SimCity has a mode that normalises cheating. Rather than type ‘Rosebud’ into your keyboard ad infinitum, you’ll be able to top up your Simoleans in Sandbox mode with one key press. And if you don’t fancy watching your fire station burn ironically to the ground for the fourth time? Try ‘Alt-F’ to remove the possibility of fire. Or ‘Alt-D’ to remove disasters from existence entirely.
Sandbox mode will make you ineligible for Maxis’ much-vaunted leaderboards, of course, and stop you from earning achievements or taking part in online challenges.
However, you’ll still be able to take part in all of the Region-based interplay with other players’ cities. This SimCity is “multiplayer from the ground up”, after all. And you can trade on the global market, but thankfully won’t make any impact on its economy with your insta-spawn mega-bucks.
Writes Maxis lead gameplay scripter Guillaume Pierre: “With all the buildings in the game unlocked from the get-go, sandbox mode is going to be a terrific way to explore the content the game has to offer, study the best way to lay out your city in a care-free environment, and test out strategies before applying them for a challenge or to climb up the leaderboards in the regular game.”
Even Sim City 4 was relentlessly punishing for new players. Hopefully Sandbox mode will enable us lesser planners to tweak the game’s difficulty as we go and prevent us from bouncing straight off the new SimCity’s gorgeous transparent Glass Box windows. What do you think?