The Sims Carnival: Snap City is a puzzle game based on SimCity, a popular city simulation game. In this game, the player acts as the city mayor. Falling blocks are used to build the layout of the neighborhoods. The grid acts as the player’s city. The blocks must fit with other pieces that are already on the grid, a game dynamic similar to Tetris. The blocks that fall have different types. There are three general types of blocks, called zones – residential, industrial, and commercial. Special zones can be built when the player successfully completes a requirement such as putting a commercial zone near a residential zone. These zones must be connected with roads. This is important so that citizens in the residential zones can go to commercial zones and industrial zones. The road can be built by clicking the road utility, and then dragging it along the preferred path. If the player makes a mistake on the location of the zones, the components can be demolished at a cost.
A puzzle meter fills up in the game. When it is completely filled, the player can play a mini-game where he can rotate falling tiles on a grid. At the end of the mini-game, the player gets access to certain special zones. Some examples are swimming pools and Japanese gardens. There are twenty-five neighborhoods in story mode. The player can build any of the 200 buildings available in the game.