NES version of city-building simulation SimCity discovered, released

As we go into 2019, it’s amazing that there are still past gaming discoveries to be made. Even the NES apparently had some lost gems, as seen here with this unreleased SimCity port.

Those who have played SimCity for SNES back in 1991 may have marveled at the accomplishment. To have the popular city-building simulation work on the 16-bit console was mighty impressive back then. But to see largely the same game on NES? Now that’s some wizardry at work!

The NES SimCity was announced at the same time as the released SNES port. This was canceled likely to focus on the SNES and was expected to never be seen by the public. Thanks to a couple of generous collectors, the Video Game History Foundation was able to digitize the game to make it widely available as a ROM or flash cart. You can check it out below.

As you can see, gameplay is largely the same as in the SNES release. Zones are laid out, roads are built, and disasters can be called upon to ruin everything in sight. Even Dr. Wright is here to give helpful advice, albeit as an 8-bit sprite. To see a game of this magnitude running on the NES is nothing short of impressive.

Although not a finished game, a city can be built and you can save your game. There are bugs, typos, and missing content for sure. Otherwise, this is a very playable build to be enjoyed by gaming historians or any intrigued *ahem* Nintendo enthusiast. You can download it here.

What do you think of this discovery? Will you be checking out this build for yourself? Let us know in the comments below! And if city-building is your thing, check out our review of Cities: Skylines.

David Giltinan
David has been involved in games media since 2012 running his own blog, YouTube channel, being a founding member of RETRO Magazine, and now as host/producer of ARGcast - Another Retro Gaming Podcast. He also dabbles in voiceover and is occasionally a stunt double for Jude Law.


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