Quick App: SimCity for iPhone

Concerned that you may not be wasting absolutely as much time as possible on your iPhone? Afraid you're not draining the battery as quickly as possible? Desperate to prove the iPhone really is a stop-and-use casual gaming monster to rival the DS and PSP? EA's got you covered with SimCity, the grandfather of them all.

Ready, set, build... for $9.99 at the iTunes App Store.

And when you get back to reality, let us know what you think of SimCity for the iPhone!

(Thanks to Stephen and Sol for sending this in!)

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Quick App: SimCity for iPhone


Isn't the desktop version free?
If so, how come no free version for iPhone? At least a trial version.

I was looking forward to this but am very sad as I've just got a "not available in the UK store message". It really annoys me that apps like gas buddy and traffic cams for US cities which are useless to me are available in the UK store, but games like this and gamelab are not available. Anyone know why this happens?

This app crashes every time I run it. I'm on a 3g 2.2 firmware jailbroken phone.
Has anyone got this to run on a jailbroken phone?

@ Riv runs on my JB iPhone fine. Fist impressions are pretty good. This is a very intuitive game so it will take some getting used to and figuring out. Read the instructions? pfff thats for losers. lmao

Just in time for Christmas break. I've already downloaded, and played a little bit. The graphics and control are very nice. Although it is a little buggy. I recommend you reboot your iphone after you install it. Great game though!

I've heard from numerous UK store users that it is indeed there. You may want to try searching for it manually in the UK iTunes store. Sometimes when new items are added to iTunes, it takes a while for all of the links to connect between the different intra-national stores. I don't know technically why this happens, but my experience is that when new things are added to multiple stores, they are available in the US store immediately and over the following 24 hours or less, they populate the other stores.

You need to manually search for it. Because it is the international version that is available to us.

I've only fiddled with the tutorial city so far, but so far I think it has a lot of potential...especially once I get used to the controls. It certainly had the same "wow, this is all mine" feeling that earlier versions of SimCity had, so I'm pretty positive so far on this one. :)

Damn! I have to go out and buy another iTunes card now! I only have $11 left and the game is $12.99 :( (I live in Australia).

Yeah, this thing is buggy as all can be. I had only placed a power plant and some power wires and it crashed, then it crashed on boot the next time. then I got like 3 power lines and a road and then it crashed... This app definitely needs a ton of work. I feel like they could have sacrificed some of the visual candy for some function.

I can't buy this app because it says that is not compatible with my phone. The same happened with monopoly. Can someone shed some light on this issue?? I'm running version 2.1 jailbroken.

It crashes every time for me. Never launches. Tried uninstalling and restarting the iPhone. Still nothing.

Ok so I ran (well tap my way) to the app store.Im a huge fan of the original simcity games.However 10 bucks later, Im fighting the urge to throw my beloved iphone against the wall...the app CRASHES constantly,the music is cute for a hot minute till you decide to listen to something else and realize you are STUCK with the same jazzy tunes over and over again...cute graphics tho...(from the few minutes the game actually runs before crashing ofcourse...)

Not really a crash for my put plays the music and I just get a white screen. Have to do some crazy sleep button home button combo and it comes back.

To avoid crashes, make sure you've updated to 2.2, and reboot immediately after you download the app. I have had no big problems, other than the fact that it takes a long time to load initially...once the game begins, everything works pretty well. There are a few problems; for some reason it doesn't want to let me build any bridges, and the way it is calculating the budget seems off somehow, but I expect they will fix these problems in the next update.

Unbelievable. This thing crashes constantly. EA used to provide the best quality games back in the Amiga, early PC days. For them to put this out shows how far they have come (backwards) Avoid like the plague until they actually TEST this thing BEFORE releasing it.

Mine crashes every time on opening. Is there any news of some updates to fix this major bug? Kind of thinking I want my 10 dollars back...

Just amazing this game, I downloaded it about 2 weeks ago, and I have to agree, it looks so nice, and it’s been amazing to play and zoom in. Unfortunately it had a bad habbit to crash the iPhone, even to the point that it would freeze up my iPhone for a few minutes.
Finally, a few days ago, EA released a free update to “increase stability of SimCity on the iPhone”. And I have to agree, it’s just an amazing update! The app no longer crashes and freezes my iPhone! No instead it just crashes the app itself after about 10 seconds, so much about “increased stability of SimCity”!
I cannot recommend this game, for a game created by one of the largest computergame companies in the world, it feels like a huge deception, especially for 9$99!

Do not buy!!! Too risky. It will simply NOT even open after several reboots and re-installs. I paid 10 bucks plus tax to see the Sim City logo!!!!

Four weeks ago I bought the Sim City game for iPhone at the iTunes Store, but I't crashes a lot.
I downloaded the last update, and restarted the iPhone twice, but still not working, what can I do?
I'm very disappointed

Once your city size gets above 300,000 or so the game is unplayable. Crashes every time you play.

I can't get the game to open... it sticks at the loading screen..... thanks for wasting my ten bucks....

Yup...crashes....i have been playing this game all weekend. I started over about 3 times. Each time I can play for 5 hours non stop (no joke, its addicting) and then once the city reaches over 100,000 citizens, it crashes. So, I build a lil...save...crash...build a lil...save...crash...build a lil...save...crash...build a lil...save...crash..build a lil...save...crash...build a lil...save...crash..until I get frustrated and start a new city.

My city population is at about 349,000 and it's no longer playable. I was experiencing lots of random crashes before that, but now it's impossible to do anything in the game. I have the oldest 8gig iphone with 2.2 jailbroken. Except for the annoying crashes and population limitations which cause more crashes, this is actually a good game. It would be nice to have different music or actually be able to play your ipod files. The graphics are excellent but that probably lends to the instability. I also noticed when you shake your iphone during gameplay it brings up a cheat dialog, here's three cheats I googled so far. Nerdz Rule = industry builds tech. I am weak = build at zero cost. Pay tribute to your king = unlocks all buildings. I hope EA does something about the crashing/slow loading (which also leads to crashing if you get tap happy)

I WANT MY MONEY BACK!!! THIS DOES NOT EVEN OPEN TO CRASH - I'VE TRIED EVERYTHING AND FOR A $10 APP, THIS IS NOT COOL - EA figure it out or give everyone their refund. Why waste my money and time for something that doesn't work at all... FEELS LIKE A SCAM!

Mine worked ok... Some crashes... but bearable until things got to the point where it was just starting to get fun. Then it crashed every 10-20 minutes or so. I downloaded the latest version that promised more stability and now it crashes just a few minutes after opening everytime.
I did everything they said but it just won't work. Shame. EA should give us our money back, fix the game, them give us all a working copy to pay us for being their unwitting beta testers!

No idea what everybody is complaining about. I installed the app, rebooted my iPhone, and have not had a single crash of freeze up. I'm at a population of 420,000 and a budget of 2.5 Million. The game is still running fine. The only bad thing I found is if you don't save often, you'll beat your head against a wall when you get a phonecall, because that closes your game. iPhone is not multi tasking like Windows Mobile. Only 1 app can run at a time. After my budget being at 1.7 million, I had to go back to 800k after getting a phone call. Aaaargh!

FYI: I couldn't get people to move into my town. It was on pause. You have to hit the triangle Play button on the bottom right side and mess with that a little. People popped up instantly.

I can't get any power Help???
it's driving me crazy I've rebooted.... reinstalled ..... Still no power what can I do??

I have a 200K population city and ever time i go back to the saved game, a bunch of streets and pipes are not there anymore. It's different streets and pipes every time.

Crashes on startup every time, restarts/resets do nothing. Should be pulled from the App Store.
[16gb iphone 3G v3.1]