The game Energy City has players consider economic, social, and environmental issues while developing an urban energy portfolio that generates power to support a growing population. It is an intuitive game very much like the earlier Sim City games, which allow players to create and run simulated communities.
Energy City takes some time to get started; I recommend the tutorial. Sometimes the game inches along.
What makes this game unique, however, is that it uses real-life ideas. It gives a list of available energy options for an area and you decide how to proceed. But there are monetary, environmental and pollution restraints. There are also local “people” who bribe you to make decisions that are favorable to them.
This is not a quick game. It takes at least 10 minutes and it involves strategy and reasoning. I recommend that you start with the easier cities, then move up to the harder ones. Play for only “10 years” the first few times to get the hang of it. Then move up to “20 years.”
It gets more interesting as more games are played. Figure out what works and what doesn’t, then try to maintain above a 90 percent ranking in one field.
The character who appears at the beginning and end of the game is a little creepy, but the good thing is he is there for less than a minute. I recommend that you turn the sound OFF. The noises that the game makes become progressively more annoying the more time you spend on it.
Energy City is available for free play on the Filament Games website. This game production studio exclusively creates learning games ranging from National Geographic’s JASON Science to former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics Inc. — Alexis Thompson