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Review by: Shawn Quigley
Published: February 22, 1998
The Sim City games from Maxis have come a long way since they were first released. Over the years we saw enhancements to the graphics and the gameplay of the Sim titles. We also saw the introduction of new Sim titles that are built around the core idea of cities. Last year we took to the skies in Sim Copter. Although the title was a great idea and had a lot of potential, it simply lacked in gameplay. Well, this time Maxis is bringing us to the streets of our beloved cities in Streets of Sim City.
Streets of Sim City is a little different than it sounds. Instead of walking around the cities and doing different tasks, you are put behind the wheel of a car. This title is an action game at heart, with some objectives thrown in the way to add to the overall experience. There are a lot of features built into the game and players have the ability to use different editors to modify the cities they wish to drive around in; this is to help add some longevity to the title.
After many people were disappointed with Sim Copter, we hoped Streets of Sim City would be a title that made up for that. So what is Streets of Sim City all about?
Streets of Sim City starts off with a main menu that gives players some basic options. From the main screen, you can start a new game, load a game, play “Player’s Choice,” play a network game, or visit the car factory. The manual highly suggests players go right to the “Player’s Choice” option. This allows you to choose a scenario to play, the first of which is the tutorial. The new game option will begin a career that will track your progress through the different scenarios. The last important part of the main menu is the “Car Factory,” where you can work on your dream cars.
In the car factory, you can build a car from scratch. You choose everything from paint color to body frames. Everything is done with your mouse and you can see your car being built on the screen while you do it.
Enough about the menus in the game. The heart of Streets of Sim City lies in the scenarios, which can be accessed either though Player’s Choice or through playing a career. When you begin a game, you are put in the most basic car and are required to earn money to get to better cars and weapons. To do this you must accomplish specific goals in each episode. The episodes vary in what you are supposed to do and how the layouts of the cities are. For example, the “Zippy Courier Service” episode has you delivering packages to different locations before the time runs out. Another episode, “Race for your Life,” has you driving around as fast as you can to certain checkpoints.
This may sound easy, but all along the way you have to face different problems that arise. There are other cars driving around the city carrying weapons that will chew your car to bits. To help you, you can upgrade your vehicle to have the same weapons. Players can pull into a garage or access the Car Factory to upgrade or purchase new weapons, tires, and engines for their cars. Some of the weapons are an oil slick, missile launcher, and smoke screen. Every weapon has a different effect on the enemies, allowing you to learn the ins and outs of each one. There are also different car modes that can be installed on your automobile. These are armor, shields, air foils, military radar, and hoppers to name a few. The air foil is particularly interesting. Anyone who saw some of the Back to the Future movies can relate to this one. Your wheels turn horizontal and your car hovers above the ground. This makes it really easy to navigate offroad.
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