SimCity 4 (SC4) is a city-building simulation computer game developed by Maxis, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts. It was released on January 14, 2003. It is the fourth installment in the SimCity series. SimCity 4 has a single expansion pack known as Rush Hour which adds additional features to the game. SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition contained the original game and Rush Hour combined as a single product.
The game allows players to create a region of land by terraforming, and then to design and build a settlement which can grow into a city. Players can zone different areas of land as commercial, industrial, or residential development, as well as build and maintain public services, transport and utilities. For the success of a city players must manage its finances, environment, and quality of life for its residents. SimCity 4 introduces night and day cycles and other special effects for the first time in the SimCity series. Tools such as the Building Architect Tool (BAT) allow custom third party buildings and content to be added to the gameplay.
SimCity 4 was praised for being the first game in the SimCity series to primarily use a 3D engine to render its graphics. It received widespread acclaim, won several awards, and was one of the top ten selling PC games of 2003. It was however criticised for the difficulty of gameplay and computer performance.