EA Games SimCity Societies
- Pretty architecture, relaxing and simplified city building for casual gamers
- Far too simple for existing fans, exceptionally easy, some frame-rate woes
Societies is interesting enough if you're just looking for a casual bit of click and drag but if you're looking for the sense of depth and complexity that made the previous SimCity titles so memorable, you might find yourself feeling disappointed.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Although it is one of the most recognised franchises in all of gaming, the SimCity series seemed to be headed towards a dead-end. The latest entry, Societies, tries to take the franchise in a better direction but it ultimately gets lost along the way.
Good enough for Government work
Rather than try to slap a next-generation paint job onto SimCity's rusted chassis, Societies serves as a sort of series reboot, and as such does away with many long-standing concepts. You no longer have to manually link every building to a power source -- plop down a power plant and the electricity flows on its own.
The concept of zoning, meanwhile, has been thrown out altogether: you can simply plop tract homes right next to offices and movie theatres at will as long as you've got the cash. Though this releases you from seemingly arbitrary restraints, it also diminishes the sense of long-term planning inherent in the SimCity experience.
Let them eat cake
Your design choices also don't result in many consequences; no one in the Societies universe seems to mind when they wind up living next door to a heavy metal night club. In fact, as long as your citizens can make it to work in the morning and soak up a little entertainment at night, they'll be perfectly satisfied. You can still click on each Sim to learn their desires and frustrations, but they're far less specific than they used to be.
The true joy of Societies, then, lies in sculpting the overall aesthetic of your city. There are six cultural currencies -- productivity, prosperity, creativity, spirituality, authority, and knowledge -- and all buildings either produce or absorb them. Place war memorials and police boxes, and you'll earn the clout you need to open a new prison.
Put up hand-painted murals and tetherball courts, and you'll rack up creativity sufficient to support a new multiplex. The result of your architectural choices has a dramatic effect on look and feel. You can create burgeoning metropolises that adhere to vastly different principles, from a spiritual utopia to a fascist police state. Each approach presents its own set of unique challenges which results in a nice sense of challenge.
Hit the bricks
Unfortunately, even this enjoyable aspect is simplified to the point where you could easily grow tired of your city within a few hours regardless of what path you take your city down.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- StarCraft Remastered updates a legend with 4K widescreen support, updated audio, and more
- Obduction's new VR hand-tracking makes Myst's spiritual successor even more stunning
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- Subaru XV 2017 review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Business AnalystSA
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTAutomation TesterQLD
- FTProduct Manager - FintechNSW
- CCDigital Business ArchitectACT
- FTSOE Team LeaderNSW
- CCSenior Solution ArchitectNSW
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- TPAutomation TesterQLD
- TPSenior Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- FTDrupal Developer - SeniorQLD
- FTSenior Microsoft EngineerVIC
- CCSecurity Incident Analyst - Splunk - TelcoVIC
- FTSAP Logistics ConsultantNSW
- TPProject Manager - General InsuranceNSW
- CCProject Manager - Security DomainVIC
- CCSenior Business Analyst AgileQLD
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- FTAgile CoachVIC
- FT.Net Solutions DeveloperSA
- FTICT ManagerNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW