I’ve played a few of the SimCity games, but the second in the series, developed by Maxis, is easily my favourite. It combined everything that was good from the first game with a brand spanking new game engine that allowed for fantastic things called hills. While terraforming may be a given nowadays, back in 1994 when this game was released, it was a major advancement. You were even given access to the underground layer, which let you play around with water pipes and subway systems to further the control you had over your city.
That wasn’t all they managed to add into this version, with prisons, libraries and hospitals now featuring as well as nine different varieties of power plants and even greater control of the way the general population travel around in it with different road types available too.
That was only half of its appeal though. EA’s love of expansion packs was clear even at this early stage in their video game publishing career, as they pumped out a ‘Greatest Disasters’ expansion pack and, in a separate download, you were also able to get the ‘Urban Renewal Kit’, both of which added so much fun to the game. The former introduced the now staple of the series – the UFO attack – which delighted me no end when my cities were on the brink of failure, to see them destroyed by an other worldly being was hilarious. The latter was where many modders would have cut their teeth, as it allowed buildings to have customised appearances and even allowed for small animations to be played from these new buildings. These two aspects gave almost unlimited amounts of fun and were really some of the front-runners for this kind of development.