Disclaimer! SimCity Societies is the next in game in the SimCity series, widely known before the official announcement as SimCity 5. The game is not developed by Maxis, but instead by Tilted Mill.
The game differs greatly from previous instalments in the series and does not offer, for example, things such as pipe-laying, power lines, individual building funding and growable buildings, including zones; instead you plop everything in the game. SimCity Societies claims to be a more accessible game and does no present the same steep learning curve as SimCity 4 had. Everything is more stream-lined and focus has been put on managing a working society. Furthermore a new concept called ‘Societal Values’ is a feature that affects how certain areas of your cities look and behave. These influence your city and inhabitants in many different ways, like architecture, crime levels, happiness and economy.
Societal Values is the main cornerstone of SimCity Societies. Through them you control your city’s development and most aspects of the look and feel of it. There are a total of six values that you either promote or supress to create the city of your dreams – or nightmares.
Societies with a strong authoritarian presence will be obidient and efficient, but not always through free will. Citizens refusing to join in will be promptly taken care of to be put back into the fold. Secret Enforcers watching over the city will make sure order is maintained and buildings such as the Propaganda Ministry and the Conditioning Theater will help out in that task. Free thinkers an artists will be frowned upon.
Creativity goes hand in hand with culture. The more you promote this value the more creative your citizens will be, and the city will get an air of fantasy and fun. Art colleges, ginger bread houses along with museums and movie studios will dominate your city. Artists and free thinkers will be seen in large numbers on your streets, but watch out, productivity will most likely see a hit.
Knowledge represents higher education, science and enlightenment in your society. Schools, science institutes, observatories, dorms and frat houses will all be present in such an enviroment. Even though science can be used for good it can also be used for more sinister goals, so keep your eyes open for the men-in-black that can populate your city.
If you like a city full of blue collar workers and high productivity this is the value for you. Sims might not be the happiest bunch around, but your cash flow will be steady. These kind of societies tend to be jam packed with sweatshops, run-down apartment blocks, bars, and underground venues.
A city focusing on prosperity will have a large wealthy middle class, skyscrapers dominating the skyline and access to a wide arrange of consumer goods and facilities. The downside are the problems associated with loan sharks, gambling depths and pure decadence.
This is the game’s equivalent to religion. Societies concentrating on this value will see devout citizens with high morals. Dojo venues, monastaries and pagodas will be seen throughout the city; which in turn will produce monks and masters (including fighting ones!). Science and learning will take a hit with this value.