The Maxis Collection

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

I’ve had more people than I can count tell me “Dude, you think you have enough ‘Sim’ games?” after seeing my collection. My answer is always “Like, no, Dude”. Or something like that.

I love Maxis games. Most are pure gold, although a few are puréed crap. But whatever, anything from Orinda, Walnut Creek, Will Wright, Jeff Braun etc is sought out and owned by me. From Raid on Bungeling Bay and SkyChase to SimCity 2000 and The Sims, it’s all here. After many requests (and a final ‘nudge’ by SimPrograms) I’ve decided to post some photos of the majority of my Maxis games collection.

Click the images below to see the full gallery on Flickr (or just directly download some JPEGS by clicking this):

Phreakindee Maxis CollectionPhreakindee Maxis Collection

There a few obvious omissions. I don’t have the boxes to games like Marble Drop, Zaark and The Night Team and Full Tilt! Pinball 2 for example. I also didn’t show 3rd-party stuff like MegaMetro, S!Zone, SC2k Pocket PC, the SimCity card game, console ports. But in some form or another, I own a version of every game Maxis had its hands on released in the USA up until EA took over (and most after that as well, though most of those aren’t shown). My focus is games that were released through Maxis up until the Electronic Arts takeover in 1997-98. I’ll get the rest eventually, like SimSafari and the SimClassic sets for instance, but I wanted the earlier games first.

A Few Notable Games

Raid on Bungeling Bay
This is where it all started. Will Wright made this game after he got a Commodore 64 and got the idea to make SimCity by creating this. Don’t have the box, as I’ve only seen it once on eBay and I got outbid: it went for about $80. Read more about it here, it’s really a neat story how this went from an overhead helicopter shooter to SimCity. It was also released on the NES, which I have but didn’t take a photo of. Didn’t take photos of any of my console Maxis games, actually.

Sky Chase
This was actually Maxis’s first released game, to my knowledge. SimCity may have been developed years prior on the C64, but this was the first game of Jeff Braun/Maxis to see release. And through Broderbund no less, who soon released the “first” version of SimCity (which was actually a remake, more on that soon). A nifty multiplayer combat flight sim game, a bit ahead of its time I’d say. This is the Amiga version, but there were Atari ST and DOS versions as well.

SimCity Original 1988/89 Releases
In 1988, Broderbund and Maxis released Will Wright’s SimCity for the PC and Mac. But what many don’t know is that the version released then was actually a remake of sorts. Will Wright’s original game was developed on the C64 and it was quite different (had a water pipe system, for instance). That version was created several years before but didn’t see release due to a number of reasons. The C64 SimCity was then later released in either late 88 or 89, which is the version on the bottom-right. Also, you’ll note two differing box art types: the tornado and “Godzilla”. The so-called Godzilla box is the very first release of the game, which soon was forced to have the art changed due to complaints from Toho. As such, it’s tough to find. The C64 version never had this box, even though it was technically the first version of the game. Since it was released after the second release (which was actually “first” released) it had the new box art. Confused? Awesome. Also, the Mac versions were often subtitled “Supreme”. Perhaps because they came with all sorts of extras, like mushrooms, peppers, sausage, the works.

SimCity Graphics Sets 1 and 2
These were the only two expansions to the original SimCity, and they were simply graphical addons that changed the look of the game to things like the moon and medieval times. Yeah, The Sims Medieval anyone? This was where that stuff started.

SimCity Terrain Editor
Sorry for the crappy shot, but I didn’t have my actual disks handy when taking these photos (although I do own this exact set shown in the photo). SimCity Terrain Editor was a utility for use with any version of SimCity that allowed you to edit CTY files (your saved cities) and edit things like the land, water and the year you play in. A must-have. Also, this is one of those releases that never saw a retail shelf in its lifetime and was only available through Maxis directly. It was later packed-in with SimCity classic, so you’ll see those disks and manuals all the time. But those later versions have the newer “crescent logo” of Maxis and a bunch of other defining differences, see my post here for more info than is arguably necessary.

SimCity European Editions
Europe got totally different packaging and exclusive versions, go figure. Here are a few of mine. Shown here left-to-right: SimCity Classic (Amiga), SimCity+Populous Pack (IBM), SimCity Infogrames release (Amiga), SimCity (Sinclair ZX Spectrum).

SimCity Classic Graphics
When SimCity Classic came out (a sort of re-release of the original game for newer computers and OS’s) the old graphics sets didn’t work with them. These do. Not the easiest to find, either.

Unnatural Selection
Besides being a weird, campy sci-fi game where you have to use genetic modification to breed mutant animals to fight each other, this version of US is a “Review Copy”. You see these from time to time on eBay, mostly never opened. Odd, not sure why or how but there you go.

SimCity 2000 URK and Great Disasters
SimCity 2000 got one official expansion and utility. The Urban Renewal Kit let you customize all the graphics in the game and also lets you edit your city maps, editing terrain as well as placing building tiles. It was later included in the Network Edition and Streets of SimCity. Scenarios Volume 1: Great Disasters was the first of several planned expansions to the game, although this was the only one ever released for some reason. It is VERY hard to find as it came with the CD-ROM Collection and SE released shortly after, so pretty much nobody bought it. Guess that may be why there’s only one volume…

SimCity 2000 Collections
There were two “game of the year”-like editions of SimCity 2000. The first, the CD Collection (sometimes simply known as “The Collection”), contained the base game, SCURK, and Great Disasters plus a few extra cities and stuff. The Special Edition was a gem, with all the CD collection plus a shiny silver/gold box with the creators’ signatures embossed on the box, interviews with Will Wright, and more graphic sets.

SimCity 2000 Network Edition
Yes, a LAN and Internet multiplayer version of SimCity 2000. Very weird, pretty fun, quite hard to find. Here’s my video review of the game.

Another uncommon release. Partly because nobody bought it because it was friggin’ boring. Also, to my knowledge, it was originally never sold in retail stores but only through Maxis directly and a few select college campuses and book shops. Then there’s this “silver” release. No freaking clue, I just found it on eBay. I’ve never seen it mentioned anywhere else and I have looked through every Maxis product “Toy” catalog I have and I’ve got nothing. Maybe it was a later retail release. Any info would be grand.

Zaark and The Night Team: Quest For Patterns & Search For Symbols
This is one of the four edutainment games Maxis released at the start of their Maxis Kids lineup, along with SimTown, Widget Workshop and Marty and the Trouble With Cheese. It is a trippy-as-balls kids game. Seriously, LSD stuff. For some reason it is extremely hard to find, and I have never once seen a box for it. Then there’s the question of the game packed-in with one of my copies: The Search for Patterns. Not sure if it ever got a full standalone release.

Full Tilt! Pinball – Thrustmaster Wizzard Edition
This is just a pack-in version of the game that came with the Thrustmaster Wizzard PC pinball controller. I don’t have the controller. I wish I did because it looks rad.

Widget Workshop
For some reason there was a “bigger box” version of Widget Workshop. No idea why. Pretty awesome game, mostly a ripoff of The Incredible Machine with a few twists.

This was around the time Maxis was really starting to cut costs by using cheaper inserts and packaging. Why then SimCopter originally came with a pair of collector SimCopter aviator sunglasses, I don’t know, but they’re totally awesome. They are crappily-made though, so that makes sense at least. Later versions didn’t come with these in the box, and had an even cheaper package without the window. Most people got the game in a shovelware set after that. This is also known as the “gay” version, as I’ve been told later releases fixed a “bug” in the game that had dudes in speedos making out on top of buildings. Ha.

Marty and the Trouble With Cheese
Very cool idea for a young children’s game. You don’t use the mouse or keyboard at all, you simply speak into the supplied microphone to control this simple kids’ adventure game. Marty even asks you questions you can answer by speaking to him. It’s rudimentary but it works. And yes, it’s totally possible to beat the game by swearing at him, no joke. There was another game supposedly, called Marty in Where’s Morgan? but I have never seen it or even seen if it was released. This one is extremely hard to find, especially in a box.

So yeah, that’s that. Hope you enjoyed and found some useful info! It’s an ongoing process, this collection, so there will undoubtedly be more in the future.


16 comments on “The Maxis Collection

  1. Foxhack says:

    “Zaark and The Night Team: Quest For Patterns”

    … That’s rare? Dammit. I saw a brand new copy of this last year. It came in a blister pack (not in a box) so I figured it wasn’t worth much and I left it behind. Oh I am hating myself so much right now.

  2. Mark says:

    Nice collection!
    Where do you find all these goodies?!

  3. John says:

    Now all you need are SimCity Classic for Windows and SimCity Enhanced CD-ROM. I found nice box-art scans of both here.

    • I got your email about this and responded to it, but for “public record”… they’re both actually in those photos on Flickr! 😀 Look in the bottom-left of the first image for two differing versions of Interplay’s SimCity Enhanced CD-ROM, and right in the middle there are two versions of SimCity Classic for Windows (hard to see the “For Windows” stickers on them, but they’re there).

  4. SorcererLance says:

    oh MAN, Sim Town and Widget Workshop!

    I had a blast with those games back during my middle school days… What I’d give to play them one more time.

  5. fountainhead says:

    You’re insane. But that’s an awesome collection. 🙂 I have original boxed versions of SimAnt and SimCity 2000 for the Mac with nice big fat manuals. Never letting go of those because you’re lucky if they include a scrap of paper in the box these days!

    • Hehe, in this case I will take “insane” as a compliment!

      Those big, sexy manuals are a major positive to owning these original Maxis games. Pretty much every single game of theirs had an incredibly detailed manual, not only covering the game but also the subject the game touches on. I love how most of the SimAnt manual is mostly a biology lesson and SimCity’s is real life urban planning!

  6. ZAR says:

    Awesome collection! 🙂

    Yeah, I remember Raid on Bungling Bay as one of my first games on the C64.

    Broderbund made many interesting games anyway, anyone remember Broadsides?

    Now this was hard to get even back then!

  7. pubesz says:

    “…And yes, it’s totally possible to beat the game by swearing at him…” Now this is the kind of insightful information I’m looking for on your website. 🙂 And it’s good to see that you write your articles in the same style as the videos. Easy to digest, sprinkled with well timed light hearted jokes, that’s the way I like it!

  8. Kazuki says:

    Damn, I used to play Zaark and the night team. And also they is another game which I do not know what it call and it about a profesor travel into a dinosaur park taking picture

  9. Jm764 says:

    And i thought my sim city collection was impressive… but THAT… THAT’S JUST AN EPIC COLLECTION RIGHT THERE!!!

    my sim city collection:

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