You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Long-Lost NES Port of ‘SimCity’ Resurfaces After 27 Years

A rare NES port of Will Wright’s 1989 building game “SimCity” has surfaced after 27 years, thanks to the efforts of preservationists from the Video Game History Foundation.

The port was announced alongside its 16-bit SNES cousin and made a brief appearance at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in 1991, but it was cancelled shortly after, Video Game History Foundation founder Frank Cifaldi explained in a recent blog post. People believed the port was completely lost, until a cartridge containing an unfinished version appeared at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo in 2017.

Video game preservationists were given a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to digitize the game, Cifaldi said, and they’re now sharing it with the rest of the world.

The Nintendo port contained a few memorable additions that helped shape future installments in the series, including a cartoon virtual adviser named Dr. Wright (obviously based on creator Will Wright), the ability to take out bank loans, and a much-needed sense of progression. But, what really makes “SimCity NES” special, Cifaldi said, is the insight it gives on the collaboration between two legendary game developers, Will Wright and Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto.

“Think about this. In 1990, two famous game designers from opposite ends of the globe sat down and collaborated,” he said. “The guy who just shipped ‘SimCity,’ probably the most famous computer game at the time, and the guy who just shipped ‘Super Mario Bros. 3,’ probably the most famous console game of the time, came together briefly to combine forces on a project.”

Popular on Variety

Cifaldi’s post has a lot more interesting tidbits and it’s worth checking out for a glimpse into gaming’s history.

More Gaming

  • Riot Games

    Riot Games to Pay $10 Million to Settle Gender-Discrimination Lawsuit

    Riot Games, developer of “League of Legends,” will fork over at least $10 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of women employees alleging the company’s “bro culture” resulted in systemic gender discrimination. Terms of the settlement in the case, reached in August, were revealed in court documents filed last week in California [...]

  • Dreamscape_Dragon vr

    Dreamscape Gets ‘DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy’ VR Experience (EXCLUSIVE)

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Dreamscape has teamed up with DreamWorks Animation to launch a new “How to Train Your Dragons” experience at its flagship Westfield Century City VR center in Los Angeles later this month. The 11-minute “DreamWorks Dragons Flight Academy” experience allows up to 8 participants to hone their dragon-flying skills together, and [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Eases Restrictions on 'Simulated' Violence in Gaming Content

    YouTube announced a change to its content guidelines that will be more permissive in allowing depictions of violence in video-game content — as long as it’s not the sole focus of a video. Starting on Dec. 2, YouTube said, scripted or simulated violent content found in video games will be treated the same as scripted [...]

  • Disney’s Frozen 2 and Laika’s Missing

    'Frozen 2,' 'Missing Link' Lead 47th Annie Award Nominations

    Disney’s “Frozen 2” and Laika’s “Missing Link” led the 47th Annie Award nominations Dec. 2 with eight each and will battle it out for best animated feature along with DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World,” Netflix’s “Klaus” and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” when the ceremony is held on Jan. 25 at [...]

  • Black Friday Deals: Oculus Rift, PlayStation

    The Best Black Friday Deals for VR Headsets, Apps & Games

    Getting your own virtual reality (VR) setup at home used to be costly, requiring not only an expensive headset but also a full-blown gaming PC. Not anymore: The latest generation of all-in-one devices has made VR a lot more affordable, and deep discounts for the holiday season serve as another incentive to finally make the [...]

  • Beat Saber Acquired by Facebook, Company

    Facebook Buys the Maker of the Popular VR Game 'Beat Saber'

    Facebook has acquired Beat Games, the maker of the popular virtual reality (VR) music game “Beat Saber”, the social media giant announced Tuesday. Beat Games will operate as an independent studio under Oculus Studios, and continue to support “Beat Saber” on all existing platforms, according to a blog post penned by Facebook AR/VR director of [...]

  • Kris Bowers, Alan Silvestri, and Catherine

    Alan Silvestri, Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha Among Hollywood Music in Media Award Winners

    The 10th annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards rewarded a diverse crop of composers, songwriters and music supervisors who contributed to film, TV and videogames over the last year, from scorers Alan Silvestri, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Marco Beltrami and Michael Abels to tunesmiths Cynthia Erivo, Bebe Rexha and the Avett Brothers to Quentin Tarantino’s longtime music sidekick, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content