Bizarre design issues make this SimCity a disaster.
Anyone familiar with the SimCity franchise knows that the basic formula for success in all of these games involves zoning, budgeting and landscaping. Unfortunately, even these sure-fire features cannot save SimCity Creator from its fate as something that resembles a budget title on an end-cap at Staples.
There are several modes of play to experience and we chose to begin with the Challenge mode. The tutorial, narrated by an anime-looking character, offers no interaction, and after reading our little friend's lines, we were shuttled off to the first era challenge without a chance to demo our new abilities.
The first era of our experience, named The Dawn of Civilization, found us in control of a hunter-gatherer society making a transition to agriculture. In the Challenge mode, you begin with only a few construction options, such as laying animal paths and zoning for agriculture or commercial and residential buildings. As you progress through eras, including the Industrial Revolution and The Renaissance, more aspects of the game become available.
After much hard work, you will earn the right to use electricity as well as other modern conveniences like blacktop roads and high-density housing. However, unlocking these abilities means you spent long periods of time waiting around for the game clock to run and your civilization to advance. Just about anything you do besides sitting still and watching the buildings change will interrupt the flow of time.
Completing the Challenge activities unlocks content within the Freeplay mode. Creating your own personal utopia without objective parameters sounds fun, but the game can only save two files at a time. Unless you are finished with all the Challenge mode eras, it is impossible to build more than one city.
If you manage to make it far enough to culture a decent city, you can share photos of your city as well as unlocked content with friends who happen to own the game. Our personal opinion is when you offer a wireless feature, it should offer entertainment that is not dependent on other consumers. Without friends who also own SimCity Creator, there is no reason to use the Local Game mode.
The one redeeming feature lies within the landscaping tools. This standard feature in the SimCity collection makes a smaller appearance here, with options to create water, fill in holes and previously constructed buildings. However, the delayed response makes selecting and executing any project a stressful adventure.
SimCity Creator might be entertaining if it were the last game on earth, but even then, we might just resort to Hangman. Overall, the game lacks depth within the challenges and the Freelplay modes. Making a gamer watch the action without much input is ridiculous, and if we wanted to sit and watch a screen, we would turn on the TV.
What's Hot: Classic SimCity gameplay on a handheld system, different eras to play, landscaping.
What's Not: Waiting for something to happen, slow reaction time, low level of interaction with buildings and people, restrictive passing of time, Free Play mode saves over Challenge mode data.