Virtual City - iPhone Review

   22/09/2010 at 09:18       Drew Bower       0 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Virtual City, G5 Entertainment, City Sim, Sandbox, Management

Over the past 20 or so years since its initial release, SimCity has become quite the seminal icon. A version of the game has appeared on just about every console, hand-held and of course PC. The wild popularity of Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch has needless to say seen its own port of SimCity. However, the complexity of the game and faithful re-creation actually delivered a fiddly and a not all that enjoyable experience.G5 Entertainment have thus grabbed a glaring opportunity by bringing their successful Virtual City series to the iPhone.

Virtual City’s mantra is essentially to provide a full on city simulation but without the full on complexity – whist leaving a fun, enjoyable way to while away those bus trips and bathroom breaks at work.

The main bulk of VC comes from the campaign mode featuring over 50 levels of varying challenges. Along with Sarah, your assistant and tutor, you are transported into different cities to help rectify the problems the city is currently facing. These range from rebuilding after an earthquake or tornado, to simple supply and demand issues.

For each level, certain goals must be met such as delivering a set quota of people by bus to the local mall, to attaining a general level of population happiness. Finances must be kept in check as does the environmental situation. Along the way you will be given new technology to oversee and construct from trains to roller-coasters.

Creating a vibrant and working city from the wrecks left by the drunken whore-mongering mayor (note: no mayors in the game are described as such – I’m just speculating) is very pleasing to achieve. The focused goals of each level do stint some creativity and freedom; however this does help keep things simple and uncluttered.

Each level scores you on time taken, population happiness, finances and environmental kindness. It is essential to perform well, as bonus points are awarded which can be spent on acquiring vital upgrades to structures, new buildings and commerce through to shiny new play areas to keep your residents happy.

With over 50 scenarios to complete, this mode of the game will keep you busy for many hours. Promised in the first update on the main menu screen is a fully blown sandbox mode. One assumes in this mode you will be able to construct your very own city totally from scratch and will be a welcome addition.

Setting out to achieve a city management sim without overwhelming the player, G5 Entertainment has pulled a masterstroke. That’s not to say the game is simple or basic. Only through paying close attention to your supply chains, rubbish disposal and careful building placement will you achieve those priceless gold trophies. But the main goal is to produce a fun, interesting game and Virtual City most certainly manages that.

Associated screenshots.

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