If you’ve had a tough year, and it looks like you won’t be getting much this Christmas, here’s a reason to be at least a little happy.

You can download and play SimCity 2000 Special Edition for free thanks to to Electronic Arts’ “On the House” promotion that gives away a game a month for no cash down. You’ll need to sign up for and download the Origin game client to get it, though, but it’s honestly a small price to pay for permanent access to such a great game.

As long as you have a connection to the internet, a Windows PC made in the last ten years and a couple hundred megs left on your cap, SimCity 2000 SE can be yours to play over the holidays… well, for those periods you aren’t being load-shedded, that is.

SimCity 2000 SE is a classic city simulator that lets you start your very own city, and manage it to greatness or into the ground as your wont dictates. You can also make your own fun by getting your city going, and then unleashing disasters on your unsuspecting Sims like earthquakes, fires, floods and even a UFO invasion, after which it will be your job to rebuild.

It doesn’t look particularly nice – its 90s-era graphics haven’t aged very well – but once you get past that there’s a lot of depth to uncover and explore.

So even if your gaming budget looks a bit thin this month, you’ll have at least something to play these holidays thanks to EA.

And if you know anyone in government, consider forwarding them this story so they can learn how cities are supposed to be managed, and what the consequences of poor management are because I’m not entirely sure they know.

[Source – Origin]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.