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SimCity hands-on preview: building Port Foozle

The birth of Port Foozle

A city is initially defined by its roads, starting with an avenue connecting it to the freeway, which is necessary if you want any Sims to move in. Once I'd placed that, I built cross streets, and eventually smaller grids for my budding residential, commercial, and industrial districts.

The option to design curved and circular roads actually makes a huge difference in this early stage. Curves can conform to tricky terrain, and maximizing space usage early on is important for fast growth. Port Foozle's ridiculous circle street was just an aesthetic decision, and a pretty bad one. I did an awful job preparing it for a denser and more populous future.

Read more: The Sims 4: Seasons review

Still, I spent a long time on this stage, because starting a new city is such a great feeling. It's a land canvas ready to be painted with a free-form, living machine. It's all possibilities and no restrictions—at least, it feels that way at first—and it did what SimCity is supposed to do: it made me forget about everything outside my field of view, like my limbs, which started going numb from my reprehensible posture. Hey cheek, how long have you been resting on my left hand? An hour? Oh.

Tyler has spent over 900 hours playing Rocket League, and slightly fewer nitpicking the PC Gamer style guide. His primary news beat is game stores: Steam, Epic, and whatever launcher squeezes into our taskbars next.