Source: Maxis (http://www.maxis.com/games/simisle/)
(This is a product description; I found no demo versions on the site, only
full products to purchase)
Playing Time: multi day, each sitting,
approximately one hour
Software Release Date: 1999
Cost: $29.95 http://www.eastore.ea.com/cgi-bin/eastore.storefront
(enter "simisle" in the search field)
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: CD-ROM
Subject Area: Social Studies
Objectives: To build a productive island
community using the resources given, in the least amount of time, with
the least amount of money
Brief Description: the player is given
certain tasks to complete on each island pertaining to the people living
on the island and the resources that they have. Once each task is
completed, the player moves on.
Entry Capabilities Required: none
Relevance to objectives: 5 The objective
of the game is to work quickly and economically. By doing so, you
as the player are more successful. If you work slowly or waste money
and resources, you do poorly
Strong Points: good
graphics, fun for all ages, educational
Provides practice of relevant skills:
4. The player is learning the skills of time management and balancing
costs as well as the idea of opportunity cost. The only problem is,
the player most likely doesn’t think about these decisions each time, as
(s)he would in real life.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4.
The graphics are excellent, and the Sim family of games is well known for
creating exciting simulation games that no two players will ever play the
same. Once again, the only problem is direction. No directions
are included with the package, and the tutorial only gives you a quick
briefing of your task
Likely to be comprehended clearly: : 4.
As stated above, the directions are lacking which hurts the overall game
play. However, there is a tech support number included as well as
an email address, so a teacher could call or email to get specific instructions
for the students.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
5. The game is attractive with high colored graphics and many sounds
and pictures. Also, it is on CD which means that the game will last
and is transferable.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 4. The player must make
the right decisions for the most part, but some luck is involved, some
of which the player cannot control. Overall though, most of the luck
encountered is ‘bad’ luck, such as the natives being unhappy with living
conditions and the player must adjust to each of those conditions to win.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 4. The game is
accurate for a player learning economic theory and how it relates to people.
For example, the player has to consider opportunity cost of each decision,
the law of supply and demand, etc. Also, the islands and the scenarios
used could most likely need the products that the player must build/provide
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results):
):- I found none on the web site for this particular game, and none
came included in the game box. However, the other Sim games have
been rated very highly from educators, children and adults alike.
Clear directions for play:
1 Directions are not included, as stated above
Effectiveness of debriefing:
1. The debriefing is weak, because it only gives a general background
and some specific instructions. If the debriefing was better, the
game would be easier to play/
Weak Points: poor
instructions, time consuming
Reviewer: Matt Allen
Position: student at SUNY Potsdam
Date Reviewed: 02.22.00
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
G3 233, 64mb ram.