Hello, Mayors! I’m Lead Gameplay Scripter Guillaume Pierre, also known as MaxisGuillaume on the forums, and I’m here today to talk about an often requested feature by fans: sandbox mode.
Choosing to set a new region in sandbox mode is like entering a gentler version of SimCity. Each city starts with a truck-load of Simoleons, with the possibility to add more via a key press, and although the simulation functions just like in the regular game, certain “pushback” systems can be toggled on and off at any time. Say you don’t want fires to burn down your beautifully-planned suburb? It’s as easy as hitting “Alt F” on your keyboard to eliminate all fires. Don’t want earthquakes or meteors to strike in the middle of your downtown? Just press “Alt D” and you’ll be safe from all disasters!
Of course, when you’re being granted such great powers, you’re also opting out of the competitive aspects of SimCity: You can’t earn achievements, participate in challenges or the leaderboards, and all your trades to the global market don’t count towards setting the prices of goods.
On the other hand, all the cooperative and creative aspects of the game still shine: Region play and chat with friends for the social players, screenshot and video capture for the story-tellers, and a remarkable learning opportunity for beginning players. With all the buildings in the game unlocked from the get-go, sandbox mode is going to be a terrific way to explore the content the game has to offer, study the best way to lay out your city in a care-free environment, and test out strategies before applying them for a challenge or to climb up the leaderboards in the regular game.