Saturday, November 10, 2012

There's An App For That: City Planning Games

Perhaps it's due to my over-compulsive need to organize the things in my surroundings (and in my head), but city / village planning games get me hooked pretty quickly. I remember spending many an hour watching the little mob riots take to the streets, or the giant robot from space come down and destroy my town in the original SimCity back when I was a kid.

As a homage to those early pre-gamer days of mine, here's the quick and dirty on some of my favorite city builder apps currently out there:

Cosmic Colony
Next to Fantasy TownCosmic Colony has got some of the best designed buildings and town decor around. A lot of creative thinking went into the look of some of the available shops, homes and alien relics. There's a space exploration mini-game available about once a day that rewards a random little somethin' to help spruce up the colony. Space pirates can be a problem, though...

Fantasy Town
Fantasy Town has some of the best art direction I've seen yet, giving the game a really unique, and very beautiful look. It's worth checking out despite the fact that earning money in the game for the land expansions can take a really long time. That, coupled with the unfortunate need to occasionally spend gems (which cost real world money to acquire) just to complete quests eventually turned me off altogether.

Another absolutely beautiful game, Forestville's charm resides not just in its buildings, but in its citizens as well. The village is full of adorable little foxes, bears, birds, rabbits, frogs, beavers, hedgehogs, and deer (and the list keeps going). It's Furry Fandom Heaven! Each species has special, unique characters and rare versions such as the occasional crow, polar bear or blue frog that will randomly pop up and add even more variety to the mix! I'm all for diversity! ~wink~

Kingdoms & Lords
Kingdoms & Lords
, ironically, suffers from the reverse issue effecting Fantasy Town. It's pretty easy to earn enough money early in the game to buy a great amount of land, but... you have nothing to put on it until much much later. Even then, most of the buildings you can add (which are exquisite, by the way) do nothing unless you log into a social network with the game (something most people might not feel comfortable doing). Kingdoms & Lords has a great deal of potential, however. It just needs to be fleshed out a bit more in its earlier levels.

Oregon Settler
Oregon Settler
 is a very fun, frontier-flavored city game full of covered wagons, head-bobbing farm animals, and malaria. Not kidding.  

Pyramid Valley
In Pyramid Valley, you get to choose between being either Ramses or Cleopatra (either avatar is decenlty customizable) and begin building your very own dynasty. Egyptian, Nubian, and Greek-styled architecture, and a complex trade route system make this particular city builder a very unique gem well worth playing.

Smurf Village
Filled with almost every memorable character in Smurfdom, Smurf Village delivers a very addictive gaming experience whether you grew up watching these little blue guys or not. The mushroom homes are very customizable (balconies, chimneys, etc.), and there's even a tropical island and mountainside to explore and build on now too. It's unquestionably Smurfberry Crack!

The Simpsons: Tapped Out
After an explosion at the power plant, Sprinfield gets turned completely inside out, and rebuilding it, as well as locating all of its lost citizens becomes a brilliantly scripted adventure! Each character you rediscover has their own unique jobs (quests) to fulfill, and the new Springfield is completely yours to redesign. This became an instant favorite for me! As a big fan of the show, the fun-factor is insanely high!

Tiny Village
The prehistoric-themed Tiny Village is frequently updated with tons of new content, as well as holiday events and quests. You can harvest resources, build houses and shops, or raise a multitude of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, many of the really great items require gems (which are purchased with real world money), and they're costly. My only other critique is that I wish there was a little more variation with the games' citizenry, or at the least a few unique ones walking about. As you can tell from the screenshot below... they all look alike.

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