Simcity NES Prototype Digitized and Dissected By Video Game History Foundation

Published: December 27, 2018 8:51 AM /


simcity nes

SimCity NES version has finally been tracked down after years of searching. The Video Game History Foundation has managed to secure a copy of these extremely rare console version of Will Wright's famous city-building game.

SimCity is well known as a game that practically founded a genre. It's primarily been a PC title over the years, but it has seen some console releases. The SNES, Nintendo 64, and Nintendo DS have all been home to a version of this game. It may be surprising to hear that a SimCity NES version had also been created—and never released on the market.

Prototype versions of the NES port had been made. These prototypes were intended for trade shows and the like; this particular version of the game had been shown at a CES in the early 90s. Surprisingly, a man had not one but two copies of these prototype Simcity NES cartridges and he had brought them to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo to see if anyone was interested in purchasing them.

While a sale had been made, an agreement was reached that allowed The Video Game History Foundation to digitize one of the cartridges. Their analysis revealed a few key differences between the NES and SNES versions of SimCity.

To start, the NES version had 2x2 tiles while the SNES version had 3x3 tiles. Features like zooming in weren't implemented on the NES version of the game. The "monster" disaster was simply a generic monster on the NES as opposed to the rather appropriate replacement of Bowser on the SNES version. These are but a few of the key differences between the two.

Unfortunately, the NES adaptation of this classic city-builder is an unfinished prototype that never got the finishing touches put on it for release. On the brighter side, a playable version of the game is now available online! You can learn more about the SimCity NES version (and get to a downloadable link to play it) by reading the extremely detailed report over at The Video Game History Foundation. Your best bet for getting a city simulator fix these days is probably with Cities: Skylines; you can grab that at 77% off on Green Man Gaming as part of their holiday sale.

Disclosure: Green Man Gaming works with TechRaptor for affiliate partnership and TechRaptor earns a small commission off purchases made from some links in this article.

What do you think of the Simcity NES version? Do you think it would have been successful on that console? How well do you think this type of game can work on systems other than a PC? Let us know in the comments below!

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A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
Author: | Senior Writer