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    SimCity Purists Are Understandably Upset About The Newest SimCity

    The new SimCity game for iOS and Android may have a four-star user-review rating on the iTunes app store, but a glance at those reviews and some time playing the games make it clear that this city's got some problems.

    I know, I know: "Oh, it's Kotaku harumphing about a new SimCity game again." But, well... have you seen what they did with SimCity for this new game SimCity Buildit?

    We've got an attractive 3D game that lets you zone and build a city. That's good!

    Not so good? SimCity fans, how much do you love timer-based resource-production as the primary means for growing your city?

    Let's say that you zone some plots of land for houses. In most SimCity games, you tweak the tax code, improve the roads, maybe build a police station nearby and, bit by bit, those homes improve. In SimCity Buildit? You can do some of that, but the main way you improve the residential areas you've zoned is by dragging resources to them. Take this example, where the building will only advance if we put some steel into it:xpand

    Here's another residential zone that you can develop. You'll need nails for this one:

    Short on nails? You can make nails out of steel at a building supply shop (you may wait five minutes for them to be made, or you may pay virtual dollars to hurry that up).

    You need steel to make nails. How do you get steel? You make it at a factory. You must wait one minute per steel girder (or you may pay to hurry that up). With a big enough factory you can at least fill three orders at a time:

    Tap-tap-tap. Collect those resources. Is this SimCity? The wait-then-tap-then-spend-then-wait formula is more FarmVille or Clash of Clans.


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    EA is certainly playing fast and loose with this name.  Now, this one seems to be resource bound (shades of Banished), and have little to do with the main title, which is to build a city without being a construction company.

     

    Well, it is a new set of users who probably don't have the attention span that would be required to run SimCity 4 or even SimCity 2013.  These users have smart phones, and all in all, fall into the under 20 crowd.

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    Geez, that version of the game looks terrible.  And SC doesn't seem like the type of game that would lend itself well to a cell phone or small tablet.  I specifically bought a new 28" monitor for SC4 (well, other reasons too).  It's a game that's just better when it's bigger.

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    Or, yeah, you could hurry that up by spending some fake virtual dollars. Easiest way to get those? Pay real money

     

    Hae5b0b.gif

     

    Hahahahaha ... no. Surely people don't fall for this nonsense?

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    I only skimmed that announcement.  Do they really expect to extract real U.S. moolah for their nonsense?  Well, the young clearly have more money than they need, what with cell phones, smart phones and all that miscellaneous electronic leash crap.

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    I mean really, does this still surprises you? I think this pay thing is becoming the latest trend. Look at FB games and most app games this style. And i mean its EA. 

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    I mean really, does this still surprises you? I think this pay thing is becoming the latest trend. Look at FB games and most app games this style. And i mean its EA. 

    I am afraid the thing that surprises me is that they  would charge for their play money.  Are we sure this thing isn't just some kind of scam?

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    Okay, I've tried the game, and ill give you my thoughts.

    If you liked sim city 1-4 then I'm pleased to announce that this game continues a fraction of the features you know and love! Love plopping utilities? Well now you have the power to plop everything, Forget about all that zoning nonsense! Hated the small maps of SC13? Well now you can use resources to expand them! Thought fire stations are too efficient, well now they only service a city block! Thought sim city should have better resource collection? Well now you can spend your whole day tapping to collect steel from factories!

    Liked any other features of sim city's past, don't worry, they don't get tainted by this game!

    Okay, I'll get a bit serious and tell you what's wrong with the game, but first I'll clear up a myth.

    You don't have to spend any money in this game! It would help speed things up if you did, but there is no need for you to. The tokens that you buy you can also earn in game by completing achievements, so if you put a lot of time in, then you won't need to spend a dime.

    What's really bad, is how the resource systems work. If you like FarmVille or clash of clans, or any of the other free to play city building games, then you'll be pleased to know that it's the exact same game as everything else, except for branding and 3D graphics (which actually aren't too bad). But that's where the problem lies, it's not a sim city game. All you do is collect resources to upgrade residential buildings. Resources come from industrial buildings or commercial buildings. At around 8,000 sims you can have about 6 industrial buildings and 3 commercial buildings. You get more as you level up, but this takes time. These buildings output resources. Industrial buildings can output 2 or more at a time, but these can be upgraded either by obtaining better buildings as you level up, or by spending those tokens which you earn through completing objectives or spending money. After a set period of time resources can be collected and used in a variety of other ways. One way is you can use these at commercial buildings to create more resources.

    Commercial building resources take longer to complete, and may need a variety of different resources to complete. Once you have some resources you can start upgrading and building residential buildings. These have some sort of limit, but it seems like once you build one building you can plop another. It's not explained very well how to unlock more residential buildings. To build them you use the resources you created. How many, and what varies differently, but it's always something you have access too, and if you don't like what the conditions are you can wait 30 mins to change it into something different.

    This system works okay for a few levels while you don't have many commercial buildings, but becomes challenging as you start expanding the city. You might wait 30 mins for something to be built in a factory, send it to a commercial store to make a resource then take that to another store to make it into its final form, along with other resources that may or may not have taken as long to make to get just one thing to satisfy a portion of the conditions to upgrade a building. There might be 3 or 4 different resources of varying quantity to create to upgrade just one building, of which these could take hours to create. So if you like waiting, then this game is great, because make ping a big city takes time. Much like any other city really, but other cities also have vast incomes which help speed them along, and that's where we get to the worst part about the game.

    Collecting and creating resources could be described as fun. (If you use a very loose description of the word fun) It's kind of a puzzle I suppose, but if you love waiting, then you'll really love waiting for income. A city hall collects taxes and gives these to you every 24 hours. Taxes are assigned by the game depending on citizen happiness, which is actually a good way to assign taxes. With 100% happiness you can collect 20% tax. But good luck ever getting close to 100%.

    As you level up you unlock buildings which create happiness. Which in theory sound great, but in some cases break your income. What happens is the game flips a switch so once you hit the correct level, then people start caring about basic needs. At one level I unlocked sanitation, before this happiness was high because no one knew that sanitation was a thing. After this level happiness drops by about half because my citizens all suddenly demand sanitation. This would normally be okay, but in buildit this provides an almost impossible challenge. You have next to no money already because the previous level before introduced something new, and it seems most buildings cost around $6,000. Which doesn't sound like much, but let's compare this to the taxes you get every 24 hours which was around 1,200 at the time. You get money by upgrading buildings, around 500 maybe, but remember this takes time because you collect all the resources and have a very small amount of buildings in which to create them. So once sanitation came around I spent a day or so saving some money to by the lowest level building at, I think, $6,000. All good I thought, until I realised that the building only covers 6 houses. 6! I had around 20 at the time, so almost everyone was now complaining about sanitation and I had no way to provide it to everyone. This lowered their happiness and meant I was taking in less tax than I once was.

    This is on par with all other civic utilities which only service around 6 or 8 buildings. I have three coal power plants for a city of 8,000 people, it's crazy. And every city block needs a fire station as the service radius only goes about two buildings deep in every direction. These also cost about 6 thousand. So you literally have no hope of ever making much progress because the game doesn't give you enough money. I suppose that's how they make you buy it, but even still it's not enough money coming in to make me want to continue, let alone spend any money to do so. Eventually you'll get to the stage where buildings want resources from stores which you have unlocked but can't buy because not enough money is coming in and are struggling to make more because you can't upgrade buildings etc.

    The only good thing to take away from this game is that the road drawing system is great! It's all touch based, so you draw where you want it to go. Build any stretch of road with any number of curves and your done. But can only go in any orthogonal direction. It's better than the sc13 system because of the interaction through the touch screen, but is limited in the orthogonal limitation. At least this is the only thing that doesn't cost!

    So, if you like FarmVille or what ever other free to play city building game there is out there now, then you'll like this as there is more to do than just plant wait collect, but once you unlock something you'll have wished you didn't.

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    I was using my iPad, so it's an okay screen size, but it is available on smartphones too, not sure how well it would work on a smaller device.

    And yes, that's real time, not simulator time.

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    I've never been much of a fan for real-time games. Clash of Clans got me hooked for a while, but it died down now, and I haven't checked it in weeks. The real issue around here for me is the fact that it is *real time*. There's too much tedious waiting to be done. It would've been better to have it at just a one-off payment like they did with the previous mobile simcity app.

     

    In fact, I hate any game that requires real time waiting (especially when they shouldn't need it -- only really done for the profit reaping aspect for the game company), especially for FPS's and any shooters. Games were never meant to be played like this.

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    I only skimmed that announcement.  Do they really expect to extract real U.S. moolah for their nonsense?  Well, the young clearly have more money than they need, what with cell phones, smart phones and all that miscellaneous electronic leash crap.

     

    Nah the young purchase an IOU to get US dollars to buy these fake Simcity dollars. Debt is money.

     

    "That's as good as money Sir. Those are I.O.U's."

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    Im happy playing good ole simcity 4. Now if they made a game more like simcity 4 but updated a few things then we would be good. 

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