, pollution, zoning demands, power outages, traffic foul-ups, and the occasional tornado, nuclear meltdown, or wandering monster from the sea. Less a game in the usual sense of the word than a sort of electronic ant farm, SimCity let players see how they fared as mayor, architect and town council. Now SimCity 2000 adds adjustable topography to the fun, using a terrain editor which can create mountains, valleys, ravines, etc. (The new types of terrain also permit the construction of hydroelectric dams and water towers.) Necessitated by this new addition is a new viewing engine, which rotates the player's municipality in 90 degree increments, so that new mountaintop university doesn't block your view of the burgeoning slum down below. As the town progresses through the decades, the sheer size and technological sophistication of your creations become more and more outlandish, and the resultant metropolis ends up looking like something out of Blade Runner. It can take quite a while to become familiar with Maxis' Sim series, and even longer to actually succeed at long-term city goals. Once you get beyond the learning curve, however, the cycle of planning, construction and urban renewal leads to a rewarding creation. And, as always, hard-won cities from earlier versions of the game can be imported for alteration and experimentation.