SimCity Social is a strange beast. While I never did get into the Sim City franchise I was very tempted to give the facebook version a go, mostly because it’s free and there’s the new Sim City game coming out soon. I’m thinking that if I like it on facebook then I should like the real thing. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The game plays much as you’d expect a Sim City game to play. You build houses, build factories, build businesses, collect resources, upgrade what you’ve built, and try to keep the place from burning down or being destroyed by disasters both natural and man made. There are some features not found in the full game and these are mostly the social features. You can send gifts to friends, have friends living in your city, visit their cities and interact with them, and you can hire friends to finish building or do work for you. It’s nice in theory but it’s not so good if you don’t have many friends who play it. It doesn’t differentiate between friends who play it and friends who don’t.
Something else not found in a full version is premium items. The currency used to buy these is diamonds and diamonds can be bought for real money. Now, normally I hate this sort of thing. I dislike not being able to get things because I don’t have the cash to throw at game on facebook, but this is different, kind of. As you play you gain levels as a mayor, and every level gained rewards you with diamonds. It’s only a few but you’re given a huge discount on a premium item too. These discounts are optional but worth taking advantage of if it’s something you want.
One thing that I do like about the game is the ‘quests’ feature. They’re optional but they’re useful if you’re not sure what to do next. You can just see which quests you haven’t finished and work towards completing them while you think of something to do. There is actually a point to doing them though as you do get rewards that help you build your city. Mostly it’s resources and money, but also energy. And that brings me to the only really bad thing about the game.
Energy is the blight of this otherwise fun game. You need energy to do everything in, from cutting down trees to upgrading and collecting from businesses and factories. This really limits what can be done, especially if you have a large number of businesses or factories or you need to clear a lot of trees. You could start it up for a bit of gaming and very quickly run out before you’ve actually done anything. Waiting for energy is boring and things can happen during that time, like a fire you can’t put out because you don’t have any energy, which means you lose a building or few.
All things considered though, this game is actually ok. If you’re a fan of SimCity games or you want to try one, this is definitely worth checking out. I think I want to like this more than I actually do, not because it’s a bad game but because of the energy thing that gets in the way of actually playing the game. If they were to remove energy from the game or increase the energy limit so you can actually play for e decent length of time then this would be very good indeed.
If you do check it out, leave a comment below and let me know what you think.