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Skyscraper City
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Skyscraper City

Release Date:  2012
Publisher:  
Developer:  
Genre:  City Builder
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Skyscraper City is the latest free-to-play Facebook city-building game by Gamzee. It starts with a comic-alike preface, in which city is threatened by the evil real estate developer. You would play the role as the city mayor assisted by the beautiful city planner Allison, to restore the city back to its once former glory with thriving business and tons of residents.

Review:

When you first start the game, you will inherit a slum area, then you need to demolish these crude-looking houses to make room for your new buildings. Initially, I was very quick to click on these slum buildings, however, I need to click the building multiple times at one energy per click to bring it down. So it’s quite a waste of energy at the very beginning of this game. Moreover, since the slum keeps developing, so when I thought I have made enough room for new buildings, then I was AFK for a while to wait for energy refill, but found several grids had again occupied by buildings when I come back. The good thing is that demolishing a building can award you with random materials ranging from bricks, plywood, coins, glasses, cement and all sorts of stuffs that you need to build a new house or can be gifted to friends as well.

As a typical city-building simulation game, you are greeted with many of the common mechanism of the same genre. First of all, a power plant must be deployed to supply enough electricity for your city. Each building consumes different amount of electricity once it is completed. Commercial buildings are the source of your revenue, which can be collected after a set amount of time. They can also be stacked high atop one another to give your earning a boost. You are given the permission to build maximum 2-story buildings after the tutorial, and you can get additional building permits through completing quests. Residential buildings give you “population” boost after certain time has elapsed. “Population” works exactly the same as the experience points in other RPGs, you can gain a new level when enough “population” points are acquired. Notice that the “happiness” meter is of great crucial in the game. The “happiness” meter decreases as each new resident and building is added to your city. When it gets too low, you are not able to gain new residents and collect revenue. In that case, you need to place decorations, such as trees, ponds and parks to boost it. What’s more, the decoration can boost the revenue of buildings placed adjacent to it, which adds another tactical issue to consider.

Some amusing random events will also occur. You may see the animation of a dinosaur jigging on your skyscraper, which will prevent you from collecting coins and “population” points. This feature is another way that consumes your energy by punching them away.

The cartoonish Lego-style-brick visuals look colorful, but some people may feel them a bit odd. Besides, players are only given the aerial view of your city. And I find it just annoying to find and click on the lower buildings that are placed behind the higher ones. Adding an option that allows players to toggle between different camera views will be great.

With so many city-building games on Facebook new titles in the genre really need to do something unique to stand out, Skyscraper City is among those which have done a pretty good job, although it may have reused many of the common features. It is certainly a game that is worth trying.

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