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You are placed in charge of a patch of land upon which you build the city of your dreams. Some items are "zoned" for, others are placed by the player. This is an open-ended simulation game that does not have a specific "win" condition, though specialized scenarios are included with the package that do involve win conditions.
Items that can be placed include roads, schools, hospitals, police stations, fire stations, train stations, rail lines, power plants, special items when you reach a certain population, underground pipes for water, and subway stations and routes. You also zone for residential, commercial, industrial, and port districts. Entertainment items can be placed as well, including such amenities such as parks, zoos, stadiums, and yacht clubs.
You receive money from taxes, bonds and from special ordinances placed upon the "sims" who live in your city. All zones and buildings cost money to place except for some special items awarded at specific population levels. ~ Robert Trousdale, All Game Guide