SimTower: Review, 'Cheats' and Guide

Ah yes, an old classic. SimTower was released in 1994. Yet it is still a very viable and entertaining game.

The basic premise of the game is to construct a 5 star tower. To do this you have to build many different services and various types of commercial and residential spaces in your building. And you have to interconnect these services and spaces with a maze of elevators, stairs and escalators. All while keeping everyone happy, and maintaining a profit.

Each star rating you achieve, allows you to construct more items for your tower.

1 Star:

- Lobby: The lobby acts as an interconnection between elevators, stairs and escalators. A lobby has to be placed on the first floor. In addition, sky lobbies may be placed every 15 floors. Sky lobbies do not NEED to run the entire length of the building, however for the best possible flow of people going between elevators it is recommended. I will sometimes place a fast food joint or something similar on either end of the sky lobby, if it isn't between any elevators. Lobbies can not be removed once they are placed. so remember this especially when you are planning the lay out of your Sky Lobby.
- Floor tool: (click and hold on the lobby tool button to access) The floor tool allows you to create blank floor spaces. This is normally not needed unless you need to fill empty spaces below something you plan on building. Whenever you construct a new area, it will automatically add the floor. Also, the floor auto fills between the 2 widest floor areas of your building, per floor.

- Stair tool: (click and hold on the lobby tool button to access) Stairs are basic transportation services. Sims will only travel via 4 sets of stairs per trip. However they do help take care of some elevator congestion in busy areas.

- Standard Elevator: The standard elevator shaft is your main local elevator type. These elevators can only service a maximum of 30 floors. You can place as many as 8 elevator cars per shaft. And in total you can only have a maximum of 24 elevator shafts (any type of elevator). So placement and use of your elevators is critical.

- Office Space: Offices are commercial rental spaces which can have as many as 6 people employed per office. They are rented out in Quarterly terms to the tenants and you receive rent payments from them every 1st weekday at 5 AM. Office tenants must be kept fairly happy. If their 'Evaluation' of the tower (stress level) is red for too long, they will usually vacate. Office Tenants begin to arrive at your tower around 9 AM every weekday morning. They will have lunch between 12 and 1 PM, during which time most tenants will wish to visit various fast food restaurants in your building. Thus ensure your elevators are able to handle them during this time. Officers begin to close at 5 PM, although some Sims will continue to work as late as 10 PM. Offices are a great source of easy income. However the traffic they create is something you must ensure your elevator system is able to handle. Otherwise the profits will be short lived as tenants move out.

- Condominium: These units are private residential apartments. These are actually sold upon purchase by the tenant. Since these are sold, you do not get any rent payments or anything similar from them after the sale. If the tenants vacate, you basically automatically re-purchase the condo, and then you can re-sell it again at a price of your choosing. Because of this, condos are not really a good way to make a profit in the game. They are however a good way to make fast cash, if you are strapped for cash. The low population of condos is also helpful if your elevator system is over burdened. Condos provide a method to continue to build upwards, without drastically taxing your infrastructure. Tenants will begin to leave condos around 8:30 AM on weekdays, to go to School or work, or shopping. Tenants begin to return home to their condos around 2 PM on weekdays. Sometimes they will go out for dinner at your local Restaurants in the evening.

- Fast Food Restaurant: These are places where Sims can have lunch and eat snacks during the day. Fast Food places attract everyone in your tower to them, as well as bring in outsiders. In this regard their positioning is critical to the traffic patterns in your building. Since they do see a lot of lunchtime traffic, it is often best to place them within 1 floor of a lobby. If you can, I try to place them directly on a sky lobby. Fast Food places will open at 10 AM and close at 9 PM at which time they will hand in their daily profits.

2 Stars:

- Service Elevator: Service elevators are similar to Standard Elevators in that they can only travel 30 floors, and can have as many as 8 cars per shaft. However service elevators are only for Housekeeping staff. Their only use is to transport housekeeping staff between floors with Hotel rooms on them, so they can clean them. The in-game help for Service Elevators suggests that they also need to be connected to Recycling Centers as well. However, I have found this to be untrue. Recycling Centers work just fine without connections to Service Elevators, and vise versa. Service Elevators do not need to connect to lobbies. You should only use them locally on the floors where you have hotel rooms and housekeeping rooms. Otherwise they are a wasted elevator shaft.

- Single Hotel Room: These are single hotel rooms. They hold one guest, per night. Hotels are an excellent, all be it difficult way to make money. Rooms must be cleaned every day by your housekeeping staff, otherwise they will get infested with Cockroaches, and at that point then only thing you can do, is destroy the room and rebuild it. Cockroaches can spread across a whole floor if left unchecked, even if the other rooms are clean. Hotel guests begin to sign in around 5 PM and will continue to sign in until Midnight. They trickle into their rooms just as the office crowd is trickling out of the building. This makes a very difficult 2 way traffic pattern for your building, if you have a lot of Offices and a lot of Hotel spaces. Hotels, like Condos, are sensitive to neighboring space use. If there is an office or commercial space next door, they will likely complain that it is too noisy. Hotel guests begin to check out around 6:30 AM and continue to sign out all morning. When the guest signs out, you will receive the rent payment directly from them. Per tenant, Hotels generate the most income for your tower.

- Housekeeping: These areas are the workplace of 6 housekeepers. These staff members will use Service Elevators to visit each hotel room, each day, to clean it. They operate between Noon and 5 PM. If the housekeeping staff are not able to clean all the rooms by 5 PM, you need more staff. To do this, simply place another Housekeeping section. However be careful where you place these. They are unable to be destroyed once built! Also, each Housekeeping unit will only send 1 housekeeper to each floor. So if you have lets say 3 floors of hotels, and 1 housekeeping unit, it will send only 1 housekeeper to each floor, leaving 3 housekeepers in the Housekeeping unit for the whole shift. If you wish for 2 or more housekeepers to attend each floor, you will have to build 2 or more Housekeeping units. There are apparently no restrictions on how many housekeeping units you can have.

- Security: The Security center is used to fight fires, and find bombs planted by terrorists. Security personnel use the outside fire stairs to travel, and do not use the elevators, or inside stairs. Security officers can not be removed, and you have a limit of 10 per tower. You should place them near every lobby to be effective.

3 Star:

- Escalator: Similar to Stairs, however these can only be places on empty areas, or public areas like shops and restaurants. A Sim can travel on up to 7 Escalators during a single trip within the building.

- Express Elevator: This is an essential tool for climbing upwards. The Express Elevator stops only on lobby floors (note: you don't actually need to have a lobby on the floor for it to stop there), and it also can stop at basement floors as well. These carry 42 people per car, and up to 8 cars per shaft. For a full width building, I try to have 4 Express Elevators. 2 to service the lower sky lobbies, and 2 to service the upper sky lobbies.

- Restaurant: These are a better food option then Fast Food joints... health wise anyhow ;) regardless, Restaurants are only opened in the evening, from Dinner onwards. Therefore they will not be able to service the lunch time crowd. However they are a big bonus for Sims staying at your hotel, and they also bring in people from outside. They make more money then Fast Food places as well.
- Retail Shop: These stores are decent money makers, however not really essential. They do bring in a little bit of people, however they are more so dependent on other nearby facilities bringing in people, for them. Like movie theaters or the Subway station. They are good at filling in empty unused space in your basement ;)

- Movie Theater: This facility is a great way to bring outsiders into your tower. However it is not a good money maker. Place these near your commercial areas with your restaurants and retail stores.

- Party Hall: The party hall is a better money maker then the Theater. It also takes up slightly less space. You can really place these anywhere, however, expect neighbouring tenants to complain of it being noisy. Sims who come in from outside to visit party halls however rarely seem to travel anywhere else in the building.

- Hotel Twin, and Suite rooms: These rooms round out your Hotel building abilities. You will need some Suites to advance to 4 Stars. Twin rooms pack more Sims into a floor then a floor filled with Single hotel rooms. However expect a heavy burden on your elevator system if you make a lot of Twin rooms. Suites SHOULD be places in a location where there is no delay for elevators, either going up to, or coming down from the suites. It is important they remain happy. As with other Hotel rooms, Twins and Suites will complain about noise and distance from elevators / stairs. Twins more so then Suites will be your big money makers. As While Suites technically do bring in more money, they will not always fill up with renters every night. Twins usually do if their clean.

- Medical Center: Place Medical Centers near Residential and Office areas and near the main Lobby. They should be fairly spread out in the building.

- Recycling Center: These large 2 level facilities need to be placed next to eachother to function. They can only be in the basement. So I usually align then with one of the sides. and ensure I have enough space to build as many as 8 to 10 side by side (or ontop of eachother). If they are getting full long before they are cleaned out, you need more.

- Parking Ramp / Spots: The parking ramps and spots are essential to tower advancement. They may only be built underground. I try to build them on the opposing side of the map as the Recycling centers, and I just build parking spots inwards till I hit my commercial areas (which I usually build in the middle). Other then being a pain in the ass to place all of the parking spots, there isn't much else to them.

4 Stars:

- Metro Station: Place this near your commercial area in your basement. It will bring in a lot of new Sims from the outside world to shop at your building. Metro stations can not be demolished, so place carefully. They must be placed at the lowest level. Sims which come in from the Subway, will only shop in the lower levels of the building, they will likely never travel any higher then the street level lobby.

5 Stars:

- Cathedral: This item is required for your 'Tower' rating. Cathedrals cant be removed once you place them either. They must be placed on the 100th floor. Other then that there really isnt much too them. Try to place some party halls nearby, as weddings do happen up there, so having a place local may help ;-) lol but I am not really sure it does.

Strats:

Well, I have read a few of these Walkthrus for SimTower and many of them are kinda crappy. I saw one where it took the kid about a year to finish the game... really if it takes you THAT long, you are doing something wrong. Sure it is challenging, but it can usually be won in about 8 hours or so.

First off, I usually cheat a little to start off. before you do anything, scroll to the bottom left of your area, and. while pressing Shift and Ctrl, try to place a Lobby at the bottom left tile. If you do it right, you should get $4,000,000 to start off with instead of $2,000,000. I do not really consider it a cheat tho, it really doesn't help too much in the long run. As in a hour or so, you should be making easily $1,000,000 a week or so.

I then usually hold down Shift and Ctrl and build my lobby on the street level. That will give me a 3 level lobby, and while it takes up useful space, it is helpful in relieving stress caused by Sims waiting for elevators.

As far as cheats, thats all I know. But thats really all ya need. At this point we need to decide what your major income will be in your tower. Starting off you are really limited to Fast Food places and Offices. Offices being the far better option ;-) So usually build a few floors of offices and let them do their thing. ensure they have good elevator coverage and let them build you a nice income. Feel free to build up and try to reach the 300 population mark to get your 2 star rating.

Once you get 2 star, you can choose to start building Hotel spaces. If you do, be sure to keep the elevators as separate as possible from the Offices. I like to fill full floors of one type of tenant space. so like Floor 4 will be offices, Floor 5 will be Hotels, etc... try not to mix them because then you run into transportation and noise issues.

If you begin to run low on cash, you can always build Residential condos anywhere, and that will likely help bring you back up, just be sure not to rely on them too much, as they are kind of like a Loan. they dont bring in money long term, and when you destroy them / when they move out, you loose the money you gained.

So basically now it is a game of building offices and hotels upwards. But the challenge lies more so in the Elevators. As I said earlier, try to keep your elevators seperate for Hotels and Offices. If possible, I like to keep Hotels to one segment (between 2 lobbies), and Offices between a different segment. Therefore you can service them with different elevators completely, and different Express Elevators too! Another trick I found is handy, is to build 2 elevators side by side, and alternate the floors on each. I try to do this in the middle of the building in high density areas. I also try to run a elevator up the left and right sides to ensure that no one is too far away.if you are running low on elevators, placing 2 local elevators per section can help. I would usually place them at about 25 - 30% and 70 - 75% across the building from left to right. this is usually good enough to ensure that no one is too far away. However you will likely have a lot of traffic on those elevators with only 2 per section servicing them, so be sure to manage the elevator time table properly. It pays to watch each elevator and see what times they are busiest. If you can not help congestion, look for a nearby local elevator which can be extended to help out. But be careful not to over crowd that elevator as well.

Generally for Hotels, I usually place Twins closest to the lobby, then I place Suites and Residential areas between 5 floors above the lobby and 5 floors below the next lobby. I then place Singles at the top of the section below the next lobby. This is because you can use Stairs to help with the crowding within 4 floors of any lobby. Twins and Singles will be the most crowded. Twins more so... Avoid using stairs for singles at the top of the section unless required. If the local elevator ends at the top floor in the section, the singles should not have any issues, as the elevator cars will always pick them up first on their way down. Assuming you use Express to Top function in the morning rush hour when everyone is checking out. As for the twins, they will be at the bottom, so the elevators wont likely hit them as much, but with stairs nearby, they will be fine with walking down to a lobby.

Housekeepng should be plentiful. Especially for a full section of hotels. I tend to place anywhere from 12 to 16 Housekeeping rooms per hotel section with a single service elevator spanning it. That seems to work fairly well. Be careful where you place your housekeeping. I try to place it in the middle of the section personally... it helps east congestion at the elevator, on the floors furthest from the lobby / stairs

As far as Offices goes. They should be close to Medical Centers, and Fast Food places. Otherwise just making sure that the elevators arent too congested for them is the key. Elevator placement and scheduling is key in this game.

Residential areas dont really add much in the way of congestion, so you can always use them as space fillers in over congested sections.

Check your Evaluation map regularly, look for red areas. If they remain red for a few days, consider lowering the rent for that facility. That should help keep them happy. But the key is finding out why their Red. Following the tenants can help. You will usually find that it is caused by long waits for elevators.

Another trick I have to save congestion on your express elevators, is for them to skip the 15'th floor lobby. Instead use 2 local elevators at each side of the building, and make them skip everything between the main lobby and level 15. then use then to service levels 15 - 29. Sims can board them directly on level 1, and it will service all of the whole 2nd section without burdening other elevators.

I think that about covers it for now.

let me know how this helpped ya.