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Sim Tower was the first 'Sim' game that my sons persuaded me to play. Unlike the various City games, this one focuses on a single tower block, where apartments, hotels, shops etc must be created. There are simple menus which enable the choice, and despite my reservations I quickly understood how to get started!
It took a few false starts as I tried to create too ambitious a project immediately and ran out of money, or did not build enough stairways or shops to satisfy the customers - so they all moved out. However the instruction booklet contained a lot of good advice, written in a light-hearted way, and I soon realised that some techniques were distinctly more reliable than others.
To start with there are only a few options, but reacing the first star rating is fairly easy; at that point the menu expands and more advanced choices appear. There are five levels in all, and the culmination of the game is reaching 100 storeys, and building a cathedral at the top - something that can only be achieved after the final, most difficult star rating.
The game required some planning, so as to allow for easy access to the various entertainment (such as cinemas) that the customers demand. It also required increased monitoring of the customers - who are portrayed as little silhouettes running around the floors, visiting various places, or sleeping. Cleanliness is important - if the hotel apartments are not cleaned, for example they develop roach infestations and have to be destroyed - and so is the layout of the entire building, so lifts and escalators have to be carefully organised.
Unfortunately, once I had the general idea and was beginning to succeed in building up money rather than going bankrupt, it became completely addictive, and nobody else could get near the computer! I played it, off and on, for a couple of weeks before managing to reach the final level and sighing in relief, since that was the end - there was no more to achieve.
However it wasn't many weeks before I started wondering if there was a better way to build a tower, so I tried again.. and enjoyed it just as much, with a little more careful forethought and some different ideas. It's just as well the game has an end, or I would probably still be playing now :-)
Other family members, and visitors in our home have also enjoyed Sim Tower. The sounnd and graphics may be fairly basic, but that is not necessarily a disadvantage for those of us who struggle to understand fast-moving three dimensional games.
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