The building simulation genre is filled with hundreds of different mobile games on the Play Store. While some of them are pretty good – it’s no secret that EA’s SimCity is the blueprint that they all follow.
So, when an official SimCity game makes its way on mobile platforms, it’s only natural for fans to get excited. You get to build the city of your dreams, starting from small houses and going all the way up to establishing a government, jobs, and gigantic skyscrapers. What more can you want? Well, a good mobile game, of course!
So, is SimCity BuildIt a faithful port of the long-running franchise, or does it fail to deliver the experience we all expect of it? Let’s find out.
The gameplay of SimCity BuildIt is exactly what you would expect it to be.
You begin with a tutorial that explains the basics of building a road, residential buildings, factories, and so on. By the time it’s over, you know almost everything there is to know about making a great town, and that’s when the real fun starts.
As soon as your buildings are placed, you will constantly get feedback from the people that help you run the town and those who live in it. Factories are too close to houses? The population will complain about it. No electricity? Re-route your electrical wires to reach every home. The list goes on, and it’s very entertaining to keep a 100% happiness ratio for your city’s civilians.
To build things you need materials and they are manually created through factories.
It’s pretty easy to gain materials with cool-downs as short as 1 minute, and you won’t find it difficult to make a couple of residential and other buildings. But once you upgrade them a few times, they start demanding more complicated resources, and to create them you need a lot of patience.
That’s because the time can hike as high as 30 minutes for some of the materials, and that’s where the game’s paywall comes in, but unlike some other games, you cannot endlessly watch ads to make the processes go faster.
You can earn the premium currency a bit by grinding in the game, which helps you gain materials faster. There are a few structures such as premium parks that can only be purchased with the premium currency. So, if you wish to spend a bit of money every now and then – you’ll find the game very fun to play.
However, if you don’t wish to spend any real-world money, then the game will require a lot of patience to be enjoyable for you.
The best thing that I can say about it is the fact that it’s still more creative about its paywall compared to some of Gameloft’s games, which leave almost nothing for you to do at all while you wait for the cooldowns. Here, you will still be able to manage some of the other things in your city while you wait and there are tasks that you can complete for rewards too.
An additional depth to the gameplay is the ability to visit the cities of your friends if you’re willing to connect your Facebook account to it. You will be able to trade a few resources every now and then, so keeping an eye out for what your friends are doing is pretty fun. The game is very well optimized for almost every device, so you won’t have any issues tapping in and out of other peoples’ cities.
Aside from the few slowdowns within the gameplay due to cooldown periods – SimCity BuildIt is very entertaining to play and it’s very satisfying to help your civilians with their needs, expand on your city, and leveling up as a mayor.
I’d call the game addictive too, but unfortunately, you wouldn’t find yourself immersed to that level due to the paywalls.
The graphics of SimCity BuildIt are gorgeous and have fully detailed models for everything.
Whether it’s the people that pop up now and then to offer their help and input, or every single building that you place inside your city, everything is properly textured, feels high quality, and is worthy of the SimCity title in its name.
The UI and polish are excellent, as they are created by a AAA developer after all.
Everything is straightforward, easy on the eyes, and fun to navigate. And if you feel lost, tapping on different things offers enough tips for everything even once the tutorial ends. It’s exactly how a mobile game should operate, and EA excels in this department at least.
The soundtrack isn’t so good that it would be memorable, but it’s alright to listen to and does not feel repetitive when you’re playing the game. And for a building sim, that’s all that’s needed anyway.
The sound effects, on the other hand, are very high quality and it’s extremely satisfying listening to. The civilians are all voice acted with the usual gibberish that The Sims characters speak, and that gives the game an extra feeling of polish.
SimCity BuildIt is an excellent city-building game for mobile devices and it lives up to the reputation of the successful franchise. However, it cannot earn itself a higher score due to its paywalls.
While it handles that aspect better than most of its competition – it’s still something that forces people to take breaks at the end of the day, which is a crime against immersion.