SimCity BuildIt – app review

I have become addicted to SimCity BuildIt on android! It’s similar to the latest SimCity desktop/online game, but much more micro-managing. You don’t zone residential/commercial/industry, but you plop specific buildings within each of those categories as they get unlocked. Then you have to manage what gets produced in your factories and commercial buildings and use them to build up the residential buildings.  The objects that the commercial buildings create depend on objects created in the factories. So there is basic supply and demand. Each residential building has several levels to build, each one making it taller, and requiring the residents to be happy and have basic needs met.  Once a building level is completed, you get points towards a level up, as well as some simoleans. You get taxes from your population (you have to collect it frequently or every day from city hall) and the tax rate is based on the residents’ happiness. The happiest population (maybe over 90%) will give you a 20% tax rate. As you level up, you unlock more commercial stores and city management – like police, education, a health system, and bus system. Once they’re unlocked, people will start clamoring for it. The fire system is one of the first to unlock. This style of game is similar to the Facebook games where you set some objects to be produced, and then wait “real” time for them to complete – the objects unlocked in later levels take longer and longer to finish.

It’s very challenging but very addicting too. You can leave it for several hours while you’re waiting for things to be built, then come back to complete the requirements, collect taxes, and queue up more to be built.  I find it very hard to get a large cash supply because the new unlocks cost so much, yet you need to supply some of them or else your residents will become unhappy and buildings go abandoned, ruining your happiness and population level, thus your taxes decrease and you can’t make any money!

Tactics

You’ll need to keep dirty factories far away from residential. In other SimCity games, residential next to industry would just become low-wealth. I’m not sure if here they would abandon their house or not, but they do complain a lot. To save money for city services like fire and police, keep your residential areas dense around those buildings and don’t put things like water towers or sewage plants within the residential. Land is at a premium within the fire and police zones! Build up before you build out (opposite of other SimCity games!!). This means that you won’t’ need as many fire or police stations. BUT be careful when you get a lot of skyscrapers in one area – traffic will become a major problem and they will abandon their building for this reason. The 4 lane road upgrade is not too expensive, but a 6 lane road segment could be over 10,000 simoleans! So you have to balance the high-density buildings with smaller ones.

There are a lot of features to this game. Have you tried it?

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