SimCity fans rejoice! Maxis, the talent behind SimCity, recently collaborated with development studio Magic Fuel Games to release a new city-building management strategy game called Cityscapes: Sim Builder.
Cityscapes: Sim Builder offers an engaging and immersive city-building experience that sets itself apart with its focus on sustainability. As the mayor of a burgeoning metropolis, you are tasked with making thoughtful decisions and building intricate systems to ensure the well-being and contentment of your citizens.
Cityscapes: Sim Builder tests your city-building skills and rewards you for keeping residents happy
One of the standout features of Cityscapes: Sim Builder is its attention to the basic needs of your citizens. They require housing, jobs, and shops, as well as a reliable means of transportation to navigate the city. However, distance matters, as industrial areas and traffic can generate pollution. To create a sustainable environment, you need to carefully plan your transportation networks and balance the needs of your citizens with the health of the city.
In addition to fulfilling basic necessities, your role as mayor expands to encompass crucial aspects such as utilities, education, healthcare, fire safety, and policing. As your citizens develop more complex needs, you’ll need to strategize and provide tranquil green spaces for them to unwind in. The game challenges you to make the right choices to foster a thriving and harmonious metropolis.
The City Pass adds an extra layer of excitement to the gameplay. This monthly event allows you to earn exclusive parks, buildings, landmarks, and other special items by completing daily and weekly tasks. It encourages regular engagement and rewards you for your dedication and progress.
Cityscapes: Sim Builder offers a sense of progression and discovery as well. By raising your player level, you unlock new cities to build in diverse biomes. You’ll also have the opportunity to unlock land parcels and stumble upon hidden natural curiosities within the landscape. Moreover, constructing famous architectural landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty adds a touch of elegance and instant appeal to your city.
The game’s stunning 3D architecture and captivating vistas will inspire your imagination as you witness your city flourishing. With a wide array of building blueprints at your disposal, the design possibilities are endless, enabling you to create a unique and visually appealing urban landscape.
The characters you encounter in Cityscapes add depth to the gameplay experience. From Anne Council, who oversees city challenges, to the mischievous May Grede CEO, whose middle name is ‘Sabotage,’ you will interact with a diverse cast of personalities. Friendly advisors like Paula Powers and Frankie Flint are always there to assist you, while your citizens will voice their concerns and offer suggestions on how to address them. It’s essential to listen to your citizens and make them feel heard, as their satisfaction is vital for a thriving city.
Sustainability lies at the core of Cityscapes: Sim Builder. The game encourages you to make choices that lead to a profitable, thriving, and fully sustainable city of the future. Balancing environmental and social sustainability becomes a crucial aspect of your strategy, where waste reduction, pollution management, and mindful business practices impact the lives of your citizens. Designing cities where residents can live happily and healthily, side by side, creates a sense of pride and fulfillment.
Cityscapes: Sim Builder gets 3.5 out 5 rating: Here are the reasons why?
- Familiar Gameplay: Cityscapes: Sim Builder brings back the classic city-building experience that SimCity Buildit lovers will appreciate. If you enjoyed the gameplay of SimCity Buildit, you will feel right at home with Cityscape – I know I did.
- Engaging Scenario: The game introduces a scenario where a city has been hit by a hurricane, adding a unique element to the gameplay. This allowed me to get used to the controls of the game and it was also an interesting scenario to explore.
- Decent Graphics: Since Cityscapes: Sim Builder is a mobile game, its graphics are limited and very different from SimCity Buildit, but they are still appealing. Good graphics can enhance the overall gaming experience and make the city come to life.
- Guided Campaign: The game offers a campaign mode, which provides a structured experience with goals and projects to guide the player. At the start of the game, this helped to provide me with clear direction and objectives to achieve.
- Lack of Clarity: The transcript reveals some confusion regarding certain game mechanics. For example, the meaning behind the “31 out of 110” and “100+” indicators is unclear. On the same subject, half the time, you do not know what citizens are complaining about before they eventually abandon their residences. If you are unable to identify a problem, how can you solve it?
- Limited Exploration: The early stages of the game are slow as you are restricted from freely exploring and interacting with the environment. For the first few levels, I felt a lack of the freedom and creativity I seek in city-building games.
- Limited Zoom: While the graphics of the game are solid, the fact that I could not zoom out completely was pretty bothersome since I could not see the complete picture of the town I was building.
- Villainous Stereotype: The introduction of a rival character, May Greed, who intends to sabotage the player’s progress, falls into the clichéd villain archetype. A more nuanced approach to conflicts within the game could have added more depth and variety to the storyline.
Overall, Cityscapes: Sim Builder appears to be a promising city-building game that captures the essence of SimCity Buildit. With its engaging scenario and familiar gameplay mechanics, fans of the genre are likely to enjoy this title. However, improvements in providing clearer instructions and allowing more freedom of exploration could enhance the overall experience. My rating: 3.5/5.
You can download Cityscapes: Sim Builder on the App Store. The game requires iOS 13.5/iPadOS 13.5 or later on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It requires macOS 11.0 to run on Mac and tvOS 13.4 for Apple TV.
Cityscapes: Sim Builder is available as a part of Apple Arcade’s catalog. The service charges a $4.99 monthly subscription fee and offers over 200 games with no in-app purchases or ads.