SimCity Social Review

With a new SimCity game on the horizon for the first time in too many years, I decided to break my usual habit of boycotting Facebook games for being wastes of good gaming time and try SimCity Social.

I was hoping it might scratch my SimCity itch, but it’s pretty much a standard free-to-play model Facebook game. It has pretty graphics and works very smoothly, but it still relies on spamming your friends to get anywhere at a decent pace. It still requires almost no thought or strategy to play.

The only way it captures any real sim flavor is in the humor. It’s been forever since I played a SimCity game — forever meaning the heyday of SimCity 3000 — so I don’t know if SimCity 4 included the kind of humor that has become one of the hallmarks of The Sims. But that humor is present in SimCity Social. One of the interactions you can have with your police stations is “Taze Someone”, and if you do the status bar for the action is labelled “GZZZZTTT!!!”. That’s a large part of why (coupled with a lack of time to play games I value more highly) I’m still playing it.

To end on a mostly-unrelated note: since last I posted anything I was finally convinced to try¬†League of Legends. I’m rather taken with it. Last week I figured out how to farm decently with Ryze. Hooray!

FrontierVille

Zynga, the controversial developer of a cluster of successful Facebook game applications including FarmVille and Mafia Wars, recently rolled out their newest moneymaker: FrontierVille. They’re billing it as “Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille,” and while I think that’s a bit of an exaggeration, FrontierVille is definitely a step up from Zynga’s other offerings.

You start out with a covered wagon, three chickens, a sheep, and some coins. A few introductory quests introduce you to the game mechanics and give you a bit of direction. They’re worth completing for the rewards, and completing a quest can unlock another. As you go through the quests, you’re encouraged to take certain steps to gradually turn your plot into a town. The population eventually grows to three, since your spouse follows you out and a child comes along shortly after that. Continue reading