I'm tired of SimCity 4- can you recommend something new for me?
September 4, 2010 11:31 PM   Subscribe

After nearly 8 years of obsessively playing SimCity 4, I need a new sandbox.

SimCity 4 is fantastic, but I've pretty much exhausted my possibilities by now. I've also gotten bored with the iTouch version of the game. I like building things and watching them go, and then responding to the challenges the game throws at me. However, I am not into strategy/warfare games- I always find myself getting outraged at the computer players for attacking the cities I've so carefully built! The main consideration is that I'm on a Mac, so I can't play things like Cities XL. Any help? It doesn't necessarily have to be a city-building game, but I really like sandboxy game mechanics where the point is more just to play and build than to 'win.'
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh, and I forgot: not Spore.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:03 AM on September 5, 2010


I never liked the "feel" of SC4... have you ever tried the classic Simcity 2000? A couple of years ago I introduce it to my coworkers/kids and it went like a firestorm in Dresden.

Not quite sandbox, but have you ever played X-Com? There are enough mods/editors to almost make it sandboxy.
posted by porpoise at 12:24 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the things I used to do back in the day was play Civilization (2, or maybe 3) at the easiest setting (so that they didn't come whack you every time you turned around. The goal was to get the Starship launced ASAP.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:51 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


D W A R F
F O R T R E S S

posted by fleacircus at 1:07 AM on September 5, 2010 [8 favorites]


Ahh, X-Com.

1. It must be, what, 10 years since I played? Still-- walking in the cardinal directions: 4 time units. Walking diagonally: 6.

2. Creators of Bioshock making an Xcom FPS? Interesting...

That said, it's not a sandbox game in any real sense.
posted by alexei at 1:13 AM on September 5, 2010


OpenTTD?
posted by Mike1024 at 2:25 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


What about the various Tycoon-type games? Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 and the Soaked! expansion pack are available on OS X. So is Railroad Tycoon 3. Tropico and Tropico 2 are both available on OS X.

The Sims series are also very sandboxy, especially with the tons and tons of mods. Both Sims 2 and Sims 3 base games are on OS X and so are a majority of their respective expansions, plus mods can add a lot if you like that sort of thing. Going out to neighborhood level can also reward your desire to city-build, at least on some level, too.
posted by asciident at 4:41 AM on September 5, 2010


There's no Mac-Version of OpenTTD anymore, Mike1024. Otherwise it would be a great suggestion.
posted by dominik at 5:14 AM on September 5, 2010


There's no Mac-Version of OpenTTD anymore, Mike1024. Otherwise it would be a great suggestion.

There's not an officially supported one, but there is a build available on the forums.
posted by Remy at 6:41 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anno 1701 (or the newer one, 1404) might be what you are looking for. You can turn off warfare I believe and just sandbox away and build an awesome colonial island empire.
posted by Marcc at 6:42 AM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I loved SimCity 4 and I also loved Roller Coaster Tycoon as well as Tropico. Both building games, none as extensive as SimCity (well, Tropico came closer) and both took up way too much of my time.

I don't like games with war/fighting in them, though (I hate when they ruin all the pretty things I've made!).
posted by good day merlock at 7:47 AM on September 5, 2010


Minecraft. Stick with the video for a few minutes. I think it is worth it for a sandbox lover.
posted by 517 at 8:15 AM on September 5, 2010


Anno isnt out for Mac. It also has terrible copy protections that make it so it won't play through something like Crossover either. (I have purchased and tried).
posted by lilnublet at 9:17 AM on September 5, 2010


Another vote for OpenTTD. I've been playing TTD since 1995.

Oy...
posted by PenDevil at 9:40 AM on September 5, 2010


I agree; not Spore. Blecch. But as a Sims player at my 10 year anniversary, I would be remiss if I didn't suggest Sims 3 in a thread about sandboxes.
posted by ErikaB at 10:12 AM on September 5, 2010


If you are looking for something big and fancy, Civilization 5 comes out this month. Civ games scratch that building stuff sandbox itch way better than simcity games for me.

If you are more into a getting up close and building a city that flourishes experience, maybe try one of the Caesar games. I think the most recent one was 4.
posted by cirrostratus at 10:43 AM on September 5, 2010


I think The Sims 3 is your best bet. RollerCoaster Tycoon is a good one too (I think that series is also on its third game).

Actually, most of the Sim games could be described as "sandboxy game mechanics where the point is more just to play and build than to 'win,'" but it'd be a little more work to get older ones like SimTower or SimEarth running on a modern Mac. Still, it's possible.

I would avoid games like Civilization and X-Com based on this: "I always find myself getting outraged at the computer players for attacking the cities I've so carefully built!" :-)
posted by danb at 5:28 PM on September 5, 2010


Second Life?
posted by moira at 6:09 PM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Roller Coaster Tycoon 1 & 2 were great - 3, not so much. It went from isometric to 3D and there were a LOT of bugs, and IMO the game lost a lot of its charm. If you choose one of these games, I have all the old bonus coaster tracks that were available from the official websites, if you want them. (Assuming they're no longer available.)

I also loved Pharaoh and its expansion Cleopatra - basically SimCity with an Egyptian theme, and like SimCity, there are scenarios to win if you like.

Might you enjoy The Sims? I started playing back when the first Sims game came out and loved it. I haven't played Sims 2 or 3 due to lack of a decent graphics card, but when I build my new system soon, I hope to start in on Sims 3. You can build a home or neighborhood for your Sims and turn on Free Will and let them live their lives on their own, if you don't want to micromanage.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:24 PM on September 5, 2010


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