The SimCity reboot on OS X came with a whole host of launch day problems, and longtime fans of the series cried foul at the streamlined nature and much more modest city sizes. If you happened to be in that camp, SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition is exactly what you've been dreaming of, and now it's finally available on the Mac App Store.
If you've somehow managed to avoid the addictive pull of the SimCity franchise, I'll lay it out for you: You play as the all-seeing mayor of your own metropolis, and must build it up from a barren piece of land. It's the ultimate micromanagement experience, and you'll zone pieces of land for residential buildings, commercial properties, as well industrial purposes.
As the mayor, the life of every citizen is in your hands, and you must provide for their basic needs such as utilities, education, emergency management, mass transit, and a host of services. Your city never sleeps, and you're never truly done doing your job. New problems will pop up constantly and your team of advisors will always have a suggestion for how you could better your burg.
The sense of accomplishment that comes with seeing your city thrive is countered by the inevitable failure of many of your plans. A freak fire or riot can quickly change your approach, and no two play sessions are ever the same. You might be short on cash and need to tweak the city's taxes, but even the slightest nudge can topple the local economy and send residents fleeing from your town -- the balances are that fragile.
As you expand, your once quiet town will burst into a bustling city, and before you know it you'll be scrolling over dozens of city blocks to spot unrest, add a hospital, or investigate a traffic issue. If for some reason you manage to craft a utopia -- and that isn't likely to happen until you've spent dozens or even hundreds of hours learning the game's nuances -- you can increase the difficulty by prompting a natural disaster like a tornado, volcano, or meteor.
Handled by seasoned Mac publisher Aspyr Games, there was little doubt that the game would enjoy a seamless transition, and the company has once again delivered on that promise. Technically speaking, the game is the true SimCity experience with zero compromises, and the game runs well on even modest systems thanks to plenty of graphics options.
The Deluxe Edition includes both the base game and the Rush Hour expansion pack, which adds a whole list of new mass transit options for your citizens. It's the ultimate SimCity experience, and anyone put off by the recent series reboot will almost certainly find this version to be far superior in terms of options, size, and scope. At US$19.99, it's the cost of a couple of movie tickets, but will give you hundreds of hours of enjoyment with little issue.