SimCity 3000 Unlimited for Linux

These top-down, huge-scale simulated world games could be laced with narcotics and not have any more appeal, and SimCity 3000 Unlimited is the best of the best in a game genre it helped to create.
Linux Notes

I tested this on a G400-based VA workstation with 128MB RAM and a 500MHz PIII as well as a GeForce-based system with 256MB RAM and an 550MHz PIII, and both systems handled the game with little difficulty. Though the game doesn't require any 3-D support, the calculations required for simulating a 100-square-mile city can be rather taxing, and once you get to higher levels of development, the slowdown in movement around the screen and zoom redraws start to become more and more noticeable. Loki lists the minimum hardware requirements as a Pentium 233 and 32MB of RAM; while these numbers may make sense for many small-scale cities, I think more advanced users (or users of some of the truly monstrous scenario cities) might find it nearly impossible to construct massive cityscapes with those computational limitations. Loki recommends that you run this game in 16bpp color mode to eliminate the on-the-fly conversions that must occur if you use 24 or 32bpp color modes. If you want to use the Building Architect Plus tool, you'll need to use an OpenGL-compliant 3-D driver of some sort (both my NVidia OpenGL drivers and Mesa had no problem at all with the BAP tool). You'll want to have an OSS-compatible sound card and a minimum of 450MB of disk space for the install (a full install will run up around 650MB or so). In general, the requirements of this game really are pretty low compared to the return you get in game play. I've run this gem on my little 500MHz laptop often and find it is just as playable there as on any workstation.


It's the best version of SimCity yet, with more levels of customization, more add-ons, more options, better graphics and better game play than ever before. The game is, perhaps, somewhat complex by its very nature, and if you're looking for a simple game, this probably isn't your bag. However, if you enjoy the idea of some planning and strategy, and if you enjoy a fun mental challenge that is hugely rewarding, this is your game. In my opinion, this is probably a must-have for most Linux gamers.

The Good/The Bad

Just the FAQs Please

J. Neil Doane ( is a professional services engineer with VA Linux Systems and an Indiana escapee. Between prolonged spasms of rabid geekness, random hardware scavenging and video gaming, he is a pilot, a guitarist and a very poor snowboarder.



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dadgasdgadg's picture

too bad loki kicked the bucket and will no longer sell the game. lame.