Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. A fun game that is accessible and seemingly geared for all members of the family. The game has a really gentle and relaxed feel to it, even when your city starts to hustle and bustle with businesses going up right and left, and the city coffers are working hard to keep up with the growth.
  2. The newest Sim City differs quite a lot from its predecessors. It concentrates more on the social atmosphere than being a realistic city simulator. Social energies is a fresh idea which works nicely although they’ve simplified the administrative side of the game maybe a little too much. SC: Societies is a nice way to waste time, but you’ll get bored with it at some point because the game starts to repeat itself. [Nov 2007]
  3. SimCity Societies is ultimately a step down from its predecessors, but it doesn’t fall so far to be considered a blunder. You may not sink as much time into this installment, but the reinvention of the gameplay mechanics results in an inventive array of new problems to solve.
  4. 80
    What it’s done is added a real human element to the SimCity genre. Where before people were really just another resource to control, they now bring some personality to the places they inhabit. This makes for a much more unpredictable and interesting game, in my opinion.
  5. I just can’t help but feel that this sandbox has plenty of toys in it, but they just aren’t as much fun to play with as they could be.
  6. Marketed more towards newbies than the hardcore SimCity veteran, Tilted Mill has found an amiable balance between dumbing down some of the more difficult aspects of the classic game and creating an interesting new system of city management. [Jan 2008, p.59]
  7. 70
    Despite its few slipups, the core of Societies is strong enough -- and the gameplay addictive enough -- that even the stodgiest traditionalist will find something to shout about.
  8. It hangs together as a pretty building tool, but it's ultimately vacuous. [Jan 2007, p.68]
  9. Out of the box, the game falls disappointingly short of its promise--there's plenty of content here, but not nearly enough challenging ways for gamers to use it. [Feb 2008, p.80]
  10. 65
    If you're looking for the sense of depth and complexity that made the previous SimCity titles so memorable, you might find yourself feeling disappointed.
  11. SimCity Societies isn’t really a SimCity game, but it can be entertaining nonetheless, provided that it gets patched up in the near future so that it doesn’t crash every few minutes.
  12. Quite simply, the game is too easy. Other than balancing society energies and chasing a few meager trophies, you won't find much to entertain you here. The game is far from an "ultimate building block tool kit." SimCity has gone from a complex game to a toned down and largely underwhelming city builder with very little to hold your attention.
  13. There's an illusion of depth at play. [Jan 2008, p.74]
  14. SimCity Societies feels familiar, but the change is clearly a move in the wrong direction for long-time fans.
  15. The addictive gameplay of the SimCity series is completely missing in this lackluster spinoff.
  16. I do feel bad that SimCity Societies is cursed to go misunderstood. It is less an attempt to steer SimCity in a new direction, and more an attempt to fuse a familiar brand and city building theme with another popular, accessible kind of gameplay.
  17. High on visual appeal, good for first-time city-builders; low on challenge, long-term playability.
  18. 60
    A novel game with a unique new mechanic for building towns and cities with personality. Casual players will find a lot to tinker with as they sculpt towns out of their dreams or nightmares. More serious gamers will be able to plumb the depth of the title over the course of the weekend.
  19. 58
    The energy assignments don't always make a lot of sense but even when they do, the energy really has no real effect on the character of your city or its inhabitants. Without some sort of scripted challenges, it all just feels like you're just spinning your wheels.
  20. A spectacularly simplistic game, and bears no relation to the logistics of city building at all. [Jan 2008, p.73]
  21. It’s just too simplistic to hold the attention of any serious management fan.
  22. End result is a rushed and buggy software toy.
  23. Societies doesn't stumble just because "it isn't SimCity". Fresh takes on old concepts should always be welcome. It stumbles because it's a generally unsatisfying patchwork of a game, dragged down by inconsistent gameplay, outdated design and weirdly implemented ideas.
  24. Sadly, it seems that Sim City without Maxis is like a pub with no beer - frustrating, disappointing and not worth a visit.
  25. SimCity Societies completely forgets what the SimCity experience is all about. Gameplay depth has been sacrificed to make the title feel more like a The Sims city builder, and the result is a game with little or no substance whatsoever.
  26. Sweet ideas, very poorly balanced.
  27. 45
    It is just SimCity Lite, and really provides no new challenge or choices. Of course, I did still enjoy raining a meteor shower on my metropolis - probably a little too much, thanks to the frustration I had built up while playing.
User Score

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 84 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 40
  2. Negative: 22 out of 40
  1. Dec 21, 2010
    They destroyed the SC serie! All the conception of zones ( industrial zone, commercial zone etc) the conception of canalisation and energy network... all destroyed. That was a terrible experience. why change something that was awesome?? WHY?! Full Review »
  2. Jun 25, 2011
    this game is a bummer compared to the earlier sim cities. i had some fun playing this game and got bored with my second city. i dont like anything particularly about this game but i dont really hate anything either so it is just sot of boring. i wish the could have gone back to their basics. Full Review »
  3. PatD.
    Nov 20, 2007
    A wonderful addition to the city building genre. This is NOT SimCity 4 in 3D, so put those preconceptions aside before playing. It's a more ethereal, civic-centric game that specializes in subtle clues and changes that are depicted with some of the most dazzling graphics ever put forth in a builder. Don't head into it thinking that making simoleans is the object of the game, because that couldn't be further from the truth! Full Review »