Revisiting SimCity 4

Last week, my brother Jeff moved to Colorado to find work there. He left a lot of his stuff behind to be sold or given away. He gave me a copy of SimCity 4 and I’ve spent a lot of free time playing it these past few weeks. The game is seven years old and I played it when it was new but didn’t enjoy it very much as it did not run very well on my hardware and I found the game quite difficult compared to its predecessor.

This time around I am not having difficulty building a profitable city but I am as yet unable to build a thriving metropolis complete with abundant skyscrapers. Even with hundreds of thousands of people there seems to be a glass ceiling for buildings.

As the game is now rather mature, there is an abundance of user-created additions and mods for the game. I am starting slowly with this as I just want to play the game largely as it was intended to be played with some enhancements. I have installed the Network Addon Mod (NAM) which adds several new options and tiles for transportation. I am now building ground light rail in avenues, which embeds elevated rail into Rush Hour’s included four lane roads. I am also using a global police headquarters that eliminates the necessity of building dozens of police stations in a single city and high-tech waste to energy plants. It doesn’t feel too much like cheating since the future comes quick in SimCity. After I’ve exhausted my interest in playing the game as-is I may try some more fundamentally significant mods such as CAM.

This Friday, I went out by myself for the evening… not something I usually do. On the advice of a friend I took my camera with me just because and shot some pictures. I saw Leon Brown at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse on Bourbon Street and saw a movie at the newly renovated Theaters at Canal Place. I saw The American, the new George Clooney movie. The pacing was slow and deliberate for Hollywood fare but I thought it was interesting enough. Good scenery if nothing else.

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