A renowned PC franchise makes its mobile debut with SimCity BuildIt. While purists may hate it, the game delivers on its key KPIs.
BuildIt’s core loop borrows best practices from the genre’s best games. Factories stand in for Hay Day’s crop plots, and residential buildings generate coins while taking up space.
There are many different buildings in SimCity BuildIt. Some are basic, such as residential and commercial, and others are more complex, such as industrial or specialized buildings. Commercial buildings generate finished goods that can be sold for simoleons. These buildings have multiple slots, so the player can queue more finished goods into them while they’re away from their city. The game will execute on all of the queued goods when the player returns to their city.
One of the key aspects of a successful builder-style game is the ability to generate obligation in the player. This can be done by limiting the amount of raw materials that a player can gather or by encouraging her to spend premium currency to complete sub-collections faster.
SimCity BuildIt does a great job of generating obligation through its simple but effective timers for resource generation. However, it misses the mark when it comes to leveraging these timers to drive a player’s long-term aspiration of growing her city’s population.
There are a variety of products you can purchase to enhance your city. These include new buildings, land for production, and even decorations that can be placed on the streets of your city. However, these decorations are unlikely to be a major driver of spending because they do not contribute to the core loop or short-term progression.
Purchasing these products requires Simoleons, the game’s standard in-game currency. You can earn Simoleons by constructing and modernizing buildings, collecting taxes from citizens, accepting cargo deliveries, and by participating in deals and sales. You can also buy simoleons with real-life money through SimCash or exchange it for items in the store.
The game’s launch social features do an adequate job of creating beneficial interactions among players, but two particularly glaring omissions could improve the game’s ability to drive player engagement and payer conversion. One is the lack of a clan system similar to Clash of Clans or Farmville 2: Country Escape, which would give players an extra incentive to compete with each other.
When you level up, you can get prize SimCash and other rewards in the mayor’s mansion. You can also buy new improvements in the store. However, it’s best to play the game online – this way your progress will be saved even when you switch devices, and you won’t miss important updates or opportunities to conclude deals with neighboring cities!
Residential areas are the key to population growth. Modernization of them increases the number of inhabitants and maintains their level of happiness. The number of citizens is displayed on the city map. If their level of happiness is low, a red exclamation mark appears next to the icons for city services.
If you want to speed up the construction of a residential area, click on the architect icon and persuade him to hurry up (suggest some SimCash). A white glow will appear over the moveable zone. Drag it to the city map and watch contractors start excavation work.
After a short time as a Canada exclusive, EA’s SimCity BuildIt has finally made its way to the Play Store. This mobile port takes the beloved franchise and makes it feel right on a mobile device. Purists will still hate it but it has a lot going for it.
The game features a strong social element in the form of club wars. Players can plot military strategies with their fellow mayors to launch crazy disasters on rival cities. Defeating an enemy city will cause damage and earn rewards. The launching player’s club gets prize chests based on the total battle score and the best trophies go to the winning club.
The game has a few in-app purchases but most of the items are obtainable by playing the game regularly and completing daily challenges. It’s important to note that the timers on material production are a big part of the game’s core loop and they will require players to return to their city multiple times per day or week to collect these resources.