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!


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?

Cities of Tomorrow Achievements

Where is the list of SimCity – Cities of Tomorrow Achievements?? I’m looking through the in-game list and don’t see them as a separate section or within the existing sections. Here’s a list of the base-game achievements: . I’m trying to search the internet for a list, but not finding anything so far! Does anyone know where to find a list of them?

I just got something like – Have 200 passengers on your Mag-Lev system.

EDIT: I just found them in their own section within the Achievements panel! I swear they weren’t there the other day. Here’s my list. There should be 27.

  • Your tomorrow,Today – complete all academy research projects in one city.
  • Captain ControllNet – transmit 5000 controlnet
  • Signal Gain – earn $50 from selling controlnet to neighboring cities
  • junior researcher – complete your first Academy research project
  • Highly paid researchers- staff the academy with 200 high wealth workers
  • Magnetic ride – have 200 maglev riders in one day
  • Potently Potable – pump 200 kgals/hr of water from sewage sanitizers
  • Reactor Kickstarter – generate 500 MW of power from a fusion power plant per hour
  • City of tomorrow – futurize 200 houses, shops, or factories in your city
  • forward unto tomorrow – futurize 100 low or medium wealth houses, shops or factories in your city
  • wealth and tech – futurize 500 high wealth houses, shops, or factories in your city
  • deluxe apartment in the sky – have a megatower with 8 apartment levels, while earning a profit from apartment levels
  • haves and have nots – have a megatower and an Elite Megatower in the same city
  • Crown Jewels – max out a regional bonus from a megatower or elite megatower
  • tower topper – ad a crown to the top of a megatower or elite megatower
  • shop til they drop – have a megatower or elite megatower with 8 mall leveles and maintain a profit from all mall levels
  • tower town – have 8 megatowers or elite megatowers, all with 8 levels
  • the office (tower) – have an elite megatower with 8 high tech office levels, while earning a profit from high tech office levels
  • city ownership -earn $25000 in OmegaCo franchise profits from neighboring cities
  • consumed – earn $10,000 in franchise profits from high wealth residential omegaCo members
  • I, Drone – manufacture 50 OmegaCo drones in a day
  • Factory Franchisees – convert 50 factories to OmegaCo franchises
  • Franchise Fun! earn $30,000 in total OmegaCo franchise profits
  • OmegaCo-Owned – Convert 100 factories, shop or houses in your city to OmegaCo franchises
  • ShopOMatic – have 100 of your city’s BuyDrones shop in neighboring cities in one day
  • automated defenses – have drones put out a fire, respond to crime and heal an injured sim, all in one city
  • Ultramegatowers – max out all 5 regional bonuses from crowns on megatowers or elite megatowers.

SimCity -Cities Of Tomorrow!

I just bought the Cities of Tomorrow expansion pack. I was hesitant to pay full price for it, thinking I wouldn’t find the new features very exciting. But since I love the SimCity base game, I bought it when EA offered it for a discounted price of $7.99 or so. I’m happily enjoying it now, and I think it provides many more hours of fun game play. It can be a challenge to produce the Omega resource for everyone, and buy enough processors to create the drones, and have enough skilled workers to generate the Academy research in order to unlock the new technology like the ground pollution scrubber! So there’s plenty of new features to explore. Here’s a screenshot of my first Mag-Lev that travels right on top of the road to ease traffic, and doesn’t take up any more room than the road does. That sounds awesome because several of my cities have some major traffic problems! MagLev-SimCity

SimCity Power Grid Bug

Even if you have enough power capacity (e.g. buying enough from a neighbor and your gauge says no excess and no deficit) not all buildings may get power. I wait and wait to hope that the power eventually reaches them, but it seems to be taking a long time! Are there some buildings who use up all the power before it reaches these outlying buildings? Or is it because my road system has a lot of dead ends that are not being reached?

Power Grid Issues

SimCity 5 No Highways, One Ways

In SimCity 4 I enjoyed organizing and upgrading the road system to make sure there was no ‘red’ traffic lines. We now have dirt roads, low and medium density streets, and medium and high density avenues, and a high density avenue including street car tracks which is cool. But there are no highways!? I guess it makes sense since we don’t have a large city size. But how are we going to deal with large amounts of traffic coming in and getting stuck at traffic lights? As soon as it hits a cross road there’s going to be a street light.

IncomingTraffic (Small)

Here’s the region highway view. Quite a bit of traffic trying to get into my city!

RegionHighwayTraffic (Small)

Here’s my solution, more high density avenues. But it’s not working! I even added an extra road on the right to try to get some cars to get off the road early! But for some reason they all want to turn left. I added more bus stops, and maybe I’ll start to use the street cars to see if that helps. But they would need a park and ride depot of some sort.

Traffic on High Density Avenues

Here’s a view of inner city traffic that may be resolved by high density avenues.

CityTraffic (Small)

One-Way Streets

But wait, there’s no one-way streets? I used these a lot in my downtown areas in SimCity 4! They seem much more efficient than large avenues everywhere. They would need to have high density one-ways though.

I don’t think I like the algorithm for traffic to find the right path. It seems they turn around in the strangest places, I guess just to get to the other side of the road for businesses on the other side.

Well, I guess I’ll keep playing and see how it goes.

SimCity 5 Initial Review

I signed up for the 2nd SimCity Beta and was able to play the 1-hour long beta a few times on Feb 16th. There were some problems claiming cities and even connecting to EA’s servers, but I was hopeful they would fix it by the time the game was released, and could continue making patches after that. So I pre-ordered and started playing SimCity 2013 when it was released March 5. I know there have been some problems, but I’m hopeful they’ll get them fixed eventually. Here are some notes and some initial screenshots I’ve taken. I’ll make new posts as I find new things about the game.

Server Connectivity Issues

Lots of people have complained about server connectivity issues and being unable to claim new cities. Luckily I haven’t noticed too much of a problem but I have only started a few cities. I have noticed strange things like clicking the Claim button and then finding out it was already claimed? I also haven’t tried starting my own region yet.

I think it was Wednesday the 6th EA shut down their servers for an update, and we weren’t able to log on at all. That was annoying, but I’m not sure how long it lasted. Maybe half an hour to an hour? Why couldn’t they update a single server at a time?

Emergency Response and Public Service Algorithms

Fire Engines

So I was very hopeful that the emergency response system would be great with this new game engine. Maybe it’s something weird about the road system. But I see firetrucks go down a bunch of roads somewhat close to a burning building, but never the right road. They keep turning around and going down a different but still wrong road, taking a long time to go to the actual house burning down! I’m pretty sure they weren’t meant to do that, they keep going down the same wrong street over and over. Also, ALL of your fire trucks may be at the same burning house, while you have other houses burning down. At least some of them should leave if another fire is worse!

FireTrucks on scene

Burning House (Small)


I haven’t followed ambulances around to see how well they drive to injured or sick sims, but I have noticed them take a long time at the clinic or hospital. They should quickly unload the sick or injured sim and immediately go out to get more! I always have a sick person complaining about the sniffles but they don’t go to the clinic?

MaxisMan can be sent out to heal injured, but I tried following him the first time he was sent on patrol, and he didn’t immediately go to someone injured. It’s more like a patrol I guess. How is he supposed to find anyone?

Germs, Air Pollution, Ground Pollution

The health system is one area I somewhat struggle with in my cities. I check the Germ data map and see air pollution, ground pollution, and other factors. I know we can add the Wellness Center and Disease Research center on the Hospital to start combating sickness in the city. But how do you reduce the air pollution and water pollution? In SimCity 4 I think all you could do was plant more parks and trees. There was also a third-party plugin that was a huge air filter. I loved that!

Spark_2013-03-10_15-05-27 (Small)

What do you love and hate about this new SimCity?