Though they share the same name, the DS version of SimCity Creator has little to do with its Wii cousin. Most of the superfluous features of the console version have been ditched, and the Mission mode has been streamlined giving the game a more cohesive feel. The DS version of SimCity Creator is great for newcomers to the city-building series, and different enough to be worth a look from veterans.
At this stage, you don't need to worry about powering your city; electricity hasn't been invented yet.
Your purpose in Creator, as in every SimCity game, is to build and manage a thriving metropolis. The customary Free mode lets you build a city of any size with few restrictions. However, to make the best of it, you'll need to play Challenge mode, in which you can unlock new buildings and zones. Challenge mode focuses on your long-term mayoral abilities. You start in ancient times, at the dawn of civilization, when your only concern is making sure your citizens have enough hunting trails. As your population grows, you'll move to a new era in which you'll be given more to manage. This process repeats through modern times and up to the present day. Unfortunately, there are only two save slots to share between both modes. It's disappointing that you can't alternate between multiple cities in multiple eras at the same time.
The fun of Challenge mode comes from seeing your city evolve from grass huts to futuristic skyscrapers. Before shifting into a new era, you'll be given a choice of style. You can model your city after ancient Asia or the English renaissance; from there, you can enter into a time of American prosperity, European industrialism, or Asian development. Each era is more complicated than the last, heaping on new responsibilities as technology advances. The gentle learning curve makes this game a good starter for new SimCity players.
SimCity veterans know how attached to a city you can become after hours of tweaking. That is especially true in Creator, given that your time in charge spans multiple generations. You can share your pride and joy with friends by sending them pictures of your city. If your friends happen to, for example, choose an Asian style over your American style, they can send some of their unlocked buildings to you for use in Free mode.