Mobile city builders. When you hear those words what do you think of? I suspect that it’s something along the lines of a free to play game, that gets super-restrictive after a few hours and is jam packed with in-app purchases.
It’s rare to find a game of this type be completely devoid of some form of premium currency. It’s even rarer to find one that is good but that is exactly what we get with Pocket City.
No restrictions, no in-app purchases, just the chance to build your own thriving city for a straight-forward one-off fee. It is incredible that before you even install the game, Codebrew Games (a one-man development team) deserve praise for not being greedy.
This review is for version 1.0.5.
A re-imagining of classic building sim games (Sim City etc), Pocket City makes you the mayor of your own unique city. You are in control of turning it from a one-horse town into a bustling metropolis.
You begin by creating residential, commercial, and industrial zones. Simply select the zone you want, drag your finger over the squares where you want your buildings to go then release. Your citizens needs are measured simply by a set of three bars at the top of the screen. The higher one gets, the more demand there is for a specific set of zones. It’s simple to understand and simple to deal with.
As well as zones, your city will come to life as you unlock and build many other buildings such as parks, resources such as water and power, farms and huge landmarks. It’s your city but it does require some strategy to maximise your income and population satisfaction.
You wouldn’t want to stick a factory amongst a thriving suburb, now would you?
There is more to the gameplay then just building though. The bigger your city becomes the more issues arise. You’ll also have to responded to disasters and crime. There’s nothing more terrifying then seeing a huge tornado making its way towards your city or watching some lowlife rob some of your city-folk. Thankfully, police stations and fire stations can help offset some of these issues.
The higher you level up, the more buildings you’ll unlock. XP is earned by completing quests that come from the various authority figures/citizens in your city. They can be as simple as naming your city to having to reach a certain population. Varied with just the right amount of challenge to keep your city expanding.
Pocket City is a breath of fresh air. Some may baulk at the £4.99 price point but you’d pay much more in both time and money with other inferior free to play options.