EA’s SimCity BuildIt (also on iOS) is the mobile version of its popular SimCity franchise. A city builder, your main goal is to lay down roads, energy generators, businesses, warehouses, and of course dwellings as you grow your city.
Unlike Social Quantum’s Megapolis, SimCity BuildIt is in 3D which solves the issue that Megapolis had in being 2.5D and not allowing for players to rotate a part of a city they were working on. This was an especially glaring problem when players started to add larger buildings towards the middle of a city that covered up smaller buildings. The only work around there was to put the larger buildings on the outskirts of a city—which is just odd city building.
Another departure from Megapolis is that players don’t have to wait a very long time to progress in their city building. After awhile in Megapolis you ran out of in-game money—and sometimes space—and just had to wait before you could progress when whatever businesses you built in a city started to generate money.
Now it’s common for mobile games to have you wait when you start to do more rewarding actions. It’s incentive for you to go ahead and shell out for the premium stuff. You think “Oh $0.99 should do it” and before you know it you’re considering that $4.99 money and building supplies pack.
With SimCity BuildIt, that temptation is still there, but it’s easier to stave off since the game gives you a lot more to do while waiting for other things to progress in your city—even at the earliest part of the game.
Visually the game looks good for being the mobile port of a long running mostly PC-based franchise. Like The Sims Freeplay, it’s another EA game that made a smooth visual transition to mobile. Gameplay-wise it did the same, the game isn’t hard to play or get into and the mechanics are simplified enough that you won’t become frustrated when some things don’t pan out.
As a matter of fact, things are likely to always pan out eventually because none of the difficulty of the SimCity games is here. This is just building stuff for fun and being rewards for playing a long time.
VERDICT: While it has most of the things to be a fun mobile game, it lacks challenge. SimCity was also fun before it was challenging. In the original games placing power lines and water pipes so that your city was well powered and had flowing water while also keeping an aesthetic was part of that challenge. Balancing a budget was a huge part of the challenge.
So overall we’re in the same situation as The Sims Freeplay. This is a fun game if you’re bored or for your little ones to play, but if you’re very familiar with the PC version of the SimCity games, you could end up with mixed feelings especially feeling of being rewarded not because of your skills as a virtual city planner and mayor, but because you played the game long enough. RATING: 2.5/5