SimCity BuildIt – Mobile Game Review

Being a long-time fan of SimCity, I was both excited and somewhat sceptical when I heard about SimCity BuildIt. The game, as you would expect, is a considerably watered down version of past and present SimCity games available for PC and Mac. The objective of the game is simple: build up your city over time, keep your sims happy (Happier sims = more money through taxes) and build more item / material producing buildings to allow for building and upgrading residential zones as you progress through the levels. Although still retaining most of the features that make Sim City games great, there are one or two problems.

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One such problem, or rather an annoyance, is the timer system that is used for when you’re building tools and materials. While it keeps you coming back to play the game, for players who are more interested in the building aspect of SimCity, this process will feel tedious at times. When you first start the game, residential zones will need materials from factories to be built and upgraded. As you progress through the levels, you can gradually build more materials as well as stores – which let you build yet more materials and other items such as tools, furniture and food. All the while, the demand for these items increases when building and upgrading the residential zones in your city. This process makes the game more lengthy as you progress through the levels, as newly unlocked items often take a lot longer to produce. Another annoyance for me was the type of items that a few of the residential zones required to be built / upgraded  - Why would you need seeds and food to build a house!?

As you would expect coming from desktop versions of the game, you are able to build residential zones, roads and utility’s. However, instead of freely being able to build commercial and industrial zones, you are limited to a list of buildings, which are used to generate materials and items for building and upgrading residential zones. Whilst this limits the game quite a bit if you are used to the desktop versions of SimCity, it is a definitely a better game model for mobile devices. Another thing to be aware of is that many of the services like sewage, waste management, fire and police services are unlocked over time – further limiting the experience at the start of the game. You’ll have to build more of these services as your city grows and strategically place them to keep your sims happy – Some services (e.g. police, fire) need to be placed nearer to residential zones, while others should be placed further away (e.g sewage, waste management)

One feature I particularly liked was how I could play the game on multiple devices and my city would carry across to each device. Connecting the game with Facebook will let you pick up from where you left off on another device, even between Android and iOS. In my case I have been playing the game on my Android phone as well as on my iPad mini. Transferring your city between iOS devices can also be done via Apple’s game center and between Android devices via Google Play.

If you’re a long time fan of SimCity then you may be disappointed with what SimCity BuildIt has to offer. However, if you’re looking for a new mobile game to kill some time and you can look past the limitations of SimCity BuildIt (Or you’re new to the series), I would definitely recommend downloading this game. It’s fun and very addictive! SimCity BuildIt can be downloaded from the App Store and from Google Play.

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