Streets of SimCity
Streets of SimCity Coverart
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Designer(s)Will Wright
EngineSimCopter's engine
Release date(s)1997
Rating(s)ERSB: E (Everyone)
InputKeyboard, mouse, joystick (optional)

Streets of SimCity is a 1997 racing and vehicular combat computer game published by Maxis. One of the game's main attractions was the ability to explore any cities created in SimCity 2000 by car in a cinematic style. The game, like SimCopter, is in full 3D and the player's vehicle can be controlled using a keyboard, a joystick, or a gamepad. Another notable feature is the game's network mode, in which players can play deathmatches with up to seven other individuals.

Notably, it is one of the few games in the Maxis series that Will Wright did not work on, and the last Maxis game to be developed and released without supervision by Electronic Arts[1] (which acquired Maxis in 1997 and assisted development of Maxis games thereafter).

Objectives Edit


Streets of SimCity screenshot

The game offers several different modes of play:

  • Career
    This is the primary, mission-based play mode, in which the player takes part in one of four television shows, with missions being presented as "episodes." There are four different shows to choose from, each with a set of episodes that increase in difficulty.
    • Zippy's Courier Service
      players take the role of a package deliveryman who must make a certain number of deliveries in a certain amount of time; over time, his package delivery operation expands.
    • Galahad's Watch
      tasks players with first weeding out corrupt cops and then uncovering and stopping a vast criminal plot.
    • Granny's Wild Ride
      has players play the part of Granny, who has discovered plans for an alien invasion that must be stopped at all costs.
    • Race for Your Life
      involves the player in a number of fast-paced races as a race car driver.
    • A fifth, untitled category also exists, and contains several unrelated missions that include post-apocalyptic deliveries, deathmatches, and, in several cases, following a plot line specific to that mission. The details and objectives vary from mission to mission in this category.
  • Players' Choice
    This is a non-mission play mode, and allows the exploration of any of the more than fifty included cities or a city built in SimCity 2000 or SCURK (see below). Four levels of difficulty are available in this mode: Sunday Driver, Bad Hair Day, Commuter's Revenge, and Crush Hour. Sunday Driver features neither traffic nor packages to deliver, allowing uninterrupted exploration of a city. Bad Hair Day, Commuter's Revenge, and Crush Hour feature increasingly well-armed and insistent enemy vehicles, as well as more packages. Packages can be recognized by their distinctive appearance and representation on the minimap as green dots. Delivering a package to its destination within the specified time results in a cash reward.
    • SCURK (SimCity Urban Renewal Kit)
      is an editing program packaged with the game designed to allow the creation and editing (but not simulation) of cities for use with Streets of SimCity.
  • Network
    A non-mission play mode in which two or more players can establish a deathmatch with a selection of four different connection options. The player can join a room or create his/her own, give themself a name, a car, establish rules, and designate the map on which the match is to take place. Up to seven players at a time may play on a single map. There are two online play specific options:
    • Deathmatch
      A player is out of the game once the player's car is destroyed; the last remaining player is the victor.
    • Freeplay
      Players are not withdrawn from the match when they cars are destroyed. This mode also uses a point system. Players may also team up (This feature requires an even number of players on the map). The Streets of SimCity online community is relatively small, so most players end up playing matches with people they already know.

Types of playersEdit

  • Speeder/Civilian
A neutral vehicle that only appears in the scenarios, usually as either the Street Rat or Airhawk. Under most circumstances, killing a Speeder can cost the player money and can cause the scenario to end in failure. However, a very few scenarios, especially in the untitled scenario category, give the player cash bonuses for killing Speeders.
  • Hunter
The most common enemy in the game, usually appearing as a dark brown or black car, and armed with a machine gun and missile launcher. Hunters know the position of the player at all times and will therefore track the player continuously. Many scenarios require the killing of one or more Hunters in their mission objectives. Hunters can also be found disguised as civilians or cops. They are found in Player's Choice in their default car form.
  • Rogue
An enemy specializing in building demolition through the use of a powerful bomb, usually taking the form of the HMX Utility Van. On certain occasions, you are required to defend a building against one or more Rogues; failure to do so generally results in the loss of that scenario. At times, Rogues may be disguised as other vehicles.
  • Boss
The most difficult enemy encountered in the game, usually appearing as a J57. Typically, Bosses are armed with a machine gun and missile launcher, and have Level II armor, a Shield, and a Hopper as mods. Bosses also take the form of Cop cars in certain scenarios in Galahad's Watch.
  • Courier
The sole purpose of this vehicle is to deliver packages, and usually appears as an Azzaroni. The Airhawk and Street Rat are two other less common forms of the Courier. Couriers should be left alone under most, if not all, circumstances in the scenarios, as killing one usually leads to the scenario ending in failure. Couriers are found in Player's Choice in addition to Hunters.
  • Cop
This vehicle prowls the streets for speeders. If a Cop catches a player traveling faster than the posted speed limit, the player is fined $250. Cops are also found in Player's Choice, like Hunters and Couriers. It is possible to cause a pursuing Cop to forget about a speed infraction if the player travels out of the Cop's range.

Vehicle componentsEdit

All vehicles, regardless of their package or weapon capacity, consist of four main parts:

Engines Edit

Three unique engine types are available for each vehicle. In essence, the more expensive the engine, the higher the maximum speed. Having the fastest engine is necessary to be competitive in most races, and also greatly benefits the slow HMX Utility Van. Of course, vehicles traveling at faster speeds experience decreased maneuverability.

Tires Edit

There are five distinct types of tires available for each vehicle, each with varying cost, durability, and maneuverability:

Type $ Cost Information
Normal Tires 240 The basic tire type that comes standard on all vehicles except the HMX Utility Van and the J57 (which are initially equipped with solid tires and racing slicks, respectively).
Off-Road Tires 320 These tires are the toughest type and withstand off road driving and falls extremely well. However, they tend to decrease a vehicle's maximum speed and maneuverability on roads.
Solid tires 440 Standard on the HMX Utility Van, these tires are tougher than Normal Tires, but don't handle off road conditions as well as do Off-Road Tires.
Racing Slicks 800 Specially designed to grip road surfaces, racing slicks are extremely fragile but allow excellent maneuverability at high speeds. They come standard on the J57 and are generally only necessary for races.
Spiked Tires 400 This tire type is immune to the effects of oil slicks due to its spiked design. Spiked Tires are not as resilient as Off-Road Tires.

Weapons Edit

There are 5 different types of weapons available for purchase. The number of weapons of a given type that can be mounted on a player's car depends on the model; for example, the HMX Utility Van holds up to four missile launchers and six machine guns, while the J45 can only mount one missile launcher and two machine guns.

  • Machine guns and rocket launchers are the two offensive weapons, and are placed on the front of the car. Machine gun bullets are sold in packs of 25 and are the least expensive of all weapon ammunition, while missiles are sold in very expensive packs of 8.
  • Proximity mines, smoke screens, and oil slicks are the defensive weapons, and are mounted on the rear of the vehicle. Smoke screens are ineffective against computer opponents, limiting their use in Scenario mode. The oil slick is ineffective against Spiked Tires.

Weapons can be used in linked mode, where all weapons of the currently selected type are fired simultaneously, or in unlinked mode, where each weapon is fired once in sequence. Generally, weapons in unlinked mode fire faster, although this effect is not very noticeable when using machine guns due to the machine gun's very short reload time.

Mods Edit

Up to six different types of equipment, called mods, can be added to any car:

Name $ Cost Information
Armor Level I 200 Basic armor plating, suitable for the occasional scrape with a building or tunnel wall, and light weaponry.
Armor Level II 2000 Advanced armor plating, more expensive but always worth the cost. This armor type can withstand multiple direct missile hits, hundreds of machine gun bullet hits, and on the order of ten mine explosions.
  • Shield ($15000): This battery-powered mod grants the vehicle temporary invincibility to all types of weapons and collisions as well as damage due to sinking in water. However, battery packs must be collected to power the shield.
Hopper 20000 A steam- or gas-powered launch system allowing the vehicle to pop up in the air for several seconds. Note, however, that the vehicle will usually sustain tire and armor damage upon landing. Generally, the hopper is best combined with the airfoil (see below).
Airfoil 25000 A gasoline-powered mod granting the vehicle temporary hover capabilities, basically allowing the vehicle to traverse any terrain (including water) as if it were road at the vehicle's maximum speed. The airfoil quickly drains a vehicle's fuel tank, so care should be taken when using the airfoil over water when low on fuel.
Military Radar 1000 An electronic package providing target location and health through a HUD. A reticle is projected onto the windshield of the vehicle showing the target's approximate position and distance, and a readout with the percent damage of the target is displayed next to the reticle. Note that only vehicles can be targeted with the Military Radar.
Radar Detector 300 An electronics package providing detection of all police cars in the current city. Cops are displayed as flashing blue squares on the minimap.


Music and soundEdit

  • The game has many different styles of music to choose from, using a radio control while driving. The stations range from jazz, techno, bluegrass, and rock. The garage has a tune composed solely from power tools and machines to make a unique style. In addition, some of the music lived on, and was included in the best-seller game The Sims, as music for "action" television programs, as well as tracks on radios and audio systems.
  • Many of the sound effects came from the 1974 film Gone in 60 Seconds.


  • The StreetRat is modeled after an older 60's Volkswagen Beetle model
  • The "Azzaroni" is designed based on the Ferrari 250
  • The "J57" is designed from the Ford GT40
  • The "Airhawk" is designed as an early 1970s F-Body (Pontiac Firebird or Chevrolet Camaro) car.
  • The "StreetRat" and "HMX Utility Van" are among the car sprites that appear in SimCity 3000.
  • The Vehicle on the cover, which appears in the menus of the game, is a 1964 or 1965 Ford Thunderbird. Though it appears on the cover and in the menus, it is not playable.


  • The game's codename during development was "Watery Grave" (In the game, the player's car will sink in water)

Criticisms Edit

The game could be considered to be the black sheep of the "Sim" line, since it does not accurately simulate driving. Most scenario goals involve destroying enemy vehicles, winning races, delivering packages, and evading cops, rather than careful driving. Also, the game suffers from poor collision detection, at times leaving the player's vehicle stuck in a building or tunnel wall. Other graphical inconsistencies include the ability to drive through trees of any density, and in-game pedestrians walking backwards.

Running the game under versions of Windows later than Windows 95 frequently leads to unexpected game crashes, a poor frame rate, and a state in which the player's vehicle temporarily stops responding to controller inputs and travels in a straight line. Most of these problems stem from the fact that the game's graphics are programmed using the 3dfx Glide API, which is incompatible with most modern graphics cards. Glide wrappers can be used on more modern systems to increase the stability of the game.


There are few mods available for this game, but the ones that are the easiest to find are skin packs, which give players more cars to choose from in the game. Most are still based on the original cars' designs, however. Some examples include the De Lorean from Back to the Future, an ambulance, a fire truck, and new race cars.


  1. SIMply Divine: The story of Maxis Software

External linksEdit

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