Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Sim City: Alien Warfare

Alienate the aliens.
  [vote for,

Disasters are inevitable in Sim City. No matter how well your little town is managed, it will invariably fall prey to occurrences such as earthquakes, flood, and alien invasion. Finally, you can fight back.

A few years after an alien spaceship unleashes destruction, an announcement makes the headlines. "After years of working in secrecy, Halfbakersville's top scientists have unlocked the alien invader's secret of interstellar travel. Their home world has been located. The city eagerly awaits the mayor's plan of action."

The player is then presented with the choice of whether or not to launch a counterattack. Accepting is costly, and requires a certain level of infrastructure, but immediately elevates the mayoral approval rating. After all, memories are still fresh, and what citizen doesn't have a little bloodlust? A fleet of ships is launched, with much fanfare throughout the city.

Then, you wait. And wait some more. A century; maybe even two or three. Stardrives may be fast, but space is vast. The mission quickly slips from the public mind, and soon is only found in history books. In the meantime, land doesn't rezone itself: you must return to your mayoral duties.

Suddenly, the news hits the papers. "Space Hero Returns to Halfbakersville! The sole time-dilated survivor of a 250 year old extraterrestrial counterstrike arrives with a tale of impending doom: the aliens are returning." As acting omnipotent mayor, you face the important decision of how to defend your constituents.

Anti-spacecraft laser defense turrets may be constructed, but are costly in terms of money, electricity, and cooling water. Public support is initially high, but it seems the alien foe has taken the scenic route through the galaxy.

As time passes, initiatives dwindle. With nary a UFO sighting in generations, patriotism fades. Citizens balk at the cost. Wildlife conservationists complain of accidental Bull Moose zappings. The rich scoff at ugly embankments in the neighbourhood; surely the aliens aren't going to invade *their* backyard. The turrets may be demolished to appease these naysayers, at the risk of leaving the city defenseless.

Eventually, the aliens return. Their craft will soon be eliminated if enough turrets are present. If not, the destructive force will go unchecked, reducing entire blocks to rubble in seconds. Trying to build new turrets in the middle of an invasion goes about as well as one could hope. Eventually, the attackers leave.

The populous--or what's left of it--will of course be shocked to know the aliens were real. Greater defenses will be demanded, as will another strike force. They vow never to forget the importance of the laser turrets. Their children's grandchildren however might not be so understanding in a couple hundred years.

Aq_Bi, Nov 08 2014


       Maybe the aliens come and maybe they don't. That is part of the challenge! More of a scifi than a game.   

       In fact this premise reminds me of the Dragonriders of Pern series. The taxpayers wondered why they were funding a bunch of dragon-riding layabouts to fight an alien menace no-one had seen in hundreds of years.   

       It also reminds me of one explanation for why some societal animals (elephants, whales, humans) sometimes produce very long lived individuals - because periodic important events are sometimes infrequent, and having an individual handy who remembers the last time improves the chance of all the youngsters surviving the event.
bungston, Nov 08 2014

       The infrastructure to support a space program is likely rather larger than can be built/operated by your modest-sized sim-city. In the USA during the 1960s, perhaps a couple million people were directly involved, one way or another. THEY needed support (can't grow food if building rockets!), too. Net effect, the overall society probably needs a population of several tens of millions, minimum. And if you intend a large military space program, you need an even bigger infrastructure and support-population.
Vernon, Nov 09 2014

       Wait... the aliens fly around destroying stuff, then leave?   

       If you're attacking from space and you don't want to occupy a habitable planet afterwards, there are easier, safer and simpler methods.
And since these approaches generally sterilise the planet of all life, they have the advantage of minimising retribution.
Loris, Nov 09 2014


       Why do kids poke ant nests with sticks? They don't want to live in the nest. They could kill all the ants with poison spray. Why just poke them?   

       Why would a first worlder hunt an animal with a bow? Why hunt at all? If you are hungry, you can be full for less than the cost of getting to the hunting area.
bungston, Nov 09 2014

       It's not really a game in itself; more of a scenario addition to the classic Sim City 2000. The mayor will not be able to launch a counterattack until the required infrastructure level has been attained.
Aq_Bi, Nov 10 2014


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