SimCity free trial offer launches on Origin

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Remember SimCity ? Specifically, the disastrous launch of SimCity, followed by a year-long slog to implement a proper offline mode that we'd previously been told wasn't possible? It's the sort of business that might have put you off of buying the game, even at the current, vastly-reduced price of 20 bucks . But if you're curious, you may now indulge yourself without cost, and without risk.

As you might expect, the SimCity free trial offer comes with a few strings attached. It's limited to the single-player mode in the Cape Trinity and Reflection Atoll regions, and only provides two save slots. It's also exclusive to the PC—sorry, Mac people—and can only be played once per Origin account and per PC: If there are multiple Origin users sharing a single PC, only one will be able to score the freebie.

But the real knock is its length: The trial period is good for just four hours of play, starting from the first time the game is launched, and once it's over, it's over. The good news is that if you try it and dig it, your saves will automatically transfer to the full game if you decide to spring for it.

It's not exactly the apex of generosity, in other words, but it is free, and even though four hours is a drop in the SimCity bucket, it should be enough time to get a feel for how things work, and thus whether or not it's your cup of tea. The offer is here , the details are here , and if that's not free enough for you, there's always the Wing Commander 3 giveaway —which you should probably be looking at anyway.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.