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SimTower: The Vertical Empire

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Name: SimTower: The Vertical Empire
Year: 1994
Publisher: Maxis
Developer: OPeNBooK Co., Ltd.
Platform: PC
Genre: Simulation
Total rating: 74.3% - rated 54 times
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Submitter: Insaneman
Added: Jan 01 2005
Warez status: Abandonware

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Game review

Author: Bokkie
Date: May 13 2005 - 16:06
Score: 70 points
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There is something powerful about a really, really tall building. You stand next to it and damage your neck just looking up at it. You spend half an hour riding an elevator to get to the top (and thats fast). Unless your name is Donald Trump, chances are you will never get to experience the sensation of owning a tower all of your own let alone designing your own.

Thank goodness for Maxis who, through their whole Sim collection, have put the power in our hands. We can now own farms, cities, game reserves, and ant colonies thanks to them. Even the whole earth is not beyond their reach. Yes, thanks to Maxis I now own a 100 story megalith that would make Mr Trump jealous and you can too, thanks to the simple wonder of "Simtower". Here's how it works

As with Simcity 2000 and other sim games from this era, gameplay of SimTower is completely mouse controlled and run through a simple menu system. Upon starting the game you are presented with various windows and buttons to control things from. Theres the toolbox, which has all the various items and actions in it such as things to build or bulldoze. Theres the mini map, which shows your whole tower in one view which you can change by clicking on the top buttons (there are views such as satisfaction or pricing which show you everything in a colour code). Theres the info bar which displays your cashflow, star rating, time and year as well as any other little bits of info. Then of course there is the main window where you can see the tower in more detail and this is also where you place your items. Overall arrangement is tidy and everything is easily accessible which helps you to get down and play straight away.

The whole game works on a rating system. You tower starts on a one star rating and once you meet certain requirements you will get two stars and so on. This is also where the challenge comes in as moving from 1 to 2 stars is easy but getting from 5 stars to "Tower" rating will take a lot of skill. (You can find the requirements for stars you need in the help file.) A higher star rating also brings in new building options and possibilities. This star system is a good idea which adds point to the exercise of building and is better than the endless goalessness of Simcity.

The building process itself is very simple. First you lay down a lobby. Then you choose what you want from the toolbar (note that to choose some items you have to hold down a related button to bring up choices. eg: holding down the lobby button will give you the stairs and floor options). Then you place the items where you want them in your tower. There are offices, shops, condos, hotel rooms, resturants, security offices, elevators and many other things you can place. It's great that you have such control over what goes where and so you can come up with a comprehensive strategy or building plan and see it through piece by piece. Nice and easy to build the exact tower of your dreams.

Beating the game on the other hand is another storey (pun intended). You have to think like a real developer would and plan well ahead. Spend all your money building new floors and you won't have anything to bring in more money. Put a condo next to a shop and no one will want to live there. Forget to put enough cleaning ladies near your hotel rooms and coachroaches will infest them and they'll have to be destroyed.

Then there are the random events like terrorist attacks and fires. They could cost a lot of money and cause damage if you don't have enough security to deal with them. If you want to get really technical you can even manage each elevator individually or set the rate of each hotel room or choose the type of movie in the cinema. There is enough challenge here to keep even super simulation freaks happy and while it might only take a couple of hours to knock up a big construction it might forever before you get a "tower" rating.

There's lots else I could write about the gameplay but I think what I've said sums it up. Easy to get into, tough to beat and let me add: Totally addictive. Gameplay feels really good on this one.

Far too often broad based simulation games don't go into too much detail on the graphics. Because you generally see everything from a distance, it doesn't matter if you can't see that much of the intricacies. Simtower, however, avoids this pitfall and much care has been put into the appearance of the Tower. You can see the little people moving around in homes, shops and offices. You can see the movies been played on the cinema screen. You can watch the weather change outside the tower. You can look at the lights in the hotel rooms go out one by one. So many things are there that just give you the impression that the tower is alive and not just the same thing over and over exactly the same. For a simulation game Simtower's graphics are brilliant.

Sound is OK. There are little elevators noises, office sounds things like that relative to where you're looking. Nothing dramatic or life changing here, just a nice touch here and there to give the game more character and help the tower live.

Everything comes together so well in Simtower, better even than games like Simcity. You have a simple interface and control system, with a high challenge level based around a good objective system and good graphics and sound breathing life into the whole thing. All in all I would have to say that SimTower is my favorite Sim game. Now if I could just get that magic "tower" rating again on my newest one...

Build a "Tower" rated tower with all your prices set on average or higher and all your tenants happiness ratings on blue. Good luck...

Game files

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CD ISO 282 Download
Cheats 3269 Read
Cheats 3096 Read

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User avatar
By Markus68 - May 03 2014 - 13:52
I have been lokking for that for a long time. Thanks CGN
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By Bee_94 - Dec 10 2013 - 16:10
From the help file: "talk about their latest events and so on". Bokkie forgot it also.
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By Subarumax - Jul 30 2010 - 09:21
Nicest strategy game I've ever played!  :)
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By Computica - Feb 01 2008 - 16:16
They Still didn't put up the save game editors I had for this game. It kept me busy back in the day...
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By Xerikos - Aug 29 2007 - 16:22
islandstudios go into its properties and go to compatability and click the little box above the operating systems and click apply.

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