Game Pimping, or how to Extend Your Fellow Gamers’ Dollars

Purpose: Tell your fellow gamers why they should buy a game. We’re talking about games that have been overlooked or perhaps weren’t so great on release, but are pretty rock solid now.

Rules…we have start with rules.

[li]The game must be readily available and play on current systems. We’re not talking about your favorite closet game from 15 years ago. We’re talking about buying that $10-$20 gem that’s readily available, patching/modding it up and having a great experience.[/li][li]Use the format I have below, please. This keeps things pretty standard. This also means one or two line mentions aren’t really what this thread is about. We’re talking about mini-reviews.[/li][li]Comments are welcome as are conflicting opinions, but if you disagree with someone make sure you’re taking into account the patches/mods they’re referring to.[/ul] [/li]

Here’s my suggestion:

SimCity 4 & Rush Hour Expansion (now called SimCity 4 Deluxe)
Cost: $20 at Amazon
Genre: Simulation/City Building
Important Site:
Important Mods: Too numerous to mention, but the Network Add-On Mod is almost required.

SimCity 4 sold well on release back in January 2003, but it had some fundamental issues. First, it was extremely slow on many PCs at the time which was very frustrating as you built up your city. As you built up your city it quickly taxed the capabilities of your computer. It was also very complex and not very well documented. As such, many gamers quickly dismissed it and SimCity 2000 remains the standard-bearer of city-building sims.

Here we are over six years later and I think SimCity 4 is by far the best of the series. Yes, it’s still very complicated. There’s a lot going on underneath the hood and you really have to spend some time studying why things happen. Then again, it’s a simulator and not just a game – that’s part of the challenge. If you can get over that learning curve, the best SimCity ever awaits you. The Rush Hour expansion added in needed transportation flexibility. Newer PCs can run SimCity 4 with little trouble, making the game experience far more enjoyable. What you wind up with is a game that can occupy you for not hours or days but weeks and months. If you start to run out of ideas or things to place, download one of the the massive number of mods – everything from roads and bus stations to a McDonalds – at Simtropolis. Not to mention their forums is a treasure trove of information. You can build virtually any city you can imagine in virtually any style.

So, what’s your recommendation for poor gamers to extend their gaming dollar?