YMMV: SimCity

  • Allegedly Free Game: SimCity Social and SimCity BuildIt, being reliant on microtransactions but is free to install and play.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Are the monsters in SimCity 2000 just sadistic bastards, or are they Well-Intentioned Extremists? They do drop water, trees, and wind generators sometimes, after all.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: From the SNES port of the original onwards when the games started shipping with BGM. See here for the full list.
  • Canadians and Germans Love SimCity: In fact, Simtropolis is a Canadian fan site (the biggest one), and there are enormous German modding teams to prove this trope true.
  • Demonic Spiders: Trucks, especially trailer trucks, in Rush Hour. Running into them is instant death. While the police siren can cause them to move out of the way, trailer trucks leave their trailers behind, and those still kill you.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Societies.
  • Franchise Original Sin: Every version of Sim City has a few quirks that make aspects of the simulation not run quite as they should. They were always there, different for each game, but features in Sim City 2013 made these problems harder to ignore. For one, it generally takes less of a problem to be happening before the game tells you something is wrong, including when the something wrong is entirely due to bugs; earlier games would have other bugs, but the game was less likely to berate the user for them. All of the alerts in 2013 create noise that make it easy to miss actual real problems. Tying into this, the series was always guilty of not being able to simulate certain intricacies and glossing over them instead; for one example, 2013 actually tries to make fire fighters, police, etc respond to disasters and path their way to them, removing the "gloss over them" part of the sin, but in many circumstances it doesn't work as expected and causes more frustration than before. The agent system discussed under Scrappy Mechanic is another example of the same thing.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Clean energy (such as windmills) in Societies has the BP logo on it due to Product Placement ... which is suddenly much different after BP's environmental fiasco.
    • In 3000 you can build and then bulldoze the World Trade Center. You could even have a plane crash into them in pre-2001 versions (though this was obviously taken out with every new version and game after 2001).
  • Game Breaker:
    • In the original for the Mac, typing FUND gives you money. There's no limit.
    • Disaster Relief in 3000 could be exploited for tons of free money with a handful of cheats. At the start of the game (i.e. before your city has anything that you don't want destroyed), turn on the "iamweak" cheat (new buildings cost nothing), then do the "all buildings available" cheat, and use it to build a ton of Space Ports, Fusion Plants, or anything else that's expensive (the more so, the better). Then set them all ablaze with the disaster menu and watch the free sympathy money roll in.
    • The Toll Booth in 4 can be used to generate a mountain of revenue, as described in detail here.
    • With the Rush Hour expansion, players can constantly repeat a mission that involves catching a robber (assuming they don't unlock the Deluxe Police Station) for easy money.
    • Plopping a military base at the edge of your city makes it easy to get money in SimCity 4 with the Rush Hour expansion. Simply keep redoing the "drive the tank to the edge of the map" mission for 70,000 simoleons a pop.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • 2000 included a joke "cheat" that gave you a 25% APR loan, which is obviously a bad idea, except the game calculates regular loan APR based on the size of your city and outstanding loan APRs, so if you get two 25% loans and ask for a regular loan, the calculation overflows and you get a negative APR loan; your yearly "payments" are in negative dollars, so you gain money. This bug was removed in the Special Edition of 2000.
      • There actually is another version of the overflow cheat that wasn't fixed. If you type in "FUND" and accept loans until you can't any more (roughly 50 times) and repay back three or so, it overflows as well. However, this becomes something of a Game-Breaking Bug as over time you'll make less money as the compound interest is catching up to the negative one.
    • The "Million-dollar cheat code" from the SNES port is actually a bug. First you spend all your money, including on something that generates expenditures. Next you reduce the tax rate and expenditures on the tax screen to 0%. For some reason, holding the L button prevents you from gaining/losing money from the fiscal budget at the end of the year; when you go back to the tax screen and increase the expenditure rates but keep the tax at 0%, you'll get a net loss. Once you release the L button after the calendar rolls over to January, you'll have a negative bank balance. This is instantly pushed it to the maximum value, which was truncated to $999999.
      • The L button somehow delays scripted events until you release the button. For example, the scenario where you must deal with a nuclear power plant meltdown can be averted by holding L, bulldozing all of the existing nuclear plants, releasing the button (there will be no meltdown as there's nothing to explode), then building new ones.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the Boston 2010 scenario, there's a scenario which you have to fix a nuclear meltdown during a football championship. One year later... (Granted the nuclear meltdown in the Tohoku earthquake was caused by an earthquake, but ouch.)
  • Magnum Opus: Simcity 4 is generally considered the best game in the franchise.
    • Which is odd because it got there after being Vindicated by History. At release it was a buggy mess. The 2013 problems were far worse, and some fans praising Simcity 4 seemed to forget this.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Reticulating splines", a technical term from the original Loading Screen became a franchise-wide Running Gag (parodied with things like "Gesticulating mimes") and appears as a Shout-Out in other games, such as World of Goo and Minecraft.
    • The city advisors in 2000.
    • The Transportation Adviser always took any funding cuts very badly " YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS!"
    • This one became something of an Ascended Meme in the 2013 release, with a mission given by Police to expand their department entitled "You won't regret this".
    • And all those llamas...
  • Most Annoying Sound: In the original Mac version, the traffic helicopter sounds every time heavy traffic appears. Which in a busy enough city, will be all the time.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The "zzz" sound you hear when you put down a power line in Sim City 2000. Although it is also the sound that the alien monsters' ray guns make.
    • The "WHUMP-PACHING" sound you got placing a government building in 4.
    • For the 2013 game, since the background music variety depends on your population, hearing the opening notes of Town and Out signals a milestone, not to mention having three additional (and more pleasant) tracks added to the jukebox.
    • Can't forget when things start to futurize and Sim City, November 2019 starts playing.
    • The Mega-Tower sound effects in general.
  • Nightmare Fuel: The Obliterate City option in 4 allows players to wipe a region free of all traces of civilization, letting them keep hard terraforming work and whatnot in case they make an irrepairable mistake in city design. Invoking said power is no minor affair, though. First, bursts of light emerge in random locations of the city, obliterating small sections of it. Then, the winds begin to howl, the sky begins to flash, the ground begins to tremble and roar, and motes of light begin to rise from the surface of the Earth. The screen finally turns a blinding white, and from within the noise emerges a wail, a scream, of something Sim and yet not. All goes silent, the blinding light subsides, and all traces of Simkind are gone.
    • Not to mention the radioactivity issues in various instalments, but especially the way they're portrayed in 3000; if a nuclear reactor is destroyed in a disaster or explodes from overuse (one could argue this reflects poorly on the realism with which nuclear power is portrayed, but that's another story) then a large area surrounding the remains of the reactor is littered with these strange radioactivity symbols implying radiation poisoning, in which case the whole area becomes abandoned, and if you zoom in on it you hear an errie high-pitched noise accompanied by the clicking of a geiger counter.
    • One must wonder what exactly Omega is... Leading to some very scary fan interpretations.
      • Whatever it is, it's made from crude oil and metal ore, and is highly addictive. Wonderful.
      • The song Primordial Dream from Simcity 4 is terrifying. Scariest part is, that if you check this in the list, THEN IT'S THE ONLY SONG THAT PLAYS.
    • The monsters in 2000. Watching them blink at you with that red eye is creepy.
  • Porting Disaster: Any of the console/handheld ports of 2000 (which special mentions going out to the Sony Playstation, Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance versions of the game), including the DS' SimCity 2000-disguised-as-3000. Poor control response, slow gamesave loading times, and overall sluggish performance are to blame. Technically, this is caused by the port target having less processing power and memory than Maxis' initial platform - a 25MHz 386DX for PC, or 16MHz Motorola 68030 for Mac, with at least 8MB of RAM was the absolute minimum. Most of the handhelds and consoles the game was ported to had nowhere as much RAM and processing power.
    • Also the Mac ports of 3000 and 4. These were not done by Maxis in-house.
  • Porting Distillation: By contrast, the SNES port of the original SimCity is largely considered to be superior to the PC version, substantially improving on the graphics while adding background music, an advisor (Dr. Wright), and reward buildings, features which would all eventually be ported back into the PC games.
  • The Scrappy: The Wren Insurance building, which might tend to repeat a lot in your big cities. A mod has even been made to reduce this repetition.
  • So Bad, It's Good: SimCopter. The cars look like they were made by kindergartners with construction paper, the "people" were two-faced, gibberish-speaking... things, and the gameplay was simple, repetitive, and full of escort missions. However, the game is still fun - even now. The ability to import cities from SC 2000, have them rendered in 3D, then fly around them, was amazing in its time, and still hasn't been done on that level with any other game.
    • SimCity 2013 is also this to some players. Said players have reported that they strongly disliked what EA has done to the game, but found it incredibly difficult to stop playing anyway.
  • “Stop Having Fun” Guys: The modding community for 4 takes itself very seriously. Creating a buildings that deviate from real-world structures may result in hard-core designers criticising your designs and ideas.
  • Stop Helping Me!: Right after you load up a city in Easy mode, your city planner in SimCity 4 Rush Hour, Neil Fairbanks, tends to pile obvious advice (e.g. create new zones to expand your city) on you in the form of multiple pop-up windows appearing in sequence:
    New Residential Development Stymied By Limited Choices
    *click* (window dismissed)
    Sims Scout for Office Advantages
    *click* (window dismissed)
    Industry Needs Room To Expand
    *clickclickclickclick*
  • That One Level:
    • Sim City Creator's "Global Warming Age" in Challenge Mode. If you didn't set your facilities correctly, you're pretty much screwed. The Moneybags Cheat tends to help though ...
    • "Dullsville" in the original game; turning a backwater town into a megalopolis in 30 years and with a meager $5,000 initial budget. A population of 100,000 citizens is hard to achieve even in sandbox mode starting with $20,000.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Societies was substantially less detailed than its predecessors, and not developed by Maxis. Fans and reviewers were not impressed.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: This Jacobin article argues that the games enforce a neoliberal economic agenda that stresses growth above all else.