Name: SimCity BuildIt
Developer/Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: Oct 23, 2014
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
Platforms: iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android (Google Play Store)
Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/simcity-buildit/id913292932?mt=8
Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ea.game.simcitymobile_row
I saw recently that there was a release for Simcity on the iPhone. I have to admit, part of me was jumping up and down and there was another part of me that was cautious. I know the history with EA with releasing online only games and especially SimCity 5 with servers crashing. Let's break down the game to see how it stacks up to the older better games like the original SimCity or SimCity 3000.
I will go on record to say that this is one of the most beautiful games of its genre. There are many games that are very similar to this, for example, Farmville, Zombie Farm... etc. There are few that show this level of detail.
Sample Image from Game
The houses, factories, and apartment buildings all look amazing. I have not played it on an iPad but it must be even better. These screenshots were taken from an iPhone 5.
The parts that have made SimCity fun through the years are still here. You still need to build factories and houses and need to keep your population happy. So the bare bones essentials are there.
When you first start the game there is a mini tutorial that tells you what to do and to guide you through the basics of the game. You are given a piece of land that is pretty decent size to start with. You can unlock more zones as you advance in levels.
Essentially you build factories so that you can get materials to build various different things like houses. The happier the population the more taxes that they pay.
There is however a road block the more that you play. At the beginning you can build as you please and making materials does not take too long. This enables you to play the game at a good pace. As you advance in levels, it will take longer for materials to be made. So you go from waiting 1 minute to waiting 12 to 20 minutes for materials to be made. At this point you are hostage to the game. You get notified when materials are completed. If you want it to go faster, you can pay money and that is where EA makes its money. You do not need to pay, but if you are not patient, this game could cost you a pretty penny.
In the game you have coins in Simeleons and you have in app dollars which are earned as you hit certain perks during play. On the right hand side are all of the things that you can build.
Road Icon: If you select this you can build a road or bulldoze it.
Residential Icon: If you select this you will be able to see if you can build resendential area within your city. If yes, you can just drag the zone to where you want on the map and voila.
Market Icon: If you can build a market, this button will enable you to build markets. As you advance in the game, you can build bigger and better markets. (See picture below)
Industrial Icon: This is where you can choose to build factories. The more you advance, different factories get unlocked.
Government Icon: This is where you can choose to supply you city with government buildings or amenities such as sewage, water pumps, Fire stations, police Stations.
Market Icon (Selected with Options)
Government and Amenities Options
Note: If you plan on playing this game and thinking that the population can be always happy, then you will have a big surprise. At some point in the game, there is only so much that you can do and you won't have enough money. So my advise is pace yourself and make sure that the bascis are covered.
If you are a SimCity fan then you will like this game. Although it starts fast at the beginning, you will soon see that the game advances to a crawl. There is satisfaction when things get done. but this game may prove just too slow for some. I would consider this the younger sibling of SimCity games. It has all of the basics that you expect with weather damage and problems running a city. You will need to use strategy to win this game. For example, putting a neighbourhood beside factories, could cause them to the pissed. All in all, I think this is a fun game for fans of the series.
Rating: 7 factories built out of 10.
Philip Teoli is one of our contributors. You can see more of his work at www.philipteoli.com.