It’s not everyday that we find an iPhone app that is so reminiscent of Facebook gaming, without actually having a Facebook game counterpart, and yet, Triplepoint Client TeamLava has created just that in their new game, City Story on the iPhone.
As with most social simulation games, City Story is a free download (released on August 10, the game has already climbed to number 4 on the Free Apps charts), that comes with the ability to purchase in-game items using real funds.
The game is most easily comparable to Social City on Facebook, in that your town has both a population and a Happiness Point rating, and you’ll need to complete contracts at your factories in order to earn additional funds. The differences here come in the fact that your buildings don’t regenerate new citizens every few hours – you receive a one-time population boost, and will need to build more homes in order to add to your population total. This limits your growth a bit, as your population is subsequently limited by the amount of space you have in your city, but it makes sense given the smaller iPhone package you start with.
Your town begins with a few essentials – two factories, a few homes, a town hall, and a couple of businesses, and you’ll be able to add to it from there. All roads are free to build and come lined with trees, while businesses, residences, factories and “enhancements” can be purchased from the game’s store. These enhancements include land expansions, which are purchased either with coins (once you level up to the point of being able to unlock them) or with the game’s premium currency, City Cash. You start the game with 10 City Cash, or you can purchase City Cash in various quantities for real-life funds.
In terms of social aspects, the game relies on the Storm8 social network, which can be accessed by simply giving yourself a username. If you prefer not to create an account, you can also connect via Facebook, automatically bringing all of your Facebook friends who happen to also play the game into the equation. You can send these friends free gifts (right now, these items are also available to purchase in the store, should you not have any friends that play the game), or you can visit their towns and “clean” their buildings with the limited supply of water you are given each day you visit their town.
Upon returning to their own city, these cleaned buildings will allow your friends to earn bonus coins and experience points for acknowledging that you’ve been there (a simple tap on the buildings that you cleaned will do the trick). As you help your neighbors, you’ll earn points on a “Star Rating,” which serves as your reputation within the game, similar to the Reputation Meter in FrontierVille, for another Facebook gaming comparison.
All in all, City Story looks to contain all of the elements of a major Facebook game, with the convenience of being at your fingertips even when a computer is not. If you’d like to start building your own town in City Story, make sure to download the game from iTunes.
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