Welcome to SimCity, Mayor! It is only natural that we begin our Android city building game compilation in the virtual metropolis where it all began: SimCity. In SimCity BuildIt, you have to build your own city from the ground up, and do everything in your powers to keep your citizens healthy, successful, and happy. Boasting breathtaking, lively 3D-quality graphics, SimCity deems itself the most realistic city builder game on Android, a statement we have no intention of even trying to deny. As the Mayor of SimCity, your objective is simple on the surface but dizzyingly complex underneath it. When building your city, it is not enough to just randomly scatter skyscrapers and other constructions all over the map, as you have to place your buildings strategically, always keeping the needs of your citizens in mind (as in it probably is not a good idea to build an airport right in the middle of downtown SimCity). As your city begins to bloom, you can start trading resources with other cities and fellow Mayors, facilitating a plethora of development projects, and unlocking world-famous landmarks (e.g. the Statue of Liberty) to spruce up your skyline with. Although SimCity is only a game, that doesn’t mean you won’t be faced with real-life big city issues such as traffic congestion and pollution. To keep your citizens happy and to consequently keep your popularity index high, you have to find solutions for the aforementioned issues and also provide an assortment of services by, for instance, building power plants, police departments, educational institutions, and parks. Being a good Mayor brings satisfaction, but unleashing your inner Evil Mayor brings so much fun, which you indulge in by striking down on your city with natural disasters and even hostile extraterrestrials. To top it all off, you can take on Mayors from all over the globe and earn priceless rewards by participating in the Contest of Mayors, climbing the ranks until you reach the ultimate Megalopolis Elite League.
As it pertains to the in-genre popularity contest between Android city building games, Township is not far behind SimCity. Although Township certainly lacks the historic significance, it more than makes up for it with cute graphics and a highly addictive gameplay experience. Township blends the most captivating characteristics of farming and city building games, embarking you on the endless journey of building, developing, and looking after the town of your dreams. To make these dreams come true, you have to grow, harvest, and process crops, trade goods with exotic countries, attend to the needs of your townspeople by building community spaces such as cinemas and restaurants, take cure of oh-so-fluffy animals (and even establish a zoo while you’re at it), and descend into the depths of the local mine to unearth precious ancient artifacts. Township is free to play, though be prepared for in-app offers.
Initially released about a month short of five years ago, The Simpsons: Tapped Out gained a cult-like following over the past half-decade. As a proof for the proverb stating that truth is stranger than fiction, according to user reviews, the biggest downside of The Simpson: Tapped Out is that it’s updated way too often, with the real troublemaker being the size of the updates, as they are as substantial as Lisa Simpson’s intelligence. We have no intention of disregarding any of these reviews, because the updates do tend to be oversized (usually around 1 GB per update), gobbling up your mobile data plan faster than Homer gobbles up a box of delicious donuts in case you make the mistake of updating the game while on the game. As for the game itself, The Simpsons: Tapped Out puts its own unmistakable spin on city building games by allowing you to take charge of not only Springfield, but also its citizens you have gotten to know so well over the show’s 28 seasons. Go crazy like a cocaine-binging Krusty and reshape Springfield any way you like, repopulate the city with your favorite characters, relive iconic scenes from equally iconic episodes, and experience never-before-seen animated scenes and unique storylines exclusive to the game, courtesy of the writers of the original show. Seasonal updates, monster invasions, superheroes, and Homer’s chaos-inducing ideas guarantee that your life as Springfield’s new big boss will never become a bore.
Peter Griffin might be a family guy, but he’s also a destroyer of worlds – or at least a little town known all over the world. After another epic battle for the ages with his nemesis, the giant chicken, Quahog is completely destroyed. Consequently, your objective in Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is to restore Quahog’s former glory by rebuilding the town any way, shape, or form you like. As you would expect from the insanely creative minds bringing us Family Guy, there’s much more to the game than that. You can send your favorite characters (that includes Megatron Griffin, better known as Meg) on chucklesome quests, Peterfy (or Peterize, if you will) Quahog with oh-my-God-inducing decorations like The Peterdactyl, The Petercopter, and The Hindenpeter, and unlock insane outfits (such as Rambo Lois and the irresistible Mermaid Peter) to make your characters look even more ridiculous (which might not be possible as it pertains to a certain Megatron Griffin). All the while, you also have to safeguard quahog from hostile invasions – for instance bloodthirsty flocks of evil chickens and marauding pirate fleets -, and just enjoy Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff’s familiar hilarity.
We all know that Rome wasn’t built in a day, a truth you can experience yourself by playing the ever-popular city building game, Forge of Empires, which will be your cup of tea in case you have a knack for history and strategy. In Forge of Empires, you start out in prehistoric times as the mammoth bone-wielding big boss of a Stone Age settlement. The goal is to, as time passes by, build your city, research and develop new technologies, manufacture and trade goods, overcome your rivals through shrewd negotiations or sheer power, and grow your settlement into an empire of epic proportions by surviving the ebbs and flows of history all the way up to modern days and even beyond into the future. Forge of Empires is free to download and play, but packs more than enough in-app purchases – some of which carry rather lofty price tags -, and in order to advance in the game at a manageable rate, you’ll have no other choice but to dig into your wallet – unless you are as patient as a Buddhist monk sloth.
Megapolis is mega-proud of its achievements – and deservedly so, as this city building game extraordinare is the number one in its category in over 20 countries, boasting more than 10 million downloads and a daily active user base made up of 1 million people. That’s fine and dandy, but let’s take a look at how Megapolis managed to reach such great heights. In Megapolis, the mega-goal is build and manage a well-oiled machine of a city by developing essential infrastructure (railway systems and stations, power plants, airports, seaports, gas and oil mining), managing money matters like a financially responsible boss, and cooperate with neighboring megapolises. If you’re able to achieve all of these objectives, your city will mushroom into the greatest megapolis in the known universe, expanding over both land and sea. Of course, that is not as easy as it sounds, and you’ll come across plenty of challenges while navigating your megapolis on the long and winding road leading to big city promised land. Megapolis features a multifarious selection comprised of hundreds of buildings from long-gone ages to present times, almost-true-to-life 3D graphics, and last but somewhat least a mega-assortment of in-app purchases.
Everyone’s favorite gibberish-talking, banana-gobbling, lovably clumsy, New York taxi-yellow Minions are always up to something – usually to something no good. This time around, Phil and co. find themselves stranded on a deserted tropical island after the man himself, Phil, successfully sinks the ship with which they’ve been cruising the seas, forcing the bumbling company to make the most of the situation by building their tailor-made paradise in their new home. The most basic ingredient of a Minion paradise is, naturally, banana, meaning providing substantial supplies of the holy fruit is of high importance, but there are other priorities which you must attend to. These priorities include beach volleyball courts, hammocks, and hot tubs, providing conclusive proof for the assumption that the Minion life is a tough one. You can spruce up your paradise with tropical flora, explore the island to discover amusement park-like activities (such as the soon-to-be-an-Olympic-event alligator waterskiing, waterslide diving, and throwing mangoes from hot balloons), and complete the mischievously devious masterplans of Professor Flux, the brand new arch-villain your Minions have sworn allegiance to.
Triple Town is a freemium remix on the classic match three genre, but don’t let any of that scare you away. You never have to pay to play, and this isn’t your mom’s match three game. This game is done in a way that combines match three gameplay with city building. It’s a very unique take on the genre and it’s crazy addicting. Also, there are lots and lots of bears.
You’re given a random plot of land to work with. You’ll have to place whatever item you’re currently holding down on the map somewhere, usually grass at first. By placing the grass near two other plots of grass, they’ll combine into a bush. Bushes turn into trees, trees turn into houses, so on and so forth. The idea is to constantly combine items to make room for new ones, and to keep your settlement growing for as many years (turns) as possible. In an attempt to muck up your work, ferocious giant bears will roam around the map and block things off, though trapping a bear will turn it into a grave stone. These combine with each other to create churches, then cathedrals, etc.
You won’t always be placing grass. You have a chance to randomly get a bush or tree from the get-go. You’ll also get robots that can destroy any unwanted tile, including bears, and a wild card crystal, which can be matched with any two objects. If it doesn’t match with anything, it turns into a useless stone, so be careful. Each day, you have a limited number of turns, and by limited I mean fifteen hundred. I never played so much as to need more, but that’s just me. You can use the coins you accumulate to purchase special objects as well as extra turns. Extra coins can be purchased in app. You can also purchase unlimited turns for four dollars, currently marked down from seven, but as I said, it’s not a necessity.
The cartoony graphics look great, and the few sounds you hear are done well. There’s no music to speak of though. OpenFeint achievements and leaderboards are supported, though it’s kind of lame considering players can essentially buy a higher place on the leaderboard. There’s a lot of strategy involved with this simple match three casual title, and I had a hard time pulling myself away to actually write this review. And to reiterate, it is completely free, so there’s no reason you all shouldn’t give it an immediate download. You won’t regret it.