Friday Free App Rundown March 22nd – City Building Games

Friday Free App Rundown March 22nd – City Building Games

Mar 22, 2013

City building games are a good style to play when there is a lot of time to kill. Because they take a while to accumulate money, resources and other things the game cannot be played all in one sitting usually. Some of these games will run in the background and give notification when something is ready and needs to be done. This can be a distraction to some and helpful for other people. Let us know if there are other games like this we missed.

Megapolis

Like many city building games, Megapolis starts off with a small city. As the city infrastructure grows, more things need to be managed. Everything from the finances to designing new areas, airports and sea ports and more. Not only is there a need to make the city great, the neighboring cities play a role in the game too. Trading resources for theirs and teaming up with them will make things happen a little faster. Take the time and build it right or there might be some issues later on.

Download Megapolis

Virtual City Playground

G5 ENTERTAINMENT makes some pretty fun games. Virtual City Playground is similar to others on the list because the city will start small and as it grows, so do the parts of the city that need to be managed. One thing that’s different with Virtual City Playground is there is an option to stage public events to keep the citizens happy. Happy people usually mean more growth and less crime. Keep that in mind Mr. Mayor.

Download Virtual City Playground

Airport City

Airport City is the same premise as the others on the list but involves making an airport from scratch. A lot of the same things apply when making an airport vs. building a city. Making sure everthing is built in a logical place as well as keeping things running smoothly. As the airport grows, more planes can be out in the air which means the airport is making more money (exotic rewards for different flights). There is money to be made at the commercial buildings like eateries. This means there is more chances to build a bigger and a better airport.

Download Airport City

City Island

Sometimes there is limited space but it makes sense to have a city there. In this case, this limited space is an island. Building a city on an island poses some unique design challenges. Mainly what to do when all of the space is used. Well, the answer is to build up of course. With over 85 different building types, there is sure to be a great combination to make the people happy and things moving smoothly.

Download City Island

Building Tower

Okay, Building Tower is nothing like the rest of the other games on the list. Here the goal is to make a tall building. The block are dangled by a rope from a crane. Because of the wind there is a sway to the rope. The hard part is releasing the block at the right time and having the blocks line up as straight as possible so the tower doesn’t fall over as it gets taller. Easier said than done.

Download Building Tower

Burn the City Review

Burn the City Review

Oct 25, 2011

If you look at ask earlier review for Early Bird I mentioned the flood of Angry Bird clones. Burn This City could be labeled as one of those clones, and in some instances they are, but overall this app deserves to stand on its own. Coming from a small developer, this app is creative and the core gameplay is very solid but sometimes becomes too repetitive. Like most other games if its kind Burn the City’s variation comes in the form of different weapons and levels, but unfortunately the game requires you to hit these buildings multiple times in the same spots which can get old. Keeping things interesting are the clever level designs and a battle mode where your monster has to hold off waves of human military force. Battle mode is a great addition, even though sometimes the game reads your swipes to shoot as a swipe to pan the camera, which gets real frustrating.

Burn this City is a fun game to play. Its cute, colorful monster instantly earns your heart and his animations are will formed. However, the problems begin with the supposed human civilization. Apparently, our cities are a collection of the same five buildings and power plants randomly dispersed on cliffs and valleys. Not that I expect this game to be realistic, but some extra effort to give these cities more life would have gone a long way. The physics system is really accurate and buildings generally fall where they’re supposed to.

One complaint I have with the gameplay is that the camera follows your shot but doesn’t automatically return to the monster making you pan back manually or hit a small button. There is an option to turn this off but then the camera doesn’t follow the action at all. Also, unlike most games, there is not set number of turns per level; here a multiplier is earned if the level is completed under a few set amounts of time.

Overall, Burn the City does a lot good coming from such a small developer, and hopefully with a few updates and changes this game will be something special. But as it stands right now Burn the City does a few things to stand out from other games but I fear it might not be enough.

See Your City From Hundreds of Other Perspectives with Trover

See Your City From Hundreds of Other Perspectives with Trover

Oct 20, 2011

Trover is a new service that allows users from all around the world to share photos of their favorite spots though a simple, elegant grid. Considering Trover launched just this April, the amount of members that it has compiled since then is certainly impressive. The service now boasts more then 100,000 “Trovers” in over 160 countries, which is even more impressive knowing that the service originally launched solely for the iPhone. But now it’s out on Android and the question is: how much of an impact will this service have? Like Zaarly, which I talk about more here, Trover is held back only through the cooperation of its users. They are what really makes this product work.

Trover is essentially a giant commonplace for people to post pictures about their favorite spots which are geotagged on a map. Think of it as a less organized Yelp. A short description about the spot is included and there is a Thank button and a comment field. The ‘Thank’ button is basically a ‘like’ button, or a +1 button for you Google+ people. However, Trover is not the Michelin Guide Book; every entry is recorded by some user that you probably don’t know and while your login is your Facebook account, this is still the internet, people. This open world works both for and against Trover. For example, looking up places near me around the Ohio State Campus I found a great photo of a secluded dock set back in a swamp at a nearby park which would be a great place to go hiking with my girlfriend.

Isn't this Romantic?


This is where Trover shines, showing you places off the beaten path that are great small places that you’d have a hard time finding in a typical guide book. Where Trover fails are the entries that are more or less useless. Setting my position in Times Square, I found a lot of random meaningless entries, like one of two bikes chained to a stand or another of some pigeons on the sidewalk. This creates an over-saturation of information. New York is such a huge city that there where hundreds of ‘Discoveries’ within a half mile radius of my location, every unnecessary post just increases the odds of missing something notable.

Overall though, Trover does bring something very exciting and unique which is important because it needs to be able to differentiate itself from other user recommendation apps such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. They do this by being very visual and by sorting attractions by distance away. Also, Trover applies to any kind of location from restaurants to parks to sidewalk vendors. Trover allows the user to be more spontaneous than Yelp, and the ability to simply pull out a phone and see places that other people recommend is very powerful. A nice setting in Trover is the ability to switch between locations that are within walking, biking, and driving distances, which is a great solution for those boring afternoon dilemmas where there doesn’t seem to be anything to do. Technically Trover has the potential to completely remove those kinds of days from our lives completely. I’m not saying that it will, but in looking at its capabilities Trover asks all the users in your area if they have a spot they recommend visiting. It is all about finding and sharing the little known gems in your area.

We’ll see if this service takes off, because there definitely are many opportunities to lose focus. It will be very tempting to open the service to advertising, for example, and the whole community vibe will be lost, spoiled by the corporate hand. But if we’ve learned anything in these past few years, it would be to never underestimate the power of social integration. If it can be shared, tweeted or posted, chances are it will. People will never stop wanting to discover new, undiscovered spots. If Trover manages to stay the course and keep this an intimate service that lets you see the same city from the viewpoint of hundreds of different perspectives the sky is the limit and Trover will become a household name in the future.