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One of the newest of the Facebook games, SimCity Social, has all of the favorites for fans of the Sims and Facebook. The free online game has content similar to previous Sims games but also features new developments that are made just for Facebook and that come from the newest and upcoming Sim game.
In SimCity Social, the focus is on socializing and city-building according to All Things Digital. The city-building is similar to previous Sim games and to Facebook games such as CityVille and FarmVille. However, unlike the Sims there is no need to take care of the utilities within the city and there are no taxes.
The city-building in the game happens through using one’s resources wisely. The game currency is called simoleans, which can be used to buy things like houses. Diamonds are also used as currency but they are normally used for upgrading factories or larger projects. Players can buy game diamonds with real money in order to get a boost in the game. Some of the things players can buy include things that one could consider advertisements, such as Dunkin’ Donuts or a billboard advertising a Mercedes.
The game has several features, including 3D graphics and even more creative freedom than in previous Sim games according to IBN Live. There are no set paths, although players can gain experience points from completing certain tasks and building new things in their cities in order to reach the next mayor level.
SimCity Social provides the players with real social issues to deal with spontaneously such as natural disasters and climate change. Players can also experience different scenery depending on whether they choose to be in German, British, or French style neighborhoods.
SimCity Social, even more than city-building, is about socializing with friends. Within SimCity Social, players can interact with their friends and send gifts to each other – much like in FarmVille. Players can hire each other for certain tasks and can become allies or enemies with different cities. A player can also visit a friend’s city in order to get an energy boost and can receive more resources and higher property values if a friend visits his or her city.
Jami Laes, Vice President of Playfish Global Studios, claimed that the game provides many different options for every path a player could want to choose when interacting with his or her friends. Laes stated, “whether you… [act through] kindness by helping put out a fire or through mischievous acts like helping a criminal escape, the decisions you make with your friends will determine how the story of your city plays out.”
Currently there are around 750,000 Sims Facebook fans. The game creators have announced that if someone is playing the game and adds his or her ‘like’ to the Facebook page they can receive free access to exclusive content from the next Sims game.
SimCity Social is essentially a prototype version of the latest Sims game that will be coming out in 2013. In the newest version there will be multiplayer support and will allow up to sixteen friends to play together at once.
According to Kotaku, what SimCity Social lacks is the depth of the PC version of the game. Because the game focuses more on city-building, making it similar to Facebook games like CityVille and FarmVille, other aspects such as the collection of taxes and taking care of utilities that made the game more complicated are lost.
Kotaku states, “[it's] strategic enough to distract players from the fact that they’re caught in an endless cycle of earning enough residents to expand their city, buying new land, and starting the whole process over again…SimCity Social is a cute and capable social city-builder. It’s also a shameless attempt to capitalize on the success of Zynga’s wildly popular CityVille, slapping a powerful name on a game that could never live up to its legacy.”
However, Kotaku does admit that the upcoming PC version of SimCity Social will be much more exciting and complicated. “What’s exciting about this new Sim City is how alive it feels, how much it makes the earliest games in the series feel as static as board games. This one feels alive.”
It looks as if most fans of Facebook’s city-building games will enjoy this latest addition, but fans of previous Sims games should wait for the next PC version.
Image Courtesy of SimCity Social