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City of Wonder
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City of Wonder

Release Date:  2010
Publisher:  Playdom
Developer:  Playdom
Genre:  Strategy
Sponsor:

City of Wonder is a social city building mmo game that is available both at Facebook , Google Plus and App store.  Players will start with a small patch of lands, construct several basic buildings and do military and technical research. Your goal is to make full use of what’s in your hand, unlock more buildings step by step and improve the roadways in gradual, so as to make your cities more densely populated and economically prosperous.

Review:

City of Wonder, a strategy simulation? A city builder? A social game? It doesn’t fall into any single category, but displays a hybrid wholeness consisting of parts from all. As written on the loading scene, to ‘research technologies, build prosperous civilizations and explore other civilizations to attack and trade’ comprise the bulk of gameplay. Only after playing for a while, it comes home to me the accuracy and appropriateness of such a summary.

The game starts with a 7-step tutorial, leading us through basic mechanics by clicking and clicking. Move in residents, make and sell goods in gardens, start building fundamental structures, invest in technologies, and consult advisors in cultural, economic and military fields. After that, it’s all left to our own hands.

Civilization starts from a 9×9 tiled patch, with several basic buildings already in place. Conceptually at Stone Age, the architecture style bears no clear mark of the times, but the background soundtrack styles sort-of folk music, really intriguing as if wakening up a remote epoch. With Classical and Modern Ages ahead, will the graphic and music change as the civilization moves on? I highly doubt that, yet care little. And it seems the difference only lies in the available building types; a modern swimming pool may not be added in Stone Age, for instance.

To speak of the core gameplay, City of Wonder slants clearly to the city-building part, making it the bulk of bulks. This part is well-developed with complex and in-depth contents worth delving into. Researching various technologies plays a really important role in the building of the game. Some constructions are not only level-locked, but made available only after certain technologies are researched. Take the very first research of Mysticism for example. Once it is finished, we can then move on to build Stonehenge, Shrine or Story Teller (and research Religion), which may be required in the following quests. This is a quest allotted by Cultural advisors; and it’s all the same to those in the economic and military scopes.

Research in it is not a supporter, and is more like a prerequisite. Generally speaking, it is grinding if without the investment of real money. The research of pottery in Lv. 2 or 3 requires 25 minutes. To top it off, we are allowed to conduct only one research each time.

Comparatively, the construction of various buildings is quick, almost immediately done if the requirements are met. Beginners can always follow the quest line to add structures one after another, while veterans also have the option to build in their own pace (but remember to receive rewards in the quest interface anyway).

If following the quest, we can actually find a special design of Legend element in it. Each quest is offered by a legendary figure ranging from Napoleon to Rockefeller. And once the quest is finished, the legend will join our civilization, such as two more residential buildings bringing in Cleopatra and three decorations unlocking Rembrandt, etc. And these Legends will bring about different bonuses in return, just like all buildings.

In addition to city-building, there is also players’ interaction, forming allies or exploring other civilization to attack or trade. More allies, more embassies. If we ally with another player, his embassy will be built in our country, boosting the happiness of our population; and meanwhile our embassy will also be added in his/hers to generate coins that can be collected by visit. Also, we can explore other players’ civilizations, trading goods, exchanging Culture or attacking (better do so when we have better militia, more population and higher level of research). By playing City of Wonder, I was just reminded of Dragons of Atlantis, similar in both business mode and gameplay.

Two currencies are included: basic silver coins easily earned by playing and gold bar mainly bought for real money. As in most games, money leads us to shortcut for quicker level-up and more playable contents. First of all, there is always an alternative, instantly done or simply skip, for almost every action that takes time or is not permitted at the present level. It’s particularly obvious in the time-consuming research part. Next is the gold-purchased expansion. The 9×9 patch is certainly insufficient to grow a prosperous civilization. More space, more buildings; it’s rather simple. Then it is the constantly pop-up of try-luck Raffle gameplay, which without exception requires consumption of certain amount of gold. Want to spin the military raffle to win one premium military structure? No gold? Then no luck for you.

Finally, a word about its interface. Initially with the small under-expanded patch, the interface seems to me out of balance, more so in full-screen mode: the central part looks empty only with several small-sized buildings in middle while the panel in below appears meaninglessly larger. But as our civilization grows and expands, it looks perfectly OK. And the game is animated to a satisfactory degree that you can see your residents pluck fruit from the tree in the garden, kids playing in the swing or jumping into the swimming pool, and flags spreading in the wind, etc.

Pretty graphics, delightful animation and good music are appealing in the surface, and then legends-featured building, myriads of research and not-bad socialization from the deeper sphere are satisfactory. Integrating all into wholeness, City of Wonder makes me stay for one single element or for all.

Overview:

Feel bored about your daily chores? Wanna something exciting and refreshing? Then how about an eventful exploration in a primitive village sounds to you?

From prehistory to postmodern, human life survives different ages with their specified civilization. Forwarding is the general, irreversible direction of the course of history, yet the past glory that hangs like halo over certain city with its civilization does not fade out of time, such as the historical Greece, Rome and Egypt, etc. And now the game of City of Wonder offers a chance to build one’s wonder city and evolve with it through various epochs from the Stone Age to the Contemporary Era.

In City of Wonder, you aim to build a village into a glorious civilization step by step. There are lots of activities to engage in. You do researches on all kinds of technologies, clean all your buildings and attract people to settle down. The researches you conduct are closely connected to the buildings you will unlock. For instance, you can build a farm from doing agricultural researches. Your city will level up as you gain population and expand territory.

Apart from the basic activities, scientific research and neighborhood combine to play a pivotal role in the development and expansion of every city. From the very beginning, there will be advisors to offer suggestions about what to research, which should be taken seriously, for it is of great concern of the future of the city. Researches cover four main aspects known as Mysticism, Religion, Writing and Pottery, each of which will lead to certain reward, such as coins, experience points, or items for trade. Besides, research is not optional activity under some situations, but necessary phase to pass, say, the research requirements for many buildings.

As to neighborhood, it is essential for players to form allies to grow quicker and suffer from fewer attacks. Setting up embassy on each other’s kingdom is a win-win strategy. One the one hand, when a neighbor visits, his/her embassy can earn silver coins; on the other hand, more embassies located in one’s city, one can earn more happiness points, which can in turn boost the upgrading of the city.

Also, players can go on expeditions in City of Wonder. In this part, they can decide under the guidance of three advisors to choose wage wars against other kingdoms, trade goods, or exchange cultural knowledge with them in light with the strength disparity between each other. Thus, multiply activities through diversified ages comprise this unique simulation game. Play it and one will know immediately why it is highly recommended.

4 Comments on City of Wonder

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  1. […] gameplays reminds me of its Dragons of Atlantis and Playdom’s City of Wonder. Related posts:Kabam announces Strategy online game Samurai Dynasty for […]

  2. […] Kingdom building games? Try City of Wonder, Dragons of Atlantis, Edgeworld and many more. Just check our homepage and browse through our game […]

  3. […] this year’s E3, Playdom, the maker of City of Wonder, unveiled a new strategy social MMO, available both at Facebook and Playdom platform itself. […]

  4. […] fans are keenly skeptical of if this game will work perfectly in the wake of Farmville, Cityville, City of Wonder, Dragons of Atlantis since the PC and Facebook are totally different platform where the former […]

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