SimCity forces players to think politically and strategically about how successful cities are run and societies are built. The player begins by indicating the zoning (residential, commercial, or industrial) of a plot of land, then adds buildings and infrastructure systems, regulates power grids, provides public transportation, and establishes policies such as tax rates. The residents of the city, called Sims, construct and upgrade buildings based on factors such as noise, neighborhood, and availability of services, and the city grows and develops. Their actions are not controlled by the player; they can only be influenced through city planning (and by unpredictable natural disasters). For instance, a player could choose to build a huge, self-contained city within a single building, a form in which the population can grow efficiently and generate revenue; she would, however, have to cope with other factors that spring up when the population is dense, such as crime and unrest resulting from limited access to services. Unlike most games, SimCity has no specific goal, besides a healthy city. SimCity was first released in 1989, to be played on personal computers. SimCity 2000 is similar to the original version, but features several improvements—such as visible land elevations and underground building.
from Applied Design, March 2, 2013–January 31, 2014