Micropolis brings the original ‘Sim City’ back to life – for free!


Are you a fan of the original SimCity or just city building/management games in general? If so, you will want to check out Micropolis, a great classic gaming experience, actually based on the original SimCity code and concept. It offers hours upon hours of city planning and production, and best of all, of course, it is completely free.

For those of us that have been fans of computer gaming since the earliest days, there are few enough titles that can recall with any significant power the sense of what PC gaming was really like and what it was really ‘all about’ during those days of digital pioneering. It has all the features of the original SimCity games, of course, but with an improved interface and all the bugs from the previous game have been wiped out, as well.

There are three main reasons I like Micropolis. It’s highly portable, gives a great gaming experience reminiscent of an older time while still being up to date in other ways, and of course it costs nothing and is open-sourced.

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The program is so tiny, it barely qualifies as negligible. Combined with the fact that it’s java based and comes packaged as an executable, this means that Micropolis is essentially 100% portable so you can put it on any thumb drive, flash card or other mobile media device and play it directly if you so choose on any java supported device like another laptop or a tablet.

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It’s so small, in fact, it can even be sent as an email attachment, which makes it a good gift choice if you happen to know someone into nostalgic gaming.

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The gameplay itself is what really draws one to Micropolis, though, as it should be with any good game. The system is much like what you’d recall from playing early versions of SimCity on the older PCs or even the older consoles. I’m talking 8-bit here, guys, with pixels the size of your grandmother. The graphics haven’t really been updated except to make them slightly clearer and sharper, which is a boon. They’ve kept the campy aspect of the game and polished it up quite nicely. Many of the game concepts introduced in Micropolis were brand new and rather mind-blowing at the time and it’s creators were seen as visionary. The game revolves around building a city using the ‘zone’ principle in which areas are marked for residential, commercial or industrial use and then they ‘grow’ on their own within the simulation and based on a high number of different factors. The resulting game of all this complex computation was one of the most fun games that has ever been produced and launched a franchise into stellar and legendary status and success so it’s worth checking out for that reason alone, if naught else.

The fact that Micropolis is open-sourced means that you can fiddle with the code to your heart’s content. It also means that community created content could be done pretty easily if one were so inclined. You can read more about the code itself and find out more about the development process that went into Micropolis at their official website here. Until next time, my friends!

  • Get Micropolis here
  • Need Java (version 7 or better for Micropolis) get it here