This week while I was browsing the Apple App Store, I came across this new SimCity app in the featured section. Some backstory for you, I was a SimCity Facebook junkie before they shut down support for it. I was devastated, I loved playing with my friends and building up my little city. I’m kind of a Sims addict.
Excitedly, I downloaded the app, and I’ve collected my pros and cons on my first 4 obsessively-played days here.
So overall, the game is everything I wanted it to be. It includes residential areas and pollution areas for factories and sewage centers, all the basic amenities like power and water, and services like firehouses and police offices. What I’m struggling with, which you can see in the above photo, is catching up.
Initially, I followed the tutorial and built up my town with roads and factories for production, but I quickly ran out of money, which is my biggest issue with this game. I realize this is a free to play game, but I find it next to impossible to keep up with the level of building for a city my size, without expansions, but with all the necessary services that keep my citizens happy, like parks and not having their houses burn down.
The things you produce will pop up for sale sometimes to neighboring NPC cities, and you can sell them in the online marketplace to other players for a capped price (the game seems to control inflation for you). Unfortunately for most items, it’s easier and cheaper to produce it yourself so why bother going there and spending the money that is so hard to come by to start with? I find that the NPC’s will also give you crap money for the items as well, so it’s not like you even have a solid chance of breaking even there.
The only decent way to make money is to upgrade your residential buildings, which gets significantly harder as you level up. I’m only at level 10 and I can’t afford to put more unhappy people in my city because half of my buildings are abandoned for fire safety or lackthereof.
I also have a boatload of room I’m trying to save for shops and things, but I have no money to buy any of those nice things, even though I’ve unlocked them.
As a side note, this game kills my iPad battery faster than anything I’ve ever played. I’m playing on a second gen, and it overheats like crazy.
Don’t get me wrong, the game is beautiful, the mechanics are there and I’m desperate to keep playing, but my issue is that for a free-to-play, I would’ve rather pay $10 up front and had a decent amount of money to start off with instead of earning ‘bux’ and/or having to pay $1.99 to get more cash.
Don’t they have a South Park episode about this? Hmm….
Will I still play? Oh yeah, sure. I don’t want my citizens to keep catching fire, and there’s tons of goals I’d like to meet. There’s something just so satisfying about building your own little empire. That’s probably why I love playing Civ so much.
Chances are, after the holiday I’ll probably sink some money into it. But I’ll feel guilty, and I won’t tell anyone about it. 😉
Are you playing? Leave your thoughts on this game in the comments.